Sam Wilson takes over the star-spangled shield from his longtime pal Steve Rogers this fall.
Stephen Colbert has long featured Captain America's shield on the set of The Colbert Report, and on Wednesday night the comedian announced the newest guy to wield the star-spangled piece of iconography.
Sam Wilson, who first appeared as the winged Falcon in 1969 and was one of the first mainstream African-American superheroes, will take the mantle of Captain America from a depowered Steve Rogers. Colbert discussed the status quo change with Marvel Comics' chief creative officer Joe Quesada during a segment on his Comedy Central show.
"If there is one bird associated with America, it is the Falcon," Colbert said.
Wilson's also getting his own series: All-New Captain America, debuting this fall from current Captain America scribe Rick Remender and artist Stuart Immonen.
In Captain America No. 21, the villainous Iron Nail launches a terrorist plot and Rogers makes a sacrifice to save the day when the super-soldier serum that gave him his abilities is taken away and he instantly ages 65 years. "Meaning his new super serum will be Ensure," Colbert joked.
The TV host pointed out Wilson's race — "Does this make him Captain African-American?" — and Quesada said, "I don't see colors."
Colbert responded: "If you don't see colors, how do you do comic books?"
Because there's now a position open for a new Falcon, Quesada presented Colbert with a rendering of the TV star as in red-and-white tights.
"Why did the Falcon cross the road? For justice, mutha-(beep)!" Colbert quipped.
If Marvel Studios ever wants to go in a similar direction with their movie Cap, the cinematic Sam Wilson is already in place: Anthony Mackie was introduced as Falcon in this year's blockbuster sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Many men in the comics have stepped in as Cap for Rogers since the character's 1941 debut. Most recently his World War II sidekick Bucky Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, became Captain America for a time when Rogers was killed by an assassin's bullet.
This will be Wilson's second time as Marvel's patriotic hero — he also wore the red, white and blue during a 1998 story line of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty.
Another African-American character, Isaiah Bradley, was an incarnation of Cap as the star of the acclaimed 2003 miniseries Truth: Red, White & Black.