Steve Rogers is Sam Wilson's best friend. As such, there's not much Sam wouldn't do for Steve, including assuming the mantle of Captain America. Taking over the identity of the most inspiring and respected hero in the Marvel Universe is no easy feat under the best of circumstances, and Sam had it especially hard considering his friend had secretly been transformed into a Hydra deep cover agent thanks to the reality-altering power of a sentient Cosmic Cube named Kobe.
Sam rose to the occasion, and helped bring Marvel's Secret Empire event to a close by uniting the heroes of the Marvel Universe against Hydra. Along the way, he also restored his best friend to his original, heroic self. As a result, Sam was rewarded for his efforts by Kobik who gave him the chance to live an entire lifetime's worth of experiences and get to know Steve Rogers in his his early days as Cap.
Now that Steve is back, however, Sam feels it's time to return to his roots. This October he'll do just that, as writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara launch an all-new Falcon series, which finds Sam partnering with a new young hero known as Patriot. CBR spoke with Barnes about the series, his sense of Sam, Sam's dynamic with Patriot, and the series initial arc which pits his characters against the supernatural menace of the demon prince, Blackheart.
CBR: Rodney, you're picking up Sam Wilson in the wake of two huge moments for him as a character: helping save the day in Secret Empire and then in the Generations Captain Americas special, he got to live another life and inspire Steve Rogers. What's your sense of how that's effected Sam? What kind of headspace is he in when you pick up with him in Falcon #1?
Rodney Barnes: There's a middle ground where Sam is resettling from it all. Yes, the Cosmic Cube played a role in all that was Secret Empire, but it still happened. Were there things that Sam missed that could've prevented it all from happening? Was he so blinded by his friendship and the idea of Captain America that he turned a blind eye to actions that could've prevented death and destruction? So he's wrestling with the demon of self doubt and self reflection.
In this series, Sam will be working with a partner, the new Patriot Rayshaun Lucas. How would you describe their initial relationship? What's it like bouncing Sam and RayShaun off of each other?
Shaun is pulling Sam out of his thoughts. His enthusiasm and desire to be better takes Sam back to his training days and early adventures. There's an obvious generation gap so each looks at the world differently. There's fun to be had in that. But Shaun is good for Sam. And vice versa.
What can you tell us about the initial supporting cast of Falcon? Will we see some of Sam's old acquaintances? Will you introduce any new characters?
Not in the first arc. Doctor Voodoo is the support initially and much due to his abilities with magic and as a doctor. Plus, I always liked him as a character, and he created a nice bridge as Blackheart is a demon which takes him out of Sam's power class. Wouldn't be surprised to see Misty Knight sooner rather than later, though.