In the ever-evolving landscape of fandom, there are simply some things that should not have happened. In Retcon This!, we examine some of the more questionable aspects of our beloved geek properties.
Admittedly, the Falcon is a bit player at best, and not the type of character who would normally warrant the attention necessary to even come up with a Retcon This. Don’t get me wrong, as a long time Captain America fan I’ve got a soft spot for ol’ Sam Wilson, but recently I saw something that has haunted me at night ever since.
Brace yourself, PoP!ulation.
What the hell? Of course the birds aren’t making any sense – they’re birds. This has kept me awake at night for days. “Why would they make any sense? Even if the birds HAD seen someone capture Captain America, would it even register in their memory? I mean, if I were to pass by something that a bird would consider important, like, I don’t know, a worm or something, it wouldn’t register to me because I’d be too involved in people stuff. Wouldn’t the birds be involved in bird stuff? And since when can the Falcon talk to birds that aren’t his trusty sidekick Redwing anyway?”
THESE ARE NOT THE THOUGHTS I NEED IN MY HEAD AT 3 AM.
So, in an attempt to purge these thoughts from my restless mind I did some research. I found that Geoff Johns’ Avengers #64 had established that, from what I’m lead to believe was the result of purely positive affirmations, Wilson has gained the ability to communicate with any bird. And not just ANY bird, but EVERY bird. At the same time. Think about that for a second. Think about how incredibly overwhelming it would be to suddenly see through thousands of eyes at the same time.
But it all came together for me when I saw this:
Okay, I’ll admit it, the idea of the Falcon having an army of birds at his command following him into battle is kind of awesome. But, save for this one panel, I’ve never seen it used. So, with a few more sleepless nights I’ve come to terms with the Falcon’s abilities. I can accept the ability to communicate with all manners of birds as a sort of access to their memories combined with an ability to deliver subconcious suggestions to them, causing them to act without understanding why. I can even accept the idea that he’s able to see through their eyes, in essence creating the cell phone surveillance system that Bruce Wayne built in The Dark Knight. But I’d like to see the powers used a bit more consistently.
Think of the applications on a team like the Secret Avengers, PoP!ulation. As the team seeks to enter a well guarded location, Falcon hangs back, delivering perfectly timed distractions with some well placed birds, all the while surveiling the entire area at once. And, of course, kicking some ass when necessary. That’s a concept that could easily bring this longtime bit player into a more interesting, more high profile role.