John Walker, the U.S. Agent, was introduced in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) this Friday (19), in the first episode of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney+. Lived by Wyatt Russel, the comic book anti-hero is expected to be a character who will significantly impact the production events, even using a different codename: Captain America.
John Walker’s introduction wearing the uniform made eternal by Steve Rogers is directly connected to the stories in Marvel Comics’ pages.
But who is John Walker in the comics anyway? Why did he become the new Captain America? What is the character’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us reveal everything you need to know about John Walker, the American Agent.
The New Captain America
Created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary, John Walker first appeared in November 1986 in Captain America #323. Initially, he emerged as the Super-Patriot, an extremely nationalistic United States (US) Army veteran.
In the comics, he is obsessed with becoming a hero. After his brother died in the Vietnam War, he was motivated to join the army to honor his legacy and become an American symbol.
Divergent beliefs and ideologies cause Captain America and Super-Patriot to clash, with Walker taking advantage of all his public appearances to criticize his rival and his way of saving the world. Eventually, Rogers stepped down from the mantle because he didn’t want to respond to the US government’s orders. Walker was chosen to take over the shield, becoming a more aggressive version of the hero.
Before replacing Steve Rogers, John Walker fought crime in his own way under the codename Super-Patriot. His biggest goal in life was to represent his country, so he eventually agreed to buy his powers from the scientist known as the Power Broke, a villain who uses biological engineering and technology to create superhumans.
Managed by a greedy businessman, he decided to launch his superhero career as the Super-Patriot.
In essence, Super-Patriot was just a brand name. Walker would just fight crimes big enough to get the press’s attention, and when nothing happened, his manager would hire bad guys to keep his image in the spotlight. Super-Patriot was already deceiving before fake news was a trend.
The Other Bucky
The screenwriters wanted John Walker to replace Steve in everything, making sense that he also has his own Bucky. This time it is former soldier Lemar Hoskins, whom Walker met during his army training.
Once John Walker took on Captain America’s mantle, Lemar was hired to be his trusty sidekick Buck. It turned out that the word “buck” was considered a pejorative term, and after a flurry of criticism, Marvel decided to change his hero name to Battlestar. In the end, this brought more originality to the character.
A Bloody Captain
During his time as Captain America, John Walker took a softer social-political view, although he still acted much more aggressively than his predecessor. For starters, he never bothered to dose violence, even if bad guys died in the process. Walker even led a group of reformed criminals, the Freedom Force, just because the government asked him to. But his moral grayness would have dire consequences.
Throughout the stories, Walker has his identity publicly revealed, which causes the murder of his parents. In a fit of vengeance, John brutally killed his parents’ murderers and set fire to the traitors who revealed his secret.
The Death of John Walker
Well, now that the public knew the more ruthless side of the new Captain America, it would not look good for the government to keep him around for long. They decided to return the shield to Steve Rogers, in which John would spontaneously hand over the job. But during that event, Walker was shot and killed by someone in the audience.
Or at least that’s what the government wanted everyone to think. It was all a set-up so that John Walker could work as a secret government agent. His memories were erased, and his name became Jack Daniels. With a new shield and a new uniform, he became the U.S. Agent.
A Player in Many Teams
Since becoming the U.S. Agent, John Walker has joined many superhero teams – such as Force Works, The Jury, STARS, and Invaders. Unfortunately, none of them lasted very long, but the American Agent never gave up on finding a group to call his own.
The first team he was part of didn’t work out so well. The government has appointed the U.S. Agent as the new leader of the Avengers West Coast. But this group already had a leader – Hawkeye. As a result, Clint Barton left the team with a considerable rivalry with John Walker that may be explored in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Trained in Crime
To reach the same performance level as Steve Rogers at his peak, John Walker needed special training. The government hired the super-villain Taskmaster, who knew all of Captain America’s moves and taught Walker the most effective strategies of his predecessor.
Taskmaster is confirmed to appear in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe in the Black Widow solo movie. Will we see any reference to the villain in Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
Powers and Abilities
Believe it or not, according to the Marvel comics, the U.S. Agent is considerably stronger than Captain America. While Steve Rogers’ fighting style has been boosted to the peak of average human potential, John Walker has true superhuman strength, agility, and endurance. In many fights between the two, he had the advantage.
Walker has also been trained in various armed and unarmed combat forms and the necessary knowledge to nullify Captain America’s unbreakable shield, an object he carried during his tenure as Sentinel of Liberty. Incidentally, the U.S. Agent also uses several shields, including one made of Vibranium and created by Black Panther.
Against Sam Wilson
It’s not just in the MCU that the U.S. Agent faces off against the Falcon. In the comics, this clash happens when Sam Wilson becomes Captain America. The hero is given the shield when Steve Rogers ages out. However, Steve mysteriously recovers and decides that they should both keep the mantle of Captain America.
Unhappy with the growing influence of a black Captain America, the government secretly summons U.S. Agent to force him to step down. John refuses at first but is eventually convinced by Steve Rogers himself. No one knew it, but Steve was working for Hydra. Deceived, the U.S. Agent fights Sam Wilson but is defeated without much difficulty.