Samuel Thomas Wilson was born in Harlem, New York City, to Darlene Wilson, and Paul Wilson, a prominent minister. Sam was his parents youngest child with older sister named Sarah Wilson -Casper and a older brother named Mister Gideon Wilson. Sam's childhood started out a happy one during which he finds he has a natural affinity for birds. He takes up training pigeons, and has the largest pigeon coop in Harlem. In his teens, however, he encounters racism for the first time which leaves him frustrated, jaded, and disappointed.
When he is 16, Wilson refuses to go to church, believing his deeply religious parents faith could be wrong. To his surprise, rather than put up a fight, his parents provide him with books on different religions and comparative theology. The next night, however, Sam's father is killed trying to break up a neighborhood fight. Two years later, his mother is shot and killed by a mugger one block from their apartment. Consumed by grief and "angry at the world" Sam became a respected community volunteer and social worker to try to better his community.
On his way to Rio de Janeiro, his plane crashed and he was later found by the Red Skull. Using the Cosmic Cube, Sam gained telepathic
communication with birds and created his Snap persona (this is a RETCON and a bad one at that since he had that ability in his childhood way before he met the Red Skull), the Red Skull turned him into the ideal fighter to take on Captain America, but Cap was able to snap Sam out the Skull's control, and together they defeated the Red Skull.
Sam Wilson made his first appearance in Captain America #117. He was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan.
Back in America, Steve helped Sam become a superhero and they even teamed together on several occasions. Sam even took the identity and costume of Captain America. He worked hard to be a hero for the Harlem community, but a certain section of the African-American populace viewed him an an "Uncle Tom". Even his soon-to-be girlfriend, Leila would call the Falcon "a yellowback", not knowing he was really Sam Wilson. When Falcon helped Black Panther, T'Challa rewarded him by giving him a costume with wings capable of flight. When Falcon found out that the Red Skull manipulated him and was the one that gave him powers, he joined up with SHIELD.
Major Story Arcs
Sam took part in the "Defender for a Day", in which Nighthawk was trying to recruit new members. Henry Gyrich recruited Falcon to the Avengers, so that the Avengers could be more "racially diverse", but Falcon didn't appreciate being the token minority and quit after a couple of missions.
During the 1970s and 80's he was a dedicated social worker in Harlem, New York. He personally saved President Reagan from an assassination plot that he uncovered. He ran for a congressional seat but was beaten when his earlier criminal history as "Snap Wilson" was revealed. While working as a social worker, he often teamed-up with Sergeant Tork from the N.Y.P.D. During this time Sam was mistaken by a Sentinel to be a mutant.
After Captain America gained enhanced strength from the side effect of a toxin used by the Viper, Sam felt inadequate to continue working as Captain America's partner. Turning to Black Panther for assistance, T'challa crafted a new costume for Sam which included glider wings which were powered by sunlight and linked to Sam's brain. He then returned to help Captain America clear his name after being framed for the murder of the tumbler by Moonstone.
After Steve Rogers had taken on the new identity of The Nomad, Falcon teamed up with the new Captain America Roscoe. Unfortunately Sam was brutally beaten and Roscoe was murdered by the Red Skull. When Rogers had retaken the mantle of Captain America, Sam joined him to face the Red Skull yet again. However this time it was revealed that the Red Skull had actually set up the meeting between Sam and Captain America on Exile Island. The Red Skull had actually changed Sam's persona and altered his memories. Sam Wilson, social worker of Harlem was actually Snap Wilson, notorious criminal charged with multiple cases of importation and sales of narcotics. During the trial the Stilt Man had attempted to kill the Falcon, but was thwarted by Sam and Redwing. Ultimately the judge placed Sam on parole with none other than Nick Fury as Sam's parole officer.
During the Avengers Disassembled storyline, wherein the Scarlet Witch went insane, she reverted Sam back into the "Snap" persona. While he still continue to team-up with Captain America, his attitude become more of a nuisance and eventually Cap and Sam parted ways. Later, Captain America saved Falcon from being killed by taking a bullet meant for his friend.
In the events of the Civil War, Falcon joined up with Captain America's Secret Avengers. When Cap was incapacitated during a fight between the Avengers and the Pro-Registration Heroes, Sam took charge while Steve recovered. When Cap was assassinated, Falcon was one of the pallbearers in his funeral.
After that, SHIELD has assigned both him and Sharon Carter to investigate the assassination by locating Bucky Barnes
(who is still the Winter Soldier at the time) and tracking down the Red Skull (the primary suspect to the death of Captain America).
Powers and Abilities
Since his early childhood Falcon had a natural affinity for birds and could understand them and see through the eyes of them. After the Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube on Sam he discovered he could speak telepathically with them. Sam has a paranormal empathic link with his bird Redwing. He is currently capable of having the same link to other birds. He is able to command the birds verbally and/or telepathically, and he can garner sensory information from them. Falcon's costume is Wakandan which consist of glider wings which have jet powered tips and are charged by a sunlight battery pack linked to Sams brain, a talon that he could use to capture enemies, and a mask that gives him sight in different ranges from night vision, infrared, magnification, and 360 degree view of his surroundings. He also has a glider system that employs 'hard light' wings that are created by a holographic projector.
In this reality Falcon was known as Blackbird and was a member of the Queen's Vengeance.
In the Heroes Reborn universe, the Falcon is an old man that mysteriously remembers Steve Rogers as Captain America when no one else does. He posed as a cook to keep an eye on Captain America, but he was really Special Forces during the Second World War.
Samuel Wilson was a member of the armed forces but retired to pursue a scientific interest, who served later with or under General Nick Fury, and wore a pair of metal wings. He appeared to be an accomplished combatant, especially when using the sharp edge of the metal wings he wore as a weapon. Wilson worked with Vision, demonstrating a high level of technological understanding.
Wilson later helped Vision and the cybernetic mutated Dr. George Tarleton against a Gah Lak Tus module. After the module was destroyed, Wilson comforted Vision of the events that have happened and gave her his keys to his home, if she needs a place to stay given that she doesn't have the power to return into space.
In this reality, the Falcon is a Native American who gave Steve Rogers his powers to fight in the American Civil War. He was later killed by Colonel Barnes, the White Skull.
In the House of M, Sam is a detective and he doesn't appear as a superhero.
In the Earth X reality, Sam has been consumed and assimilated by the monster, Hydra. Using mind-control, the Hydra spoke to Captain America through Sam about joining them. When the Hydra was thought to have been killed, it merely retreated back to its base. Later, Captain America banished the Hydra, along with its mind-controlled heroes (including Sam), to Limbo using a neutralizer weapon. Sam's soul was later recruited by Mar-Vell to help defeat Death in the realm of the dead. Mar-Vell then created Paradise and Sam was one of the first souls to enter it. He was later called to defend Paradise again by Mar-Vell against the invading Kree.
In Other Media
* Anthony Mackie is set to portray the Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
* Falcon appeared in the television series Avengers: United they Stand, first appearing in the second episode. His bird Redwing also appeared. He was voiced by Martin Roach.
* He appeared in the Robot Chicken episode "The Deep End", voiced by Seth Green
* Falcon appears heavily inThe Super Hero Squad Show, first in the episode "And Lo... A Pilot Shall Come!". In this show he is a secondary recurring character, and is voiced by Alimi Ballard.
* Falcon appeared in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Nightmare in Red" as an enforcer for the Red Skull. In "Code Red" it was revealed that he and Doc Sampson had been brainwashed and forced to serve the Skull . He returns in the series finale, "Avengers Assemble," as part of the army of heroes tasked with fighting off Galactus. He was voiced by Lance Reddick.
He will be a main character in the newest Avengers cartoon, Avengers Assemble. He is described as the newest Avenger and the youngest member of the team.
* Falcon is a playable character in all four of the Marvel Super Hero Squad video games.