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Falcon #1: Review

Nov 1983
Jim Owsley, Paul Smith

Story Name:

Winners and Losers!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Falcon #1 Review by (July 5, 2013)
Review: A singularly unattractive cover (a disheveled Falcon standing in an alley with a blob of yellow smeared across him face—apparently off-stage lighting) hides the fine story inside. A combination of superheroics and social commentary, this is a nice showcase for the Falcon as a street level hero who genuinely cares about his community (except for the two other punks—them he doesn’t care about). The socio-political issues are presented but not in a heavy-handed or polarizing way. And Paul Smith’s art is what makes it special: the smooth fluidity of the Falcon in his battles with Nemesis is impressive.

Comments: Writer Jim Owsley is better known as Christopher Priest. Issue includes a 1-page text article by Owsley on the genesis of the series. Issue #1 was intended for MARVEL FANFARE, but expanded into a limited series, which explains the change of artists with the second ish. First appearance of Sgt. Michael Tork who would go on to appear in various Spider-Man titles. Daryl Kane’s first name is supplied in the Official Handbook.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Falcon #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Late at night in the barrio, a teenage girl is cornered in an alley by three punks with mischief on their minds. The falcon appears and knocks out the two henchmen to focus on the leader, Miguel Martinez. Falcon appeals to him to quit drinking and straighten up his life, but Miguel is trapped by despair. The hero takes Maria home and tries to persuade her father not to press charges against Miguel who was drunk; the angry dad says he will consider it.

The next morning, at the site of a housing project under construction, people are lined up for a block to apply for a room. The owner, Daryl Kane wants Sam (Falcon) Wilson to convince the public he isn’t a slumlord. When the building runs out of applications and things start to get ugly, police Sgt Tork restores order with a gunshot and a lecture. Sam responds to Kane that his work is inferior and the buildings will be slums in ten years….

In court, Sam intercedes for Miguel but the judge is inclined to severity in view of Miguel’s record; Maria and her father withdraw the complaint because they trust the Falcon. Then Miguel is fired from his job over the incident…

Later a figure in an armored exo-skeleton calling himself Nemesis is atop the construction project tearing it to pieces. Sgt. Tork confronts him but a shotgun blast is ineffective. Falcon arrives to rescue Tork by knocking the villain to the ground. The hero ties to capture him but Nemesis responds with an electrical discharge that stuns the hero, and then takes off…

That night a drunken Miguel stumbles onto the construction site and finds Nemesis. Later when the villain returns to wreck the building, Falcon beats him into submission with a tank of gas. But then he discovers Miguel chained to an upper story, a parcel of dynamite around his waist. Letting the villain go, Falcon swoops upward, snatches the bomb from Miguel’s’ body and hurls it high into the air where it explodes harmlessly. A damaged Nemesis makes his way to the subway where he hijacks a train for his getaway—but the Falcon comes searing through the tunnels and seizes Nemesis, who is unmasked as Daryl Kane, planning to sabotage his own building for the insurance. With the construction project now delayed indefinitely, Tork asks who the winner was. Falcon replies that it is Miguel, who has sworn off drinking and crime.

Paul Smith
Vince Colletta
Christie Scheele
Paul Smith (Cover Penciler)
Paul Smith (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


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(Sam Wilson)

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