Marvel: Sam Wilson is Captain America

Screenshot of Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. Copyright goes to Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios.

Hey! Hallie here!

Somewhat recently we made a post on this blog about how we miss Steve Rogers. And while that isn’t untrue, given recent conversations on this subject I want to make something really clear. We don’t miss Chris Evans because he’s the only good Captain America. We miss Steve Rogers because he was an endearing Captain America and because Chris Evans remains to this day, a national treasure. But Sam Wilson is just as amazing of a Captain America. Not only that, but Steve Rogers isn’t Captain America anymore. Sam Wilson is. Period. It’s really frustrating that we have to have this conversation, but I can say it’s not necessarily surprising. Marvel and Disney have failed Sam Wilson at every turn. So let’s talk about all the undeserved hate Captain America is getting and the reasons Sam Wilson deserves respect.

Marvel/Disney’s Lack of Support:

Ever wonder why Peggy Carter receives so much internet hate? There are a few reasons I don’t want to get into here, but one is definitely the way Marvel pushed Captain Carter. While ‘What If’ was being advertised at the beginning of it streaming, the official Captain America twitter account changed to a complete Captain Carter overlay. The issue was, Sam Wilson hadn’t been the profile picture for the Captain America page for very long before the change was made. Already fans of Sam Wilson were having to fight with racist individuals who refused to accept Sam as Captain America. But then, Marvel chose to change the account to Peggy while these conversations were still being had, and Peggy isn’t even technically Captain America. While that was going on, Disney was also creating problems over at Avengers Campus in Disneyland. When opening the new area, Anthony Mackie introduced Sam Wilson and made a speech about how important it was that Captain America finally represented a wider group of people. But after having Sam Wilson in his Captain America suit around for a few months, he disappeared. But Steve Rogers? Steve Rogers was still meetable at Avengers Campus as Captain America. Sam Wilson only recently returned to Avengers Campus. So despite the fact that Disney brought Anthony Mackie to the park to pat themselves on the back for making Sam Wilson a face character, it seems they’re still only willing to back Steve Rogers while Sam disappears regularly. Disney and Marvel have proven countless times that they’re unwilling to push Sam Wilson in the way they’re willing to push all other Captain America equivalents. We can only hope it stops by the time the next Captain America movie comes around.

The Twitter Bashing:

We’ve seen racism aimed at Sam Wilson since he took up the mantle of Captain America. But even though the Twitter hate started to feel like background noise with the other Marvel projects that have been releasing, it all seems to get louder every time we get more Captain America movie news. A few days ago we got the perfect example of this. With the announcement of the director for Sam Wilson’s first Captain America movie came speculation that Chris Evans would be reprising his role as Steve Rogers in the movie. How anyone could believe those rumors, I don’t know. Steve is currently a very, very old man in the current MCU timeline and Chris Evans has said multiple times that he doesn’t really want to go back. Still, many people decided to take the opportunity to compare Steve to Sam and list various reasons why Sam doesn’t live up to the Captain America title. The situation got so bad that Chris Evans himself went on twitter to simply tweet “Sam Wilson is Captain America”. And a huge chunk of the comments Evans received under said tweet weren’t support, but were instead arguments against this simple statement. The arguments ranged from declarations that Chris Evans was the only “real” Captain America, to anger about Bucky not having been given the shield, to claims that Marvel is too “woke”. It’s disturbing how many people are willing to disregard one of our only Black superheroes in the MCU simply because he’s POC. This fandom needs to do better quickly before we become like the Star Wars fandom.

Sam Wilson is Amazing:

Although everything looks pretty bad right now, I refuse to make this entire post negative. Sam Wilson deserves to have his praises sung and I will never hesitate to do that. Personally, I can’t wait to see Sam Wilson star in his own Captain America movie. Sam is a more empathetic Captain America than even Steve Rogers was. Steve Rogers earned his empathy from once being the type of guy who would regularly get beat up by his peers. In other words, he knew what it was like to be the little guy. But by the time he came back from his seventy year coma, he was a muscly, conventionally attractive, white man. He by no means saw the worst of the modern day US. In fact, most people thought twice before expressing displeasure at his actions. Sam Wilson, on the other hand, experienced constant racism in his every day life even after he became a superhero. And despite the fact that Sam was never given super-soldier serum, he still took up the huge Captain America title and decided to stand for everyone in the US, particularly those who were forced to go through the discrimination he had. He went through rigorous training to ensure he could do everything his super-powered colleagues could, despite not having powers, simply because he knew there were people who needed him as both a hero and a symbol. I love Steve, but that’s more than Steve has ever done. Sam has only ever shown wisdom and understanding as Captain America. He went so far as to defend a teenage girl who attempted to kill him from politicians who labeled her as a terrorist, all because he understood her struggles. All of that plus Sam’s biting sarcasm? How can you not love Captain America?

I’m going to end this post here. I may not love all of the recent Marvel projects that we’ve seen, but Marvel’s been doing better than ever at giving us superheroes who represent so much more of the population than we’ve seen before. And while Marvel and Disney can be very hit or miss when it comes to supporting this new group of characters, we as a fandom need to make sure they feel our support. Everyone deserves to see themselves on screen. Everyone deserves to experience the power fantasy that is superheroes from a perspective they can directly relate to. And with characters like Sam Wilson already getting such amazing writing, it makes no sense to look down on this new line of characters. Sam Wilson is Captain America. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!


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