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Marvel Comics announces black character as the new Captain America

Marvel Comics is rolling out its latest revamp of one of its main superheroes — following up on the announcement that a woman will pick up the hammer of Thor — with an African-American character becoming the new Captain America.

In the comic's storyline an incapacitated Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, will hand off the role to his longtime friend and superhero partner the Falcon, real name Sam Wilson, to take over in the patriotic costume and iconic circular shield.

Sam Wilson has a long history as part of the Captain America mythos. The Falcon first appeared as an ally of Captain America in 1969, co-created by Marvel's legendary writer and editor Stan Lee. Then during the 1970's, a time when some Marvel books were retitled to have the main hero teamed up with a partner, the two characters shared the billing as Captain America and the Falcon. In the most recent Captain America movie, the Falcon was portrayed by Anthony Mackie.

Joe Quesada, the chief executive at Marvel Entertainment, made the announcement Wednesday night during an appearance on The Colbert Report. The company has also posted a picture of the new Captain America, with a design that combines both the traditional Captain America costume and that of the Falcon. --Eric Kleefeld