The Falcon (Sam "Snap" Wilson) is a fictional comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe.
The Falcon is mainstream comics' first African American superhero; Marvel's previously introduced Black Panther is African, a native of the fictional country Wakanda. The Falcon follows the company's first African-American co-starring character, the non-superpowered World War II soldier Gabe Jones, and first regular supporting character, The Amazing Spider-Man's Joe Robertson. The Falcon debuted nearly three years before Luke Cage, Marvel's first African-American series star, almost six years before Storm (the first black female), and is also the first superhero of African descent not to have the word "black" as part of his superhero name, preceding the John Stewart Green Lantern by over two years. (The first black starring character in comics is Dell Comics' Old West gunfighter Lobo, introduced in 1965.)
The Falcon's deceased nephew was the Incredible Hulk's sometime-sidekick Jim Wilson, one of the first openly HIV-positive comic-book characters. Jim Wilson's father Gideon Wilson would go on to join the Gamma Corps. Gideon would presumably be Sam's older brother. Sam also has a sister named Sarah Casper and a niece Jody Casper.
The Falcon first appeared in Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969). Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan, the Falcon most frequently works with Captain America, and became a member of the superhero team the Avengers.
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Official Site: Marvel Entertainment
Links: Falcon's Wiki Article CBR Blog Article on Falcon Official Site