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One skeptic is Christopher Priest, a former Marvel staffer who in the 1980s became the publisher’s first black editor (under his former name, Jim Owsley) and has written a “Falcon” miniseries and “Captain America and the Falcon” series.
“It feels like a stunt,” he told Hero Complex in an email interview. “It would have felt like a stunt had I done it.” He added that Wilson, as he understands him, wouldn’t become Captain America – and that for the story to work it needs to feel different from Rhodes’ stints as Iron Man.
“Putting the black sidekick in the suit, when everyone knows sooner or later you’re going to switch things back to normal, comes off as patently offensive,” Priest said.
Adding that he’d be “delighted” to be wrong about the Cap change being a stunt, Priest laid out what his former employer is facing: “Marvel’s challenge is to deliver something so affirming and positive that the work overcomes that cynicism. I assure you, Black America will be watching: Does this have real depth, or is it just surfacey costume-switching?”
And he had some other advice for Marvel: “Hire some actual black people.”