Rodney Barnes details Blackheart and Falcon’s battle for Chicago!

Masquerading as the mayor of Chicago, the demon called Blackheart has declared The Falcon public enemy number one.

On December 13, writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara present FALCON #3! With Sam Wilson on his heels—and his young partner, Rayshaun Lucas, unable to handle the fight alone—how will the Windy City fare?

We caught up with Rodney to find out more. Blackheart’s been knocking around for a little while—do you have a favorite appearance?

Rodney Barnes: His first, in DAREDEVIL #270, which, from my hazy recollection, saw Spider-Man and Daredevil fighting Blackheart. There was something dope about heroes associated primarily with foes of a similar strength-level then fighting a demon. Plus the kid version of me thought the name “Blackheart” sounded cool. What made him stand out in your eyes?

Rodney Barnes: His look and size were just brutal. Everything about him screamed evil. He can’t be reasoned with and every appearance he made in a storyline confirmed that. So what made him the perfect villain for this storyline?

Rodney Barnes: Returning Sam to the street after his high-profile adventures of late had to have meaning. I wanted him to wrestle with his inner demons, but have it play out in a unpredictable way. Blackheart fit the bill because he stands above Sam’s power level, but not so much so that he doesn’t still have to scheme and manipulate to achieve his goals. That meant at some point he’d have match wits with Sam. And there, our hero has the advantage. How does he get under Sam’s skin? Does Sam have what it’ll take to battle such a supernatural powerhouse?

Rodney Barnes: Sam has been wrestling with doubts and regrets from both his past and recent events. Demons exploit those dynamics in people and Blackheart continues in this tradition. I believe Sam is bigger than his regrets, but defeating the son of the devil is no simple task. How has working with Joshua Cassara been on this story? What do you see as his greatest strengths?

Rodney Barnes: Josh’s art is incredible! I love his ability to go from the gritty urban environment to space, Hell, and everyplace in between. I’m grateful to have him as a partner in this. Plus he put me in a fight scene in issue #3, so he’s earned free dinners for life! Last question…might we see Blackheart’s dad anytime soon?

Rodney Barnes: Yes, you’ll see Dad pretty early on, as well as a few other evil devil baddies. Let’s just say one of them doesn’t like being shown up by Sam. There’ll be hell to pay!

FALCON #3, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, drops on December 13!

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Captain America and The Falcon take a wild ride to different dimension!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

In the 1960s, Jack Kirby worked with Stan Lee to start building up the Marvel Universe. Many fans rightfully think of that era as truly magical, a fount of creative energy focused on the task of making heroes and villains that would stand the test of time. But it’s also important to look at the 70s work of “The King,” when he wrote, drew and edited a batch of books that included DEVIL DINOSAUR, MACHINE MAN, and BLACK PANTHER as well as his return to the character and title he launched, CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Kirby kicked his latter day run on Cap’s book with an epic story called “Madbomb,” a tale filled with many of the hallmarks of his work from the krackle to the positive social message. Seemingly hard to top, he tried with the story starting in CAPTAIN AMERICA #201, which pits Steve Rogers and his partner Falcon against a mysterious group called the Night People of Zero Street!

The Night People not only wanted to recruit Cap as their own hero, but also launched a crime wave that hit everything from grocers and jewelers to pet and costume stores! They even swiped projectors from late night movie houses! After talking to one of the Madbomb makers, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson thought they’d have a chance to relax, but then heard about the mysterious new group from Sam’s girlfriend Leila right before those very same denizens of Zero Street kidnapped her in an effort to bring Falcon and Cap to them!

Captain America (1968) #201

Captain America (1968) #201

  • Published: September 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Falcon flew off in a hurry, but accidentally hit an oncoming plane flown by Texas Jack Mudloon, a wealthy adventurer. After thanking Jack, Falcon flew off again, this time right into the portal to Zero Street! On the other side, the Night People grabbed him, put Falcon and Leila on trial, and then gave them shock treatment.

Back on Earth, Captain America heard about Falcon vanishing and got to work finding him in issue #202 which led the Star-Spangled Avenger to also meet Muldoon. While they figured out how to find Wilson, Sam himself—now brainwashed—moved to fight a huge, craggy, fire-breathing monster on behalf of the Night People. At the same time, Cap waited for another portal to Zero Street to open up so he could leap into action. Unbeknownst to him, Texas Jack followed him through as well!

In #203, Cap and Jack learned that an Earthly asylum had been transported to another dimension years ago, creating Zero Street and the Night People by extension. More surprises came when Rogers ran into Leila and Falcon, neither of whom recognized him! The local leaders offered the new arrivals the choice of either death or a change like the one Sam and Leila went through. While they thought on that, a small army of monsters like the one Falcon previously fought attacked. Cap got the information and equipment he needed and used a portal to Earth to get everyone to safety before blowing the machinery up, leaving Zero Street to the invaders.

As he tended to do when left to his own devices, Kirby not only offered up a super-fun super hero story with cowboys and monsters and alternate dimensions, but also social commentary on African Americans’ treatment in the justice system and also the status of those who had been institutionalized.

Stay tuned to for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Writer Rodney Barnes puts Sam Wilson’s protégé to the test!

Rayshaun Lucas has already survived a trial by fire, having flourished, unexpectedly, during the harrowing events of Secret Empire.

How will he fare, however, with a trial by hellfire? In FALCON #2, he might find out.

On November 8, writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara line Falcon and Patriot up against the son of Mephisto, Blackheart.

We spoke to Rodney about the duo’s relationship, their new role in Chicago, and how they’ll handle the demon’s power. Describe the relationship between Falcon and Patriot—Sam and Shaun. How do they view one another?

Rodney Barnes: Sam embraces the role of mentor and Shaun has an awareness that he has a long way to go in regards to becoming an Avenger. But there’s a friendship under it all that my run looks to ground. Oftentimes these relationships feel one sided—the heavy telling the underling what to do and the latter doing that without question. That doesn’t describe this relationship.

Shaun isn’t afraid to disagree or speak his mind. That doesn’t mean he’s right [Laughs], but he certainly doesn’t act as the silent student. The principle that glues their relationship is honor. They believe the same things but come from two different places when expressing those beliefs. But in the end they end up side by side. How does Shaun feel about being a costumed hero?

Rodney Barnes: Great question. Shaun tends to see the bright lights first. But he’s learning that the concept of being a hero can be bigger than just the task laid before him. As he goes deeper into that idea, he’ll get better at the hero game. How does it affect Shaun to face “everyday” criminals in Chicago? People who aren’t super villains or Hydra agents.

Rodney Barnes: His desire to join this fight came from wanting to help the gang situation and stop violence in the street. So he has an emotional connection to the task at hand; were it a daily patrol-type scenario, then yes, Patriot might push back [in frustration]. The parallel to your question in the opposite direction would be, “What happens when I think I’m fighting gangs and a demon pops up?” How does Joshua Cassara’s artwork help illuminate Patriot coming to grips with this new life?

Rodney Barnes: Josh extends the boundaries. The seamless transitions between the streets and dark realms ground the believability factor. Shaun’s never dealt with anything like this, so whereas Sam can just dive in, Shaun has to digest the reality before him. Josh brings that reality to life beautifully. How does Sam approach the duo’s new demonic enemy?

Rodney Barnes: Sam’s father, having been a religious leader, plays a role. But that said, he’s seen it all: gods, aliens, and monsters.

The biggest vulnerability for Sam will be that Blackheart can play on Sam’s doubts of late—Steve, his role in the riot, his mentorship of Shaun. He’s a demon, so anything will be fair game. That said, Sam doesn’t back down—regardless of what gets put before him. How does Blackheart prey on the relationship between Falcon and Patriot?

Rodney Barnes: Well, Sam doesn’t know Blackheart’s role in this from the start. Once he does, it starts to make sense. But Sam’s doubt takes his eye off of Shaun’s training, so there might be moments where the student’s doubts start to fester. But being a hero comes from an intrinsic place, so Shaun will have to find it within himself to stay the course. Which I believe he will.

Shaun’s tougher than he knows. But aren’t we all?

Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara’s FALCON #2 tests the team-up on November 8!

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Sam Wilson takes flight in his new ongoing series with writer Rodney Barnes!

Sam Wilson’s time as Captain America may be over, but he doesn’t intend to stop protecting the country and the world. After helping end the threat of Hydra dominance in Secret Empire, Sam has decided that he needs to embrace the identity of The Falcon once again.

And on October 11, he returns to the skies with Marvel Legacy in FALCON #1! Written by Rodney Barnes with art by Joshua Cassara, Sam Wilson engages enemies on the global stage and in quiet in Chicago back alleys alike.

Barnes took a few minutes away from writing the new series to tell us about the return of The Falcon. What’s it like kicking off the FALCON ongoing series on the back of the character becoming more high profile than ever before?

Rodney Barnes: It’s exciting, anxiety-creating, and an honor all at once! I grew up reading the Falcon when he teamed with Captain America so being a part of his adventures at this point in time ticks off a bucket list endeavor for me. How would you describe the essence of Sam Wilson?

Rodney Barnes: He’s a leader and a patriot; those two aspects of him must be omnipresent in any storyline. He’s confident, but realistic in regards to the task at hand.

The work comes in making sure there’s a human being behind the mask and not a “perfect” person. We all have flaws, but super heroes operate from a higher place so finding balance will always be the key. What role does Falcon play in the Marvel Universe as this story begins?

Rodney Barnes: This goes back to your first question. He’s at the highest profile of his career. Having been Captain America, leader of the Avengers, and having been front and center during the events of Secret Empire, the whole world has an awareness of him. He’s no longer the sidekick I knew as a kid.

Although he’s viewed as a prime time player by his peers and the public, in his own mind Sam doesn’t want the everyday problems of everyday people to get lost in the shuffle of the higher profile events he’s now associated with. Where do we find Sam’s state of mind at the start of this book?

Rodney Barnes: Sam feels a need to reconnect with the issues that moved him to become a super hero in the first place. He wanted to help people, so he’s taking a grassroots approach to doing just that. The new costume acts as a symbol of that desire. It’s a new look—not identifiable with the hats he’s worn as of late. He’s proud of his time as Captain America, but it felt like an act of duty as much as a goal he sought after. He’s most comfortable as The Falcon and reconnecting with his former persona feels like coming home. What can you tell readers about his new partner The Patriot?

Rodney Barnes: He’s a fun character. Having written the story where he began his career—SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #2—Patriot captures the mindset of a current day hero. He’s motivated by the same desire to help people as any other super hero, but he sees the world from today’s fast paced, optimistic, millennial mindset. He’s not only learning to be a hero—he’s growing up at the same time. And his points of view are being tested by the trials and tribulations of the heroes’ journey. Your opening arc pits Wilson against Blackheart. What made Blackheart an appealing choice for this storyline?

Rodney Barnes: It felt different. I knew I wanted to discuss gangs and issues of race and culture, but I didn’t want to be predictable by telling a one dimensional story. Blackheart acted as the right choice because, while he’s not someone like Mephisto, he’s still more powerful than those trying to stop him.

He’s second tier on the dark magic totem pole, so he fit the role of antagonist I needed for the story I wanted to tell. Blackheart’s presence gives me the opportunity to blend genres—I’m not just telling a story of current social ills. I’m not straying so far from the Marvel Universe that the story becomes medicine. How would you describe the tone of the book? And how does artist Joshua Cassara help create that feeling?

Rodney Barnes: The tone feels both grounded and mystical. We’re operating in the hard scrabble streets of the South Side of Chicago. Then again, we’re in hell. So it’s not something I’ve ever seen before.

I can’t say enough about Josh. He’s fantastic! He blends worlds better than I could’ve ever imagined. He’s been the perfect collaborator. I’ve never worked on an ongoing comic before but I can’t think of a better partner in this venture. I had the pleasure of meeting him at San Diego Comic Con and we had a blast talking about all of the visual possibilities of our journey with Falcon. It’s been a highlight of this experience for me. I love the guy. Lastly, what would you say directly to fans to persuade them to pick up this title? What makes FALCON a can’t-miss?

Rodney Barnes: This adventure will be one of the most personal in the history of The Falcon. He’ll have to battle a demon set on conquering mankind as well as the demons that have haunted his own psyche. If you’ve ever wanted to see the Falcon tested beyond anything he’s ever faced, this book’s for you!

FALCON #1, by Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara, takes off on October 11!

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Peek inside as artist Joshua Cassara gives Sam Wilson wings once again!

Secret Empire gave Sam Wilson a rough time—he gave up the mantle of Captain America and his best friend betrayed the country. Despite his hardships, Sam did not get deterred—and even returned to lift the shield when his allies needed him most.

On October 11, Sam enters the newest chapter of his story when Marvel Legacy takes flight with FALCON #1! Writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara oversee Wilson’s transition back to his classic winged identity as the hero takes on the role of mentor to The Patriot.

We met up with Joshua to talk about getting Wilson back in the air, working with Rodney Barnes, and bringing Patriot into the fold! Did working on Secret Empire give you a sense of Sam Wilson and where he might be after the event?

Joshua Cassara: Absolutely. I didn’t actually get to draw him in my chapters, but I followed the series very closely. The whole event took its toll on his psyche, and Secret Empire primed the pump for where we find Sam as he takes back the mantle as Falcon. Sam’s had a rough go of it ever since he took over as Captain America. How does that affect him in the pages of FALCON?

Joshua Cassara: As we start FALCON, we see Sam struggle with the fallout from Secret Empire. His foundations are still shaken as he reflects on his time as Captain America and his relationship with Steve Rogers—the person he trusted the most and would loyally follow into battle…only to find out he’d been lied to the entire time. It shattered his trust and he’s trying to make sense of it all while heading to the streets of Chicago to deal with some burgeoning chaos. What are the key elements to drawing this new Falcon costume? How do you balance the old and new?

Joshua Cassara: My favorite part about Alex Ross’ new design for Falcon was making the costume black with splashes of red. I think it reflects the darker tone of Sam’s headspace and where this series turns. I made sure to stock up on extra ink!

The wings are attached from his back and follow along his arms like the original costume, but they can also retract and be much shorter when he’s not flying or finds himself in tight quarters.

I love how Alex used the original designs and patterns on the shoulders, abdomen, and eye shield. He incorporated them so well into the new look, but kept that retro feel. The book also finds Sam training the new Patriot. How has it been putting your spin on this new character?

Joshua Cassara: I look at Patriot, A.K.A. Rayshaun Lucas, as the younger, idealistic version of Sam Wilson. While Sam seems disillusioned over the trials and tribulations he’s been through, the young Patriot acts as the beacon of optimism that keeps Sam from succumbing to his own demons.

It’s no accident that I drew Rayshaun like he could be Sam’s son. Falcon and Patriot will face off against Blackheart. What’s it like pitting these heroes against such a mystic threat?

Joshua Cassara: It’s what sold me on joining this series. I’m so excited to draw the mystical elements of this universe. I’ve never really been able to explore that before art-wise, so I look forward to the challenge.

I love the juxtaposition of the streets and violence of Chicago and then being whisked away to the dark, astral, celestial corners of the universe. Blackheart will be such a great villain; unlike anything Sam has ever faced. I’m really pumped to give my take on him. How has it been collaborating with Rodney on this project?

Joshua Cassara: Awesome. I love the direction Rodney’s taking this series—and again, that’s why I wanted to come aboard. He’s more than happy to incorporate some of the ideas or notes I have and he appreciates my contribution as I bring his script to life. He’s a true collaborator in every sense of the word. He comes from the world of film and TV, and while you see that influence in his style, he is one hell of a comic book writer. He’s legit.

Writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara’s FALCON #1 soars on October 11!

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Sam Wilson soars again thanks to Rodney Barnes and Joshua Cassara!

While the events of SECRET EMPIRE have not been kind to Sam Wilson, this Fall the hero will return to his roots as he leaves behind the shield and returns to his original moniker, the Falcon!

Rodney Barnes, the award-winning television writer who has worked on “The Boondocks,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Those Who Can’t,” will team with Joshua Cassara (SECRET EMPIRE: UPRISING) to bring the former Captain America back down to street level – and take him to places he hasn’t seen before.

We caught up with Barnes and Cassara to find out what they have in store for the high-flying Avenger! Rodney, this is your first regular series for Marvel, but I understand you’ve been a fan for a while. What are some of your first memories of discovering the Marvel Universe? What are some of your favorite storylines?

Rodney Barnes: My mother was an elementary school teacher when I was a kid. She’d do her lesson plans at the public library in Annapolis, Maryland, and I’d go with her. I must’ve been eight or nine at the time, and I recall this area where they’d keep comic books. I clearly remember reaching in this huge box and pulling out the Neal Adams issues of the AVENGERS. I was hooked. I loved the Jim Starlin’s WARLOCK and CAPTAIN MARVEL books (early Thanos was great!). Marshall Rodgers’ DOCTOR STRANGE, Miller’s run on DAREDEVIL, Claremont/Byrne/Cockrum’s X-MEN, Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Red Nails” stories in CONAN … [laughs] I could go on forever. How did you end up working for Marvel?

Rodney Barnes: I was working on season two of “Vinyl” for HBO when midpoint we were cancelled, and I needed a gig. My agent told me about a Marvel series that was looking for a writer at my level. I had two shows and a movie in development at the time, but I’d wanted to work for the company so badly that I took the interview and fell in love with the show’s creators. So, I sort of abandoned my development and went on to have one of the best creative experiences to date. The entire experience from top to bottom was incredible; great, talented folks that loved working in the Marvel universe. Once I was hired, I made it known that I was interested in writing comics and the universe came together and here we are. Joshua, how did you end up working on the Falcon?

Joshua Cassara: I had been working some SECRET EMPIRE stuff when my editor Tom [Brevoort] had approached me with this.  Of course under super-duper, double secrecy, he filled me in on the project and that I’d be pairing up with Rodney on FALCON.  That’s when I was introduced to our editor, Charles Beacham, who is helming this ship. What was the draw for the two of you to work on the new FALCON series?

Rodney Barnes: Reading the Captain America stories where Falcon was his sidekick and enjoyed them. But since it was Cap’s book, Sam typically acquiesced to him. So even as a kid, I hoped that if I ever got the opportunity to write a story for him, I’d venture into uncharted waters.

Joshua Cassara: It’s exciting to a part of launching the solo Falcon book.  He definitely deserves his own series, especially following the events of SECRET EMPIRE and his run as CAPTAIN AMERICA. It’s been a long time coming.

Also, I was really happy to be partnered up with Rodney on this adventure. His take on where Sam is now and where he’s going is something totally new for Falcon, and will be awesome for me to create visually. Sam’s been through hell recently; taking over the mantle of Captain America didn’t work out so well for him, given the guy who handed him the shield, his best friend, turned out to be a sleeper agent. What’s his state of mind as the series begins?

Rodney Barnes: Uncertain. He blames himself for not seeing sooner Cap’s true self. This has sent him on a journey of self exploration. It’s my hope that when he comes out on the other side he’s stronger and more focused. During Secret Empire Sam seemed to give up his costumed identity. Rodney, can you talk about why he returns to being a costumed hero?

Rodney Barnes: The symbolism. After Hydra, the world has been thrown into a meat grinder. History was rewritten and the symbols we held dear were replaced with Hydra propaganda. Sam wants to reestablish the importance of hope via symbolism. His costume is a step in that direction. You introduced the new Patriot in SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD. What role will he play in the new series?

Rodney Barnes: Rayshaun helps to balance Sam’s perspective. He’s pretty hard on himself at this point and Shaun helps him get out of his feelings. What villains can we expect to see plaguing Falcon and Patriot? 

Rodney Barnes: The first arc they’re battling Blackheart. If they make it past him I think it’s safe to say that the demons father won’t be too happy about that. Then literally — excuse the pun because I can’t help myself — they’ll have hell to pay! Sorry [laughs]. Joshua, what have been your favorite moments to draw so far in FALCON? Has there been anything so far that Rodney has challenged you to do that’s been especially fun?

Joshua Cassara: I’m early on in this series, setting up our hero’s return to the street level.  So portraying the chaos and grit of a city that’s mired in turmoil is always a blast. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? 

But the real fun and challenge I’m looking forward to is the turn towards the mystical elements that we’re heading towards. It’s something I’ve never really explored before art-wise, and I only wish I could draw faster so I can get there as quick as possible! When you’re drawing something street-level, what kind of research do you do for the comic, to ensure you capture the setting?

Joshua Cassara: Well, obviously, the internet is your biggest friend in searching for reference images of all kinds. Especially searching for things that might be unique to Chicago since this is where our story takes place. But I will also incorporate personal experience I’ve had or witnessed in other big cities. Or even some settings or portrayals I’ve seen in a movie.  It’s an amalgam of them all and I make it my own.  

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The Star-Spangled Avenger faces a vast conspiracy and one of his darkest hours!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

Remember back when Captain America gave up on the Captain America identity to become Nomad? In that post we teased the hows and whys for a future date and here they are! The classic “Secret Empire” storyline ran from CAPTAIN AMERICA #169176 in 1974 thanks to writers Steve Englehart and Mike Friedrich along with artist Sal Buscema.

Originally part of Hydra, the Secret Empire works in the shadows to overthrow the government and garner as much power as possible. Though the group debuts in TALES TO ASTONISH #81, they later mount an incredibly complicated plan that includes tarnishing Cap’s good name, inserting the original Moonstone as a new hero, and even kidnapping a variety of mutants for a mysterious project.

Along the way, Falcon and Leila fly off with Black Panther for some technological advancements, the Secret Empire frames the Star-Spangled Avenger for crimes against the very law he vows to protect, and both heroes have a run-in first with Banshee and then Professor X and the original X-Men. Later, Steve and Sam infiltrate the Secret Empire in civilian guises where they come across the plan to siphon brain energy from mutants including Iceman, Beast, Havok, Mastermind and others.

Captain America (1968) #170

Captain America (1968) #170

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before long, Cap proves more powerful than his Secret Empire captors before taking down their pet hero Moonstone. Feeling victorious, our hero chases down the evil group’s leader Number One and unmasks him. As it turns out, a trusted, high-ranking government official hides under that hood, but also a cowardly one who decides to end his own life instead of facing his crimes.

As the last issue of the saga opens, Steve declares, “Captain America must die!” thinking that he represents a sham. After recounting his origin, he talks with both Thor and Iron Man who encourage their fellow Avenger to stick with it. Even with all that support, he ultimately decides at the end of the issue that his alter ego must indeed perish!

Of course, we know how that turns out as Steve takes a short hero break before creating the Nomad identity and eventually realizing that he’s the only man fit to wield the shield. No matter how corrupt the country’s government might be, he still represents the ideals and the dreams of the people who make up this great nation. With that in mind, what makes him give up the identity in the late 80’s? Come back soon to find out!

Cap Declassified

Even though Sam Wilson joined on as co-headliner with 1971’s CAPTAIN AMERICA #134, he didn’t come into possession of the now-iconic red wings until #170. Instead of turning to some of Cap’s pals in the Avengers, he gets in touch with Black Panther who builds the “incredibly light, but super-strong, glider-wings” that also feature jet tips, solar batteries, and neuro-circuitry for better control. He immediately puts them to good use in saving his girlfriend Leila and helping Cap fight the male Moonstone and the mutant Banshee.

Next, Steve Rogers gives up his well-known secret identity once again in the pages of the epic CAPTAIN AMERICA #332-350 by Mark Gruenwald, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Morgan and the gang. 

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Jack Kirby takes over and steers the Star-Spangled Avenger and Falcon on a deadly mission!

Every day we celebrate Captain America’s 75th anniversary by looking deep into the Marvel Unlimited archives and going through some of Steve Rogers’ most thrilling adventures. Happy diamond anniversary Sentinel of Liberty!

Jack Kirby brought Captain America to life in his very first appearance back in 1941 and, like any proud poppa, constantly returned to shepherd his creation through a variety of important life events. He drew Cap’s triumphant re-emergence in AVENGERS #4, recounted many early days for the character in TALES OF SUSPENSE and signed on to write, draw and edit CAPTAIN AMERICA starting with issue #193 in 1976.

To kick things off, “The King” puts not just our hero and his partner Falcon in danger, but all of America as the Bicentennial looms large, making an excellent target for evil-minded individuals.

Running from #193-200, the “Madbomb” story introduces the title weapon which literally drives everyone in the vicinity crazy. Though only exposed to a smaller version, Cap and Falcon understand just how dangerous the much larger one called Big Daddy will be as it threatens the lives of everyone in the U.S.A.

While the government exposes our heroes to Madbomb energy in an effort to immunize them, the reader meets Mr. Taurey who blames Cap’s ancestor—also named Steve Rogers—for destroying England’s chances of winning the war and thus ruining the lives of aristocrats like himself by killing the elder Taurey in a duel.

Captain America (1968) #193

Captain America (1968) #193

  • Published: January 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

As it turns out Taurey’s part of a plot called the Elite that intends to set aristocrats up above the rest of society by destroying part of it with the title weapon and also changing “lower” people into mutates who will work to support the higher ups. This, of course, does not sit well with Steve and Sam who continue fighting against those who wish to oppress others.

After facing a variety of threats including Taurey’s appallingly conceited daughter, an armored skateboard competition, and bullet-headed henchmen, Cap and Falcon show up to the party where they drop the hammer and put a stop to the machinations. As Falcon destroys Big Daddy, Cap faces off against Taurey and even agrees to a duel!

Always one to keep his finger on the pulse of the times and pop culture, Kirby incorporates so many different elements into this tale including romance, war, super espionage, death traps, the Civil Rights movement, misunderstood monsters, Bicentennial fever, and even skateboard roller derby!

Cap Declassified

For even more Kirby-created Cap and Falcon goodness that we just don’t have enough time to cover, do yourself a favor and read CAPTAIN AMERICA #201-205. The issues feature our title heroes facing threats like the Night People, the Mad, Mad Dimension, crazy monsters, brainwashed partners, and a monster called Agron all in the Mighty Marvel Manner!                         

Next, every big name in comics stops by to help Steve Rogers celebrate a huge milestone in CAPTAIN AMERICA #600!

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Captain America's high-flying compatriot joins the fight!

The Falcon soars into “Marvel Contest of Champions,” Redwing in tow and ready to take on all comers. Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Game Designer Justin Ostensen dropped by to talk about Cap’s staunchest ally and how to get the most out of the aerial ace. Sam Wilson’s ready to round out the “Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War” cast in “Contest of Champions.” Gotta say he looks awesome.

Gabriel Frizzera: Hats off to the Marvel Cinematic team, who did a fantastic job updating Falcon’s classic suit. Our artists used their design as a base to create our version of Sam Wilson. What were some of the things you wanted to focus on when bringing Falcon into the game?

Gabriel Frizzera: Of course flying was the main thing we wanted to get right. The arenas in “Contest of Champions” are somewhat contained, so Falcon wouldn’t be able to do all the crazy aerial acrobatics he does in the movies. But we wanted to keep the “Human Fighter Jet” spirit of the character, so we looked at some of the signature moves he does in “Marvel’s Captain America: Winter Soldier” and “Civil War,” and adapted them to our gameplay. The interplay between his highly maneuverable wings and his arsenal of weapons—and of course Redwing— was the main focus. Can you tell us a little about his abilities? How does Redwing fit into his kit?

Justin Ostensen: Falcon’s abilities are based around two primary concepts: Offensive capabilities to take down enemies quickly and efficiently, and support abilities to help out in tough fights, and to make the rest of his team better. Redwing, in addition to providing a strafing run in Falcon’s Special 3 attack “Tango Down,” helps by providing the new ability Recon. What does Recon do? And with Incinerate and Bleed it seems like Sam has more than a few ways to bring the pain.

Justin Ostensen: Recon is a brand new unique ability that lets Falcon with the help of Redwing Lock On to his opponents after scanning them. This allows Falcon to bypass his enemy’s abilities while he’s launching attacks for a short while. Any enemy that triggers effects like Regeneration, Armor Up, or Static Shock as a result of being struck, won’t be able to do so at all while Redwing is Locked On. Couple this with Incinerate and Bleed, and Falcon is well set to keep his opponent’s abilities shut down while he deals out some strong damage over time effects. Who is Falcon best suited flying with?

Justin Ostensen: Falcon is primarily a support character in the films, and we wanted to tap into that with his synergies. As a result, each of Falcon’s synergies is actually a double synergy that can be activated with one of two Champions. Ant-Man, The Vision, Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain America WW2, War Machine, and Hawkeye are all possible teammates. And when can we take him to into battle for ourselves?

Justin Ostensen: Falcon has been assisting Cap in his war against Tony Stark and is ready to fly into the fray any moment now. Keep an eye on in-game messaging and arenas to see when you can pick up Sam Wilson and Redwing for yourself.

Stay tuned to for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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Check out all the great gear inspired by the hit film from Matchless!

By Josh Weiss

It’s time to choose a side… with your wardrobe. Ever wanted to dress like Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson or Natasha Rominoff? Well, now you can with apparel inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Matchless’s Marvel’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ line. 

The ‘Captain Jacket Celebration’ is a timeless leather jacket that looks just like the one Cap wears in the movies. The sand brush treatment gives it a look so aged you’ll swear it was also frozen in ice for 70 years. To complete your patriotic look, go with the ‘Captain America Jeans,’ semi-ripped denim and patched with American flag themed fabric.

However, if you’re more in favour of the Sokovia Accords, try the ‘Stark Jeans,’ semi-ripped black denim patched with a black-and-white American flag themed fabric. 10/10 Iron Men approve of these jeans!  And you know what will go great with them? The ‘Stark Jacket’ made of partially ventilated Matchless leather.

If soaring through the skies is more your speed, how about the ‘Falcon Jacket’ made with soft Nappa leather and magnetic closures on the top front pockets? And for the femme fatales among you, there’s the ‘Natasha Jacket,’ a super soft suede trench coat inspired by the deadly Black Widow herself!

Visit Matchless for more info.

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