By SUNMAN 14 Comments
I've always found Falcon's costume to be kind of mediocre.
Until the last few years anyway its been gradually getting better.
His Marvel Now look is probably the best design we've seen for Sam. Still I m not sure if we are seeing a big difference in his look from his last design outside of his new gloves so credit most likely needs to go to artist Jerome Opena and colorists Dean White, Frank Martin & Richard Isanove.
the Ultimate Universe design doesn't count. Although I like the look its not a costume. Just like Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye suite its not a costume. It's designed for practicality and I'm okay with that
His powers and abilities are fine:
Heroes do not need a multitude of abilities to be compelling characters. Look at Daredevil and Captain America, sure they have rich histories and are deep characters in their own rights, but lets just peel back the layers and look solely at their powers & abilities.
Daredevil- blind martial arts master with superhuman heightened senses
Captain America- a man given essentially miracle steroid (without any negative side effects) and a vibranium shield (that defies the laws of physics)
I'm generalizing to a degree. Yes Daredevils had some great stories and villains over the years. Captain America is indelibly tied to WW2 and American Patriotism, but look at the base abilities these characters have to work with. Their capabilities at a glance aren't astounding, its when you explore these characters a little more and build great stories around them you see how great they really are.
Sam's a capable and very competent hero. There is a reason he runs with Cap and Brubaker did an excellent job or showcasing Sam's talents. He can more than hold his own in a fight. He's got to be around Hawkeye level h2h skill.
He's underutilized like other heroes (Hawkman, Black Widow etc.) but certainly has some room for improvement and growth.
talking to birds:
This is by far one of his most important and unique aspects now. Otherwise he is just a guy who can fly, which is fine if you don't live in a world populated by other superheroes *cough* Rocketeer *cough*. Birds are all over and people might laugh at this ability, but as far as street level crime is concerned its incredibly helpful and writers shouldn't be afraid to be creative with this ability
-seeing what they see & communicating with them: If Sam needs to find someone or is looking for something he literally has millions of birds he can call upon to be his eyes and ears. This can be incredibly helpful in certain scenarios and makes Falcon an invaluable recon operative.
-controlling them: Aside from making him great at reconnaissance, this means Sam can also use birds as weapons or decoys. This can be done a number of ways. Either flying around or attacking his enemies or simply making noise to distract an opponent or having tons of birds simply poop on somebody. Their are tons of potentials with this ability.
- I'd suggest cleaning up his origin a little more it's still pretty messy. This doesn't necessarily mean simplifying it just make it less convoluted. The whole Snap Wilson retcon was unnecessary in my opinion. His original orign wa sokay, not great but okay. I'm still a little confused about his current origin, with the Red Skull and the cosmic cube, but it just doesn't come across that strong. Hopefully Captain America 2 does a good job with his origin
-give him a clearer mission statement. Thankfully for his character he is on the Avengers again. When he isn't Caps buddy helping him out I don't know what he does. I mean is Sam still fighting crime in Harlem primarily? I know he had a short lived role with the last Heroes for Hire group and teamed up with BP and Luke Cage in Hell Kitchen, but I don't have a good sense of Sam's day to day. When he's not with the Avengers or helping Cap is he fighting crime on his own? Does he have a day job? Is he conversing with birds or training birds? etc.
- Let him be the one to come discover his wings. I think it makes the character stronger than someone like Tony Stark or BP making them for him. If someone like BP or Tony Stark makes his wings I just find myself asking why didn't thy make them better or give him some cooler gadgets. I mean with their tech Sam's wings are childs play. Shield could make them, but that would only make sense if he was a Shield operative as he is in the Ultimate Universe. I don't have a clear idea of the best way for Sam to discover his wings, but as long as he is responsible and isn't just gifted with them works best imo. Maybe they are organic and come along with his ability to talk to birds. Maybe he discovered them like Jaime Reyes did the scarab. He could have been in an accident etc. etc. etc. Giving Sam a sense of agency in regard to his wings, whether it was providence or an accident feels more like a natural progression. The wings are such an important part and identifiable part of his character now, if someone just simply gives them to him I think it cheapens them to a degree. It's not the same as someone giving Hawkeye his arrows, they are just arrows.
Now if marvel decides to stay with the Red Skull using the cosmic cube on Sam that isn't as bad cause its more dramatic and helps Sam's origin.
-Maybe give Sam a regular gadget or weapon or two. I don't know if he still has the grappling hook or not but I always felt that was a nice touch. I think giving him a gun or some power/energy gauntlets would be a nice touch. When he is on the Avengers I just think he needs something aside from his fist to attack the bad guys, considering the threats the Avengers regularly face. I liked how he was able to fire projectiles from his wings in Avengers: EMH.
Overall this character has some real untapped potential and I hope marvel does a good job with him in the new Avengers Assemble cartoon and in Captain America 2 and Avengers 2.