Issue(s): Falcon #1, Falcon #2, Falcon #3, Falcon #4
These four issues have Falcon dealing with street level crime in and around the area where he also works as a social worker. Instead of just beating up a drunk attempted rapist...
...Falcon, who knows the boy, gets the father of the girl to not press charges...
...and tries to help the boy get himself back together. He also stops a slumlord in a high powered exo-skeleton from destroying his own building for the insurance companies.
He loses some battles too. He promises a gang called the Legion to get a permit for them to march in a parade now that they've given up violence. But the Falcon gets attacked by a Sentinel...
...and fails to get the permit, which means there's trouble with the police when the gang marches without a permit.
Things get so bad that the Legion wind up kidnapping the president while he is visiting the neighborhood on a fact finding mission.
There's been some debate about whether or not Falcon is actually a mutant. The idea that he might be goes back to Captain America #174. In that issue Professor X notes that Falcon is unusually receptive to telepathy, and that Falcon's mental bond with Redwing may be a manifestation of an untrained psychic power.
Note that this is not quite the same thing as saying that Falcon's mutant power is that he can mentally talk to a bird. So this encounter with the Sentinel is picking up on that old thread, and essentially proving that Xavier was correct. However, it's later been said that since the Sentinel here had just repaired itself after lying in a junkyard for years, it was malfunctioning. To be sure, however, the Sentinel correctly identified the Falcon; if the Falcon was in the Sentinel's database then it's likely that he is in fact a mutant.
Electro was last seen getting knocked out by the Scarlet Witch in Avengers #237 (according to the MCP, but see the Chronological Consideration below), but he must have escaped during the subsequent confusion in that issue. He's been holed up in the Falcon's neighborhood and getting paranoid.
When Falcon goes after the Legion, Electro gets involved as well.
Because of the president's involvement, Captain America is brought in...
...but it's Falcon who hunts down and knocks out Electro.
Falcon then convinces the Legion to talk to the president (Ronald Reagan) and let him know about the hardship of growing up in the ghetto. In the comic, he's quite receptive.
Good stuff. Political without being too preachy, and good plotting and dialogue. Not as funny and groundbreaking as Priest's later works but a good start. Nice art in all the issues, first by superstar Paul Smith (drawn years before he became the popular X-Men artist, and then shelved for a few years until this series was published)...
...and then by frequent Priest collaborator M.D. "Doc" Bright.
This series also introduces Sgt. Tork, a minor character that appears in a few books over the years (mostly written by Priest), distinctive for his 70s mustache, abrasive attitude...
...and the fact that he carries a non-regulation and probably illegal shotgun instead of a standard issue police revolver.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: A Q&A in issue #3 says that this series takes place before the Falcon pledged to stop wearing his costume during his run for a seat in Congress, which is something that happened circa Captain America #275, almost a year after this mini-series was printed. That may have been the original intention: this series faced a lot of delays and was initially written back in summer of 1981. But the MCP entries for Falcon, Electro, and Captain America all have this series occurring much later, after Captain America #284, when Sam Wilson reveals that he took a nosedive in the polls after his past struggle with mental illness was revealed, and i'm inclined to follow the MCP's lead here (they may in turn be following the various Marvel Indexes). There's certainly nothing in the comic itself that suggests placement. So i think we'll assume that after losing the election, Sam went back to being the Falcon. Update: That's confirmed by a note in the lettercol for Captain America #290, indicating that this mini takes place "right after the events" of that issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaptain America, Electro, Falcon, Redwing, Sgt. Tork
Priest has said that the Sentinel WAS intended to be malfunctioning but he scripted that scene poorly, so nobody got that it was supposed to be malfunctioning.
Posted by: Michael | October 25, 2010 3:50 AM
I was never able to swallow the idea that a street gang could kidnap Ronald Reagan, especially given his heightened security following the attempted shooting by John Hinckley. I mean, it's a garden-variety street gang, not the Delta Force.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 26, 2011 10:39 AM
Poor Electro. He should be taking on the Avengers by himself (or Iron Man at least) with his power. Instead he gets beat by non-superpowered guys like Falc and Daredevil.
You know, nothing against the Falc, but "uncommon rapport with a bird" has to rank pretty low on the scale of mutant powers. Somewhere south of "mutant ability to shake out exactly two asprin from the bottle".
Posted by: kveto from prague | November 22, 2013 4:47 PM
I remember this mini-series being described as a "different type of Marvel comic" and a "realistic look at daily life in the big city", which sounded really promising to me.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | November 22, 2013 4:59 PM
Looking back, I'm surprised that the "drunk rapist isn't a bad kid" wasn't more controversial, especially after the Marcus debacle.
Posted by: Michael | November 22, 2013 7:55 PM
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