When Sam Wilson was granted the title of Captain America from his longtime friend Steve Rogers during Marvel’s “Marvel NOW!” relaunch in 2015, it was only a matter of time before he would both go back to being the Falcon and get boosted to Cap in the MCU. Now that Captain America 4 is on the horizon, Marvel’s comics would like to do what probably should’ve been done post-Secret Empire: rather than Sam going back to being the Falcon, he and Steve will just both be Captain America.
In the upcoming comic Captain America: Symbol of Truth by novelist Tochi Onyebuchi (Beasts Made of Night, Riot Baby) and comic book artist RB Silva (Powers of X), Sam will return to the mantle of Cap and once again be in the public eye. The public’s perception of Sam as Cap was part of Nick Spencer’s run with the character, and Onyebuchi told Entertainment Weekly how he believed it’s a well worth returning to. “There’s so many characters that have yet to interact with Sam as Captain America,” he explained, “dynamics we haven’t seen…What does it mean for the rest of the world to accept a Black Captain America?”
Symbol of Truth is an fitting subtitle for the book, wherein Sam investigates a conspiracy that naturally involves uncovering secrets about America that its government would rather he didn’t. As a fan of globetrotting spy thrillers, Onyebuchi couldn’t pass up the chance to put Sam in such a plot. Since America has a history of shadowy politics, especially in regard to their foreign policies, he wanted to explore how Sam and his teammate Joaquin Torres (the second Falcon) would navigate that world in a different way from Steve.
While Sam handles matters across the country, Steve’s book will be firmly rooted in America. Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty from writing duo Jackson Lanzing and Colin Kelley with art by Hellions’ Carmen Carnero will explore how much things have changed in the decades since his ice nap and subsequent return. As a member of the “Greatest Generation,” Kelly believed that it could be used as a great starting point for Steve to explore the “radical shift” in America, particularly in recent years. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent run explored this as well, and Lanzing acknowledged how they wanted to further continue that thread with co-star Bucky Barnes.
“There’s a lot of inward-looking Steve has to do in terms of his legacy and himself,” Lanzing said, adding that the book would be more a story about Steve personally than of Captain America, though he still has the title. “What does Captain America mean to Steve? What do his friends need from him specifically? In our book, he is going to be really looking at what it means to be Steve Rogers.”
Both books will spin out of Captain America #0 written by all three writers and drawn by Mattia De Lulis, which Lanzing called a “conversation” between Steve and Sam about their shared duty as Captain America while doing battle with Arnim Zola. From there, the two books will explore their respective men grappling with America’s legacy and their complicated feelings on the matter. “Cap can’t turn his back on America, neither of the Caps can,” Kelley acknowledged. “They believe the idea is good, that the core is good and worth fighting for. But both need to wrestle with what that means.”
Captain America #0 will release first on April 20, followed by Sam’s Symbol of Truth #1 in May, and the Steve-focused Sentinel of Liberty #1 in June.