Falcon (Sam Wilson, Captain America) Reading Order!

Sam Wilson, most commonly known as Marvel’s Falcon through the years, is one of the best heroes to emerge as partners to early Marvel icons. Rather than merely stand-in as Captain America’s sidekick, Falcon asserted himself early on as an equally capable hero, even claiming a rightful spot in the comic book title with Captain America and the Falcon.

In more recent years, Sam has taken on the mantle of Captain America and become a core fixture with the Avengers. It’s an absolutely fascinating career arc, and Sam brings plenty to the Captain America title that Steve Rogers never could.

Below you’ll find a complete reading order for the hero formerly known as Falcon. As always, let’s hear your thoughts in the comments, and enjoy the comics!

Sam Wilson, Captain America and Falcon Comics Reading Order

The Coming of the Falcon

Captain America Epic Collection: The Coming of…The Falcon

Collects: Tales Of Suspense (1959) 97-99; Captain America (1968) 100-119

Sam Wilson, The Falcon, is introduced in a classic showdown versus the Red Skull.

Captain America #117 to #119 detail “The Coming of the Falcon.”

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America 5

Collects: Captain America #125 To #136, Avengers #88

Cap’s solo series actually became Captain America and the Falcon from issues #134 to #222. From this point forward in Marvel history Sam Wilson is inextricably tied to the Captain America series.

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume 6

Collects: Captain America (1968) #137-148

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume 7

Collects: Captain America (1968) 149-159

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 8

Collects: Captain America (1968) 160-175

Captain America by Steve Englehart, Vol. 1: Secret Empire 

Collects: Captain America And The Falcon #169-176

Marvel’s 2017 summer event, Secret Empire, actually started as an eight issue stretch of Captain America comics in the 1970s. There are a number of Marvel Cap stories that sneakily skewer sitting U.S. presidents, and Secret Empire is certainly one of the top.

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 9

Collects: Captain America (1968) 176-192

Falcon in Jack Kirby comics

Jack Kirby Captain America & The Falcon

Defenders

Collects: Defenders #62 To #64

Sam spends a very brief stint joining the Defenders.

Captain America by Jack Kirby, Vol. 1: Madbomb

Collects: Captain America #193-200

Jack Kirby takes over on Captain America and the Falcon, with the classic “Madbomb” storyline. Kirby’s Cap is all enthusiasm and mad sci-fi, and Sam Wilson plays a crucial early role in the narrative.

Captain America by Jack Kirby, Vol. 2: Bicentennial Battles

Collects: Captain America #201-205 And Bicentennial Battles #1

Captain America by Jack Kirby, Vol. 3: The Swine

Collects: Captain America #206-214, Annual 3-4

Avengers nights of wundagore

Falcon Joins the Avengers and Fights With Cap (The 1980’s)

Avengers: Nights of Wundagore

Collects: Avengers #183 To #189

Sam’s longest stint with the Avengers to date comes at the hands of a diversity mandate by Avengers government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich. Although the rationale won’t sit well with Sam, it does get Falcon in some major Avengers stories from the early 1980s.

Avengers: Heart of Stone

Collects: Avengers (1963) 188-196, Annual 9

Falcon

Collects: Falcon #1 To #4

Solo miniseries from Chris Priest, win which it’s declared that Sam Wilson is… a mutant?!

Captain America: Death of the Red Skull

Collects: Captain America (1968) 290-301

Sam plays a peripheral role in this classic showdown between Captain America and the Red Skull.

Amazing Spider-Man: Gang War

Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #284 To #288

Falcon joins Spidey and Daredevil in stopping a Gang War.

Captain America: The Captain

Collects: Captain America #332-350, Iron Man #228

This lengthy look at Cap’s crisis of conscience in the American Dream – by longtime Captain America writer Mark Gruenwald – features Falcon as a key supporting player. Definitely one of my favorite 20th century Captain America stories.

falcon in 90s marvel comics

Falcon Through Marvel Comics In The 1990’s

Captain America Annual #11

Collects: Captain America Annual #11

Sam gets a costume for the 90’s.

Avengers

Collects: Avengers #329 To #342

Early 1990’s Avengers by Tom Defalco

Avengers: Operation Galactic Storm

Collects: Galactic Storm event

Sam Wilson is still largely hanging around the Avengers during the oft-forgotten (perhaps rightfully so) Operation Galactic Storm event.

Sam’s Nephew, Jim Wilson

Collects: Incredible Hulk #232, #388, #420

Sam Wilson’s nephew, Jim Wilson, became friends with Bruce Banner and the Hulk. These core issues of Hulk explain his connection to Sam, as well as his tragic end in Marvel Comics in the early 90s.

Cap in the 90’s

Collects: Captain America #408 To #421

Black Panther

Collects: Black Panther #16 To #17

Priest run on Black Panther brings in Falcon

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty

Collects: Captain America: Sentinel Of Liberty #1 To #12

Foreshadowing Sam’s role in filling in for Cap when he’s unable.

Captain America

Collects: Captain America #25 To #50

Jurgens late 90’s to early 2000’s run

Cap Falcon Priest

Captain America And Falcon Enter The 2000’s

Avengers Annual 2001

Collects: Avengers Annual 2001

That strangely lingering question about whether Sam’s a mutant gets answered, by Jarvis the Butler of all people.

Avengers by Geoff Johns

Collects: #57 To #63

Geoff Johns Run on Avengers gives Sam Wilson a far more prominent role on the team.

Captain America & The Falcon by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection

Collects: Captain America And The Falcon (2004) 1-14

Chris Priest takes on a short-lived Cap and Falcon run, that quickly dives in to Avengers Disassembled tie-ins with issues #5 to #7.

Avengers Disassembled

Collects: Avengers Disassembled event.

brubaker captain america

Falcon in Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Captain America Run

Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 1

Collects: Captain America (2004) #1-7

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s modern classic on Captain America is certainly more essential for Steve Rogers and the Winter Soldier. Nonetheless, Falcon plays a role throughout, and these comics set the stage for Captain America throughout the 2000’s.

Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 2

Collects: Captain America (2004) #8-9 & #11-14

House of M

Collects: House Of M #1 To #8

Sam has an interesting cameo role in the alternate reality of Marvel’s House of M. You can see the full reading order, in Comic Book Herald’s House of M reading order.

Captain America: Red Menace

Collects: Captain America (2004) #15-21

Civil War

Collects: Civil War #1 To #7

Falcon plays a major role assisting Captain America in his side of Marvel’s Civil War. You can see the whole event in Comic Book Herald’s Civil War reading order.

Civil War: Captain America

Collects: Captain America (2004) #22-24 And The Winter Soldier: Winter Kills One-Shot

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Vol. 1

Collects: Captain America (2004) #25-30

Civil War: Fallen Son

Collects: Civil War: Fallen Son #1 To #5

Sam reacts to the Death of Captain America.

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Vol. 2

Collects: Captain America (2004) #31-36

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Vol. 3

Collects: Captain America #37-42

Captain America: The Man With No Face

Collects: Captain America #43-48

Captain America: Road To Reborn

Collects: Captain America #49-50 And #600-601

Captain America: Reborn

Collects: Captain America: Reborn #1-6

Siege: New Avengers

Collects: New Avengers Annual 3, Dark Reign: The List – Avengers, New Avengers #61-64 & New Avengers Finale

Siege full event reading order.

Captain America: Two Americas

Collects: Captain America Reborn: Who Will Wield The Shield? & Captain America 602-605

Shadowland: Heroes For Hire

Collects: Shadowland event.

Heroes for Hire by Abnett & Lanning: The Complete Collection

Collects: Heroes For Hire (2011) 1-12; Spider-Island: Heroes For Hire 1; Villains For Hire 0.1, 1-4

Falcon is one of many Marvel heroes helping out with a new Heroes for Hire from the all-time great Guardians of the Galaxy creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

Evil Falcon Cap!

Marvel Now Falcon and All-New Captain America

Captain America Volume 4: The Iron Nail

Collects: Captain America 16-21

Following Rick Remender’s Marvel NOW! run on Captain America, in which Steve Rogers is sent to Arnim Zola’s Dimension Z, Steve Rogers returns to Earth-616 and Sam is by his side to deal with a major transformation. The events that lead to Sam Wilson, Captain America all begin here!

Captain America Volume 5: The Tomorrow Soldier

Collects: Captain America 22-25

After proving his heroic bonafides yet again, Sam Wilson officially transitions to Captain America.

All-New Captain America: Fear Him

Collects: All -New Captain America Fear Him 1-4, Captain America (1968) 280, Avengers (1998) 64

This Marvel Infinite comics collects Sam’s first official storyline as Cap.

Axis

Collects: Axis event reading order.

The 2014 Rick Remender Marvel event quickly turns Sam Wilson, Captain America into the worst version of himself.

Captain America & the Mighty Avengers Vol. 1: Open for Business

Collects: Captain America & The Mighty Avengers 1-7

The new Captain America heads up his own Avengers unit.

All-New Captain America Vol. 1: Hydra Ascendant

Collects: All -New Captain America 1-6

Rick Remender set the stage for Sam-Cap, and writes one full arc with Sam, Steve, and the new Nomad taking down Hydra.

Captain America & the Mighty Avengers Vol. 2: Last Days

Collects: Captain America & The Mighty Avengers 8-9, Captain Britain & The Mighty Defenders 1-2, Avengers Assemble 15Au

The final Captain America and The Mighty Avengers story before Marvel plunges into Secret Wars.

Captain America Sam WIlson

Nick Spencer’s All-New All-Different Captain America Saga

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 1: Not My Captain America

Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson 1-6

Nick Spencer takes over writing duties across the Captain America franchise, starting with the ongoing Captain America: Sam Wilson.

It’s an interesting take on Cap during the current political climate. Whereas Steve Rogers has pretty effectively stayed above the political fray (with plenty of classic exceptions, including the original Secret Empire and nearly running for President), Sam decides he can’t stay silent about political issues he strongly believes in.

Naturally this results in the most polarizing Captain America of our time, judged more as politician than traditional superhero.

All-New Avengers Vol. 1

Collects: All-New Avengers #1 to #6

Mark Waid’s new run on Avengers sets ups a team of Iron Man, Thor, Sam Wilson as Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Nova. Needless to say, it’s not your grandfather’s Avengers!

Avengers Standoff

Collects: Avengers Standoff reading order

The Nick Spencer led Standoff event is absolutely essential reading for the state of Captain America, with major ramifications for Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, and Bucky Barnes.

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 2: Standoff

Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson 7-8, Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha, Assault On Pleasant Hill Omega

AllNew, AllDifferent Avengers Vol. 2: Family Business

Collects: All-New All-Different Avengers #7 to #12

Civil War 2

Collects: Civil War 2 reading order.

Note that Captain America Sam Wilson #9 can be read prior to Civil War 2 kicking off.

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 3: Civil War II

Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson 9-13

All-New, All-Different Avengers Vol. 3: Civil War II

Collects: All-New All-Different Avengers #13 to #15, Annual #1

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 4: #TakeBackTheShield

Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson 14-18

Avengers: Unleashed Vol. 1: Kang War One

Collects: Avengers #1 to #6

Secret Empire

Collects: Secret Empire event reading order.

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 5

Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson 19-22

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