Marvel has announced via the Colbert Report tonight that Captain America will be replaced by The Falcon, making him the next African American to play Captain America.

Before we get into the big news, fans should know that this only relates to Marvel’s comic book storylines, not the films that the studio has been producing over the last decade.

captain america replaced by african american superhero the falconMarvel has revealed that Steve Rodgers will pass the torch (or shield) to Sam Wilson, making The Falcon the second black Captain America Marvel comics have ever released. Isaiah Bradley was the first black Cap.

This news comes just a day after the company announced that Thor would be changing over to a woman, leaving male Thor without his hammer.

Clearly Marvel intends to make some changes with their material that they must feel has become a bit dated. Sam Wilson will take up Captain America’s shield as a result of some of the comic’s more recent storylines.

As of Captain America #21, Rogers fights his greatest battle yet against the Iron Nail, but the villain drains him of his super soldier serum that keeps him young and strong.

After this occurs, Rogers begins to age quickly and also loses all of his superpowers. This is when Sam Wilson will step in to carry Cap’s shield once again.

Update: Marvel has unveiled the first image from the new Captain America:

marvel-black-captain-america

In the most recent Captain America film, The Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson is played by the brilliant Anthony Mackie. While it’s unlikely we’ll ever see Mackie as Captain America, it’s nice to think that Marvel is looking ahead to diversify their superheroes by changing their genders and races.

The Falcon was Marvel’s first African American superhero, so it seems fitting that he would take over for one of their most popular superheroes, especially now that Captain America: The Winter Soldier has taken in $712M at the box office this past year.

Related: Marvel announces five new movie release dates

In a recent interview with Marvel, series writer Rick Remender said, “I think that Steve himself realizes that there’s always going to be a Captain America. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve in that role, but no one man is Captain America.”

After seeing Marvel change Thor to a woman yesterday and Captain America into an African American tonight, we can’t even imagine what they’ll have in store for comic book fans at Comic-Con ’14.

Be sure to check back next week as Hypable will be in attendance, bringing all the latest updates from Marvel’s highly anticipated panel.k

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that Sam Wilson would be the first African American Captain America, but Isaiah Bradley actually holds the honor of being the first African American to wield the shield.

Edited by Karen Rought