(RNN) - A woman will wield the hammer of the God of Thunder. A black man will carry the shield of the Sentinel of Liberty.
Marvel Comics announced the changes for two of its most iconic characters, Captain America and Thor, this week on separate TV shows.
Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada visited The Colbert Report on Wednesday to break the news on "Cap." An upcoming storyline will have Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, replace Steve Rogers as the new version of the superhero first introduced in 1941.
"Well if there is one bird associated with America, it is the falcon," Colbert responded to the news.
All-New Captain America No. 1 is set to release sometime in the fall.
Representatives said the new identity would exist strictly in the comics and not apply to the upcoming movies. However, with Anthony Mackie taking on the Falcon role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the opportunity is there to make the change in the cinematic universe down the road.
The new Thor was introduced Tuesday on The View. Marvel editor Will Moss, in an announcement on the company's website, maintained the as-yet unidentified woman was not merely a stopgap for a storyline.
"The inscription on Thor's hammer reads 'Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.' Well it's time to update that inscription," Moss said. "The new Thor continues Marvel's proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute - she's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!"
Her first appearance as Thor is slated for October.
The moves come as part of Avengers NOW!, an initiative to take a fresh look at some of Marvel's top characters. Iron Man is also getting a new suit and a new town in the fall when he heads to San Francisco in the title Superior Iron Man.