Friday, July 2, 2010

Part Nine: A Bird of Prey...

NOTE: This post was updated on June 8 2020; if I've included images that don't exactly jibe with our comments, please forgive me. Ten years on it's not possible to recall what we had displayed in the original post. -Doug

Doug: Hi, kids! You voted, and we listened. We didn't truly know the extent that you loved this costumes feature, but you spoke loudly and clearly in our recent anniversary poll. Well, truthfully, around 5 or 6 of you said you liked it...
Doug: Let's take a look at our favorite inner-city social worker, Sam Wilson! Sam's sported a few different looks over the years. And when you look at him from beginning to present, it's really a varied display of haute couteur.
Doug: In the beginning, Sam wore green, and lots of it. Not possessing the power of flight, Sam nonetheless took the name The Falcon and became an able partner to Captain America. He first appeared in Captain America #117 in an outfit drawn by Gene Colan. He'd wear these threads for a few years until he switched to the more well-known red/white motif. Even then, it would be another stretch of times before T'Challa -- the Black Panther -- gifted him with wings and the power of flight. Sal Buscema pencilled that story, which took place in the midst of the "Secret Empire" arc.

Karen: I've always liked the Falcon. Unfortunately he's usually been in the shadow of Captain America -as probably anyone who partnered with Cap would be.
But he's a great character with some real history.

Doug: So which of the various costumes that we have depicted throughout the page are favorites? I'll start... I really don't care for the original green get-up. Yeah, it's nostalgic, and I was surprised the first time I saw it because I had no idea that it had existed. But it just screams "blaxploitation" to me.
The showy colors, the major skin showing, the long chain and falcon medallion all make this a relic from its time. I think, too, that the orange framing of the shirt coupled with the green on the rest of the costume evoke somewhat of an African theme. That's not bad in itself, but to me it just adds to the criticisms I have overall of the costume.

Karen: The green and orange look is not my favorite but...I like it! And Doug, I hear all your criticisms about it, and they're all valid.
But for the times, it was some swinging threads. I probably also have some nostalgia for that outfit, as it's what Falc wore when I first started reading the title. It is a weird color combo though. I think Aquaman is the only other guy rockin' those colors. But I think you're on to something when you say that they are supposed to evoke an African theme. That makes sense to me.

Doug: The familiar red/white costume shown above was what Sam was wearing when I read my first issue of Captain America and the Falcon, as well as his costume on his immortal Mego figure. It has a familiarity for me, but really -- it has many of the same elements I criticized above. Additionally, it would make more sense if there were fabric over the arms for the wings to completely attach to. But it's still what I think of when ol' Falc is brought up in conversation.

Karen: This is the outfit that comes to mind when I think of Falcon. It has the same cut as the original, but the red and white combo is probably better. Of course, I think the best thing of all is the wings - Sam needed something besides that silly grappling hook deal.

Doug: It seems that what came after that costume is just a variation. I must say I prefer the suit to the right of Sam in flight to the one below that has the awful headpiece. To the right, I really like the mask and the V-look of the white against the red. But again, why are his ribs exposed?
It just doesn't make sense. It's somewhat like all of the supergals cavorting around in their thongs... is it practical? The deeper red is nice as well.

Karen: I do like the darker red, and they've kept that with his current outfit. This is similar to what he wears in the present, although now his sides are covered. His arms still aren't.

Doug: Yeah, the last costume has issues. The boots evoke those worn in the 1970's and are OK; I'd prefer they didn't look like real feathers so much, but I see what they were going for. As I said above, the mask is ugly. And overall the layout of the colors just says "Stingray" to me, not "Falcon". Not sure, too, why the brown belt buckle is added as an accent color.Karen: Wow, that last costume is craptastic. The mask is dorky-looking, and I'm not digging those feathery boots and gloves.

Doug: OK, I've been really grumpy it seems. If you want to nail me down, I like the costume worn in flight the best. Of course I have a bit of a soft spot for the first red/white costume. But I really don't want to give in on my complaints about all of that skin on display.

Karen: I think the Falcon is a winner. That last costume is nasty, but all in all, he's got a solid if unspectacular look.

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