Who will wield the shield? Marvel Comics names a new Captain America

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Jul 17, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT (Updated)

First we got a new Thor, and now Marvel's ready to give us a new Captain America.

Just one day after the publisher announced that a female character will take up the mantle of Thor this fall, Marvel's chief creative officer, Joe Quesada, appeared on The Colbert Report Wednesday night to announce that a new character will take the title of Captain America, replacing Steve Rogers after his recent debilitating encounter with a supervillain.

For those of you who don't know, Captain America #21 took quite a toll on Rogers, as the Iron Nail attacked him and sucked the Super Soldier Serum right out of his body, leaving him not only depowered but instantly aged by several decades. Steve Rogers still lives, but he no longer has the physical ability to carry on his duties as Captain America, and another hero will have to take up the shield in his place. So, who is the new Captain America?

Well, as Quesada announced Wednesday night, it's none other than Steve Rogers' longtime friend and comrade in arms, Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, who'll take on the Captain America mantle while also retaining his trademark wings. 

Wilson will reportedly first take up the Captain America role in Captain America #25, then continue his adventures in a new ongoing series, All-New Captain America, beginning this October. While his mission will likely remain similar to that of Rogers, Marvel editor Tom Brevoort points out that Wilson looks at the world in a different way than his predecessor.

“While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background,” Brevoort said. “He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself. He’s also not a military man, so he’s more apt to be instinctively skeptical of any situation that calls for just following orders. Sam, like Steve, will be led by his personal morality and beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong—and where his beliefs may differ in their shading from those of the previous Cap are where the interesting stories will be found.”

Wilson's new role will certainly shake up the Marvel universe, but Brevoort and series writer Rick Remender point out that Steve Rogers isn't going anywhere. Though his body has aged significantly, his mind is still sharp, and he'll be acting as Wilson's tactical advisor while the new Captain America carries out missions. Brevoort also noted that, while Marvel has given us a female Thor and an African-American Captain America (though not the first African-American Captain America) in the last two days, the company's not done shaking up its roster of heroes just yet.

“We’re not anywhere near finished,” Brevoort said. “Change is one of the watchwords of the Marvel Universe, so there are even more startling surprises to come!”

All-New Captain America arrives in October. In the meantime, we're left to wonder what Marvel will hit us with next.

(Via Marvel)