Marvel's Next Super-Hero Surprise Might Be A Black Captain America

Yesterday, we all found out via women-targeted talk show The View that Marvel Comics' Thor is going to be a woman soon. Today, Marvel says their next big super-hero news will be announced on parody political show The Colbert Report. What Marvel connection could Colbert possibly have?

The safe bet is that they'll be announcing a new Captain America. Why? Because so many of the pieces fit.

First, when Marvel (temporarily) killed Captain America back in 2007, Marvel Comics' then-editor-in-chief Joe Quesada gave Colbert the good captain's famous shield. Colbert's got a connection with Captain America that makes his show a good platform for announcing news related to Marvel's patriotic Avenger.

Quesada is no longer EiC of Marvel. He's now their chief creative officer, which doesn't make him the automatic go-to guy for announcing Marvel stuff anymore.

But—what do you know?—Marvel just put out a press release that states: "Marvel's Joe Quesada will be announcing an all-new comic book title and all-new era for one of Marvel's most classic Super Heroes on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning 'The Colbert Report' on Comedy Central."

Oh, but "one of Marvel's most classic Super Heroes" could refer to so many other characters, right? It could be The Hulk. It could be the Human Torch. My money's on Captain America, not just because of the aforementioned reasons, but because of what Marvel's actually been doing with the character recently.

Bear in mind that Marvel just announced nine days ago that the current Captain America series is ending and that a new Captain America will be debuting soon.

As with the Thor news, it helps if you're reading the comics.

The Thor comics have been telegraphing the rise of female Thor characters for a while, what with a current mini-series involving the classic male Thor discovering he has a long-lost sister and with other recent issues of the excellent Thor: God of Thunder comic featuring a future storyline involving three of his granddaughters, Atli, Ellisiv and Frig (mislabeled in the video below as his daughters)...

In the current Captain America comic, the super-soldier serum that has kept Steve Rogers young and healthy has failed him. He's suddenly become an old man, too infirm to run around as Captain America. He needs a replacement. His longtime friend Sam Wilson, who has been known as the super-hero The Falcon, has been a regular guest-star of the comic and, well...

Here are two pages from Captain America issue 21, published several weeks ago:

Marvel's Next Super-Hero Surprise Might Be A Black Captain America

Marvel's Next Super-Hero Surprise Might Be A Black Captain America

This is promotion art for an upcoming issue of The Avengers that supposedly flashes forward eight months:

Marvel's Next Super-Hero Surprise Might Be A Black Captain America

That sure looks like someone other than Steve Rogers is carrying the shield. Could it be Sam Wilson? (Hey, why's Thor a man in this????)

How big a deal would a black Captain America be? Depends on your sense of comics history. It's been done before in a provocative Marvel mini-series called The Truth that posited that, in the Marvel universe, the super-soldier serum that was used to turn Steve Rogers into Captain America was first used on a black man, an echo of the real, notorious U.S. government medical experiments on black men involving the Tuskegee Institute.

Marvel's Next Super-Hero Surprise Might Be A Black Captain America

Credit to Marvel for getting us talking about an announcement of an announcement. We'll know for sure what's in store later today. The Colbert Report airs at 11:30pm ET, though it's taped earlier in the day. News may leak then.

It's the season for big comics news. The year's biggest comic convention, San Diego Comic-Con kicks off in the middle of next week.

To contact the author of this post, write to stephentotilo@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.