Rodney Barnes has traveled from Annapolis to Hollywood and back again to launch his new comic book.
The writer and producer has penned over a dozen TV shows, and is now telling the story of Falcon, the high-flying Avenger, for Marvel Comics.
Tuesday evening, Barnes spent hours talking to kids, signing autographs and taking pictures at the Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis. Earlier, he walked the halls of Eastport Elementary, a school he attended as a child.
"This is so much fun because this is where my love of comic books was born," Barnes said.
As a kid, Barnes remembers reading about Falcon's adventures. The character debuted in 1969 as the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics.
"The Falcon I grew up with was Captain America's sidekick and he didn't have much of a personality outside of that idea," he says. "Now, he's such a high profile character with Anthony Mackie and the movies and all."
Anthony Mackie portrays Falcon in Marvel's feature films.
Barnes says helping Falcon go solo in his own comic book will help the character reach a new generation of superhero fans.
"To be able to create a character that speaks to a lot of the faces in this room, and the rooms that I've been in today, that's why I do it," he said.
At the Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis, the Hollywood writer didn't even need any superhero friends to make an impression.
"He knew a lot of famous people like Beyonce, and Rihanna, and Kevin Hart and Drake," recalls Skylar Bush, 11.
While kids here may never fly or battle super villains, Barnes hopes his story off the page will also show that they can and should reach for the stars.
"I worked really hard, I really stuck to it, I went through the difficult periods. I think for any kid that's here, that feels like they have a dream, a thing they ultimately want to do, it can be done," Barnes said.
The 1st issue of Marvel Legacy's "Falcon," written by Barnes, is now available.