Marvel's latest event, Generations, sees Sam Wilson finally hand the Captain America shield back to its original owner. This follows from the ending to Secret Empire, which brought back the old Steve Rogers, but also left several unanswered questions concerning not only his fate but also the fate of the then-current Captain America, aka. Sam.
Sam Wilson, best known as the Falcon, took up the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers lost the Super Soldier Serum, reverting him to his natural age. When Steve regained his youth, the two began sharing the title, but the shield remained with Sam. What Sam didn't know was that Steve had been altered by the Cosmic Cube and transformed into the Marvel Universe's mostly deadly villain. This new, evil Steve gave the Marvel Universe all it could handle in the controversial event, Secret Empire. At the end of the story, however, the true Steve Rogers returned.
In the Secret Empire finale, many Marvel heroes were sent to a place called the Vanishing Point, which was created by the Cosmic Cube. A new string of one-shots published under the title Generations explains what happened to the heroes in the Vanishing Point while also pairing them with their predecessors. Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America and Steve Rogers Captain America #1 began by taking Sam Wilson back to World War II to meet a young Captain America, and ended with Sam giving the shield back to Steve in the present-day.
Sam's heroics inspired Steve, decades before Steve befriended and mentored Sam on the island of the Exiles. Unlike the other heroes in the Vanishing Point, Sam was unable to return to his own time and forced to live a life in the past. Sam became a pastor, started a church, and used his experience as a social worker to help the poor. Sam got to watch on the sidelines as Steve returned from suspended animation, a younger Sam became Steve's partner, and Sam took up the mantle of Captain America.
After the events of Secret Empire, Sam knew what Steve would be going through and decided to seek him out. He tossed him the shield from a rooftop and gave him a letter. The letter told Steve to "inspire them again."
Steve is back to being the only Captain America again, while Sam has returned to the present to headline his own series, The Falcon, along with a new partner called the Patriot. After returning to the Falcon identity, Sam's first major antagonist will be Blackheart, the son of Mephisto.
The Falcon #1 arrives on October 11. Captain America #695 releases on November 1.
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