Marvel 1872. When the incursions destroyed the multiverse in Marvel comics, what followed was a patchwork of different universes thrown together as the multiverse tried to stitch itself back together, one such universe was the Marvel 1872 universe.
Basically, it's a Western AU. For this "Shift" I'm thinking that powers should be turned off completely, and characters be given certain roles (which come with tasks which lead to the benefit of everyone) in a frontier town type setting. To avoid uncomfortably racist tropes often affiliated with the genre, I suggest we go kind of a Cowboys vs. Aliens route and have the town attacked by an unknown, supernatural force. Characters can ban together in alliances, abandon or complete their assigned tasks, work to defeat the unknown enemy, or accept their fate in the wild west and just die of dysentery.
PRIMARY MOTIVATION: Sam has a moral compass that points true north. He is motivated and energized by the prospect of doing the right thing and helping others. Sometimes that takes the form of suiting up and taking on the world, and other times it means being a good listener and encouraging others. He wants to be both a shoulder a good friend can cry on, that the person someone would turn to fight injustice.
DEEPEST FEAR / INSECURITY: Sometimes, Sam is insecure or concerned that he is getting too swept up into Steve's orbit. That the Avengers, and "that superhero life" is becoming a little all-consuming and the lifestyle leads to a loss of perspective. Despite the fact that his suit keeps him in the air, he wants to remain as grounded as possible.
LIKES: Quiet, birds, helping others, going for long runs so he has time alone with his thoughts, his privacy, Bucky Barnes (but don't tell him), he likes being an Avenger, and being seen as loyal and reliable. He likes coffee, and getting up early, and never feeling unprepared.
DISLIKES: Chaos - while he can adapt to anything, he likes the order and reserve that's found in the discipline of the army. He doesn't like staying up too late, or feeling unfocused. He doesn't like Yoga, he's pretty neutral on movie popcorn, and he does not understand why everyone is so invested in craft beer: it all tastes the same.
FAVORITE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION: He likes talking about music, he thinks that's usually a pretty safe discussion to have with anyone. He's a pretty solid listener and prefers to let other people carry the conversation for him.
ALL THE REST:
Sam Wilson is the kind of person that you want on your team. He’s dedicated and loyal, with a genuine desire to help other people without coming off as stiff, pious or anything less than sincere. He’s level-headed, with a kind of dry sense of humor that matches up well with the people he spends most of his time with. He trusts deeply, which means he doesn’t always trust easily, but he has a lot of faith in his own instincts, and a good sense of how to read people: it doesn’t take him long to make his mind up about how a person is, or whether or not he should spend his time with them.
In Harry Potter terms, regardless of his affinity for birds, Sam is pretty solidly Gryffindor material. He thinks with his heart, not necessarily his head, and he values bravery and doing the right thing, regardless of the sacrifice to himself.
He spends a lot of his time not thinking about how to succeed himself, but how to help others succeed. He takes a lot of pride when his friends and those he's helped either through Veteran Affairs or otherwise, reach their full potential. But that doesn't make him a foil, or a side-kick. He isn't someone else's Manic Pixie (or Bagger Vance >.>) and he does have goals, motivations and a life of his own. His relationship with Anne Weaver is a big part of that, and his role as an Avenger is becoming more and more of an important part of that too.
Sam never really has a day off, but he’s also someone who doesn’t really notice he doesn’t have a day off. He always has plans, is pretty extroverted, and gets his energy from spending time with others as opposed to spending it on his own. For that reason, when he finds an extra minute to himself it’s usually spend visiting with the veterans that he councils.
Sam finds solace in helping others not only because he relied on others and the Veterans association to come to terms with what happened to him overseas, but also because helping others is what he knows. The son of a Harlem preacher who spent a lot of his own youth helping his community, there is something familiar and comfortable about being in an outreach position. It comes pretty naturally to him.
There’s obviously some indication, obviously, that Sam knew who Steve was before he met him - or at least had some ideas about Captain America, but I don’t think he ever put a lot of thought into what the guy was really like, now having come to know him, Sam considers Rogers to be, basically, a great moral & ethics litmus test. He trust's Steve's opinion on things and he's probably loyal to him to a fault. Meeting Steve Rogers, and helping him bring down HYDRA infested SHIELD changed Sam’s life, and certainly the direction that it was taking because fighting alongside Steve, Natasha and their allies gave him a reason to pick his wings back up, gave him a cause to fight for and a direction to go in so he felt less like he was spinning his wheels to try and stay above water, and more like he was back to doing things that really made an impact and a huge difference on the world he lived in.
(Which isn't to say that he thinks his work with the Veterans isn't important, difficult or challenging - just that he wanted to do more. And a lot of his work with the Veterans was about coming to grips with his own loss, his own struggles and his own grief and guilt.)
Letting himself fall into Steve' orbit was a big step for him to take, because it meant that he was finally ready to let go of how he felt about being potentially unreliable. After Riley's death, it was huge for Sam to feel as though he could let someone lean on him or look to him for support without fearing that he might disappoint them.
But more important than Steve, I think it's good to note that Sam isn't here with the Avengers because of Steve. Rogers may have introduced him to the organisation, but Wilson wouldn't be here if he didn't want to be. There's no obligation or sense that he has to help Steve out of guilt or commitment. Since Sam left the paratroopers, he's been looking for something in his life that fulfilled him like being in the army used to and Rogers showed him what that thing was -- but it's Sam who went after it. And he's glad to be an Avenger now.
Being a “bad-ass normal” has it’s advantages, Sam would say, but it also has a bit of an impact on how Sam sees people with powers, people who are mystic robots, rage monsters or Enhanced twins. It’s not really a negative thing, and Sam has no real objection to the new recruits, or to people who've been changed or empowered, but he sort of finds the whole thing weird.
He has a hard time wrapping his head around the nature of superpowers, of the Tesseract, and of what exactly is going on in Potts Tower. He has certainly learned to roll with it, sure, but he can’t help but find certain aspects of the whole situation off-putting. Particularly in the case of the Hulk, whose physicality changes in ways that just don’t make any sense. And he has a bit of a hard time marrying what he knows about Potts Tower and the other Avengers to his general outlook on life.
Let's talk about PTSD for a minute.
It's not really something that's a person can just recover and walk away from. Sam had a really hard time with the death of his partner Riley, and he still copes with sleepless nights, guilt and the trauma of the death of his friend. Sam stopped flying when Riley was killed, so when Natasha and Steve got Wilson his EXO-7 Falcon wings back, putting them back on and going with Rogers to face off against HYDRA was a super critical moment for him. One of the major themes of the CA:TWS movie was, I think, characters self examining why they do what they do, and for Sam, fighting with Steve gave him the reason to keep going that he'd really been missing. The reason to do.
Sam doesn't like being still. (This is also the reason that a lot of Sam's leisure time is spent actively. He's always moving, running, swimming or trying to get involved with people's lives and recovery to help them keep moving). Sam has, basically, a kind of subconscious fear of stagnation. Of settling into some situation he hates just because it's comfortable, and he rebels against that every day and in every way that he can.
MORE CHARACTER INFO
Which is suit, he has the power of flight and enhanced vision, he also has the ability to communicate with his drone, Redwing. Sam is also a skilled tactician, who has undergone strick combat training during his time in the military, he also has a degree in counselling, having gone to school after he completed his time in the army.
PROUDEST OR WORST MOMENT
Sam's proudest moment was almost definitely when Steve Rogers handed him his shield. But really, most of his proudest moments are connected to the work that he's done with the Avengers. Being called out of retirement by Cap gave his life a whole new purpose and he is proud to call Steve a friend.
WHAT SONGS BEST DESCRIBE YOUR CHARACTER (give us 5-10 songs)?
I think Sam is an interesting, well-balanced character who stands out from the other Avengers in the line-up because his backstory is not particularly tragic. While he did lose a friend and partner during combat, the tragedy doesn't define him in the way that it might other 'superhero types' (Think Frank Castle). I'm also interested in writing Sam because of the way his character subverts some toxic masculinity tropes: not only is he a trained soldier, but he is also a caregiver and a counsellor, which is an interesting balance.
I'm also interested in writing for Sam because I think the MCU has kind of done him dirty since Winter Soldier. He's been a footnote, or pushed to the margins for almost every film since, and I think he deserves to have more attention, and more time to work through everything that brought him to his current position in life. I'm interested in exploring his relationship with Steve and getting a better sense of why Rogers chose him for the shield, and I'm also interested in developing his relationship with Bucky, since they've come a long way since Civil War which all largely happened off-camera.
WHAT PERSONAL CONFLICTS DO YOU WANT TO EXPLORE IN-GAME?
I don't think Sam sees himself as a leader. He was, and has always been, very ride or die with Steve Rogers, but I think the idea of having to make those kinds of calls himself makes him a bit nervous. While in this game, I don't expect Sam to actually have to take Steve's place, I would like to give same the opportunity to spread his wings (lol) and take on a leadership role in some of the Citadel "Shifts" so he can get a better sense of who he is in that capacity.