The Falcon by Joel Carroll


Character: The Falcon
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Artist: Joel Carroll
Reviewer: Chris Arrant

Joel says, “The Falcon I remember had no powers. He owed his ability to fly to a pair of jet-engine tipped glider wings attached directly to his brain! Well, supposedly, the Cosmic Cube gave Falcon the ability to his pet bird, Redwing, but that’s kind of lame, so I’m ignoring that.”

In this design, Joel has really simplified the previous designs of Falcon over the years and played up the sleek nature inherent with the bird itself. Joel has done a great job of depicting Falcon’s wings and how they would work with his arms, although I’d be keenly interested in a rear view of the character’s design to see how they are attached to the torso.

While I’ve never been\nable to figure out a reason for the golden beak on any designs besides the aesthetics of it, Joel’s design for the mask itself is practical for full range of vision\nand hearing, as well as masquerading Falcon’s identity. Of the entire re-design, particularly enjoy the chest design. It plays up a smaller element seen the 1974 Sal Buscema design, and works to simply and better characterize the overall direction of the character.

12 comments on “The Falcon by Joel Carroll
  1. though i’ve never liked the beak… i LOVE it! having just read his introduction in essential cap vol 2, this is even timely to my reading.

  2. Man, Joel really nailed this one. The tendency is to go with longer wings on a character like this, but I think reigning that impulse in has really worked in Joel’s favor. The zip-front and the wrist-latches are good elements that ground the suit in reality. And obviously, a major strength here is that he’s pulled that strong wingish/’f’ element from the Gene Colan design and made it bolder, and even echoed it in the boots.

    Falcon’s costumes from the last few years have been so generic and safe, and I think this is a serious more iconic look. Great job, Joel. :)

  3. Uh, don’t mean to be a Nitpickly Nerd but that link wasn’t to a Gene Colan page, nor was that the original Falcon costume design.

    You can find it right here. I would have linked to the cover of his actual first appearance, but the large scan is a really shitty one.

    Otherwise, nice redesign, if a little bit reminiscent of that He-Man flying bird guy, whose name escapes me…

  4. Gah, thanks for the heads up, J.B. We knew it wasn’t the original design, but the wording somehow got slipped in there, and dur, that’s a Sal Buscema page. Thanks man, I’m editing that now.

  5. The suit looks great. Sleek, elegant, and sexy. And fast. It looks like it was meant to move at high speeds. If Marvel doesn’t use it for the Falcon, the US Olympics team should adopt it for their ski jumpers.

    The chest emblem looks distinctly contemporary, but retains just a hint of the 70s (it kinda looks like the hood of a Trans Am {in a good way}).

    The one area I take issue with is the wrist cuffs. I like the idea of really considering how the wings attach to his arms, but these look a little clunky to me. I think they’d impede hand movement, and, generally, seem like a first thought.

    I agree that it would be great to see the back of this design.

  6. I think the “beak” should be able to pop off and he could throw it if he had to…

    ala the bird out of the Mach 5 on Speed Racer!

    Go! Go! Falcon!

  7. This captures the classic lines of the original with some seamless tweaks for functionality ; ala the beak. Every detail reinforces each other; the chest design mirrors the boots and the colors play off each other well. Great design, simple and direct. I love the smaller wings.

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