Who Is John Walker?

John Walker, better known as US Agent, was revealed at the end of the first episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We don’t learn his name, but from his uniform and the fact he is introduced as the new Captain America, it’s pretty clear that that’s who he is. We know literally nothing about Walker in the MCU right now, but we know a lot about him from the comics, so if you want a taste of what our new Captain America is like, we’ve got you covered.

What does a new Captain America mean in Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

In a word: trouble. Not only will this cause massive tensions with Sam, who donated the shield out of goodwill for a memorial, US Agent is nothing like the Captain America we know. Steve Rogers embodied the idea of America, but while it was idealistic, he always sought to hold America to these standards too. He didn’t hide behind patriotism, and nothing was more American to Steve than holding his government to account to ensure justice and liberty for all. Yeah, the MCU leans a bit too hard into militarism, but Steve was a good guy through and through.

John Walker adopts the name US Agent, and he basically represents US exceptionalism. He has the same basic view of America as Steve, but he does not hold the US to account in these views. He believes America is right and just and honourable simply because it is America. US Agent stands for America First – this puts him at odds with other heroes, especially Captain America himself. A guy this patriotic is not going to stand for the Flag Smashers who want a world without borders, either.

What will John Walker do in Falcon and the Winter Soldier?

Well, he’ll be Captain America. We know from the trailers that there’ll be some kind of publicity tour in the same way Steve Rogers toured in The First Avenger, and he’ll likely try and update Steve’s rhetoric from ‘America can be great’ to ‘America is already great’. The first episode touches on real world issues like mortgage shortfalls and the struggles of Black Americans to get a fair deal at a bank, so US Agent and Captain America’s differences may touch on the divisive political climate of real-life modern day America.

We also know from some released stills of next week’s episode that he was once in the army – this is accurate to the comics. He will have had very different experiences to Steve or Bucky, but may have shared some with Sam, given that Sam recently served in the Air Force. Whether he will work with, against, or separately to Sam and Bucky is currently unclear, but don’t expect the duo to become a happy little trio anytime soon.

Is the new Captain America evil?

That’s maybe a reductive way to look at it, but he is positioned as a much darker version of Steve Rogers. He is a hero in the comics, and even becomes one of the Avengers (although there are way more Avengers in the comics), so he’s certainly not going to be teaming up with Zemo as the villain. But he’s far less likely to question his orders than Steve Rogers was, and will potentially be the most militaristic hero the MCU has introduced yet, although Sam and Bucky offset this, so hopefully US Agent’s role will be examined more critically. If you crossed Rambo with Captain America and made him love the army, that’s basically John Walker is going to be like.

In his early days – when he was known as Super Patriot – he positioned himself as a version of Captain America that was quick to action rather than relying on weak words, and even arranged staged fights outside of Captain America events to make himself appear stronger. He also heckled Cap during several speeches.

Who is playing the new Captain America?

Wyatt Russell is playing John Walker in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. You might know him from Overlord, Ingrid Goes West, 22 Jump Street, or the episode of Black Mirror set inside a virtual haunted house. He has been a supporting star in a lot of things, but this is his most major role to date.

Why does Sam give up his shield?

Sam is pretty clear on his motivations for giving up the shield. Just as he said in Endgame, he thinks it belongs to someone else – Steve. In that film, Steve tried to convince him he was wrong, but Sam clearly remained doubtful, and so he willingly donated it to the Smithsonian, thinking it would be part of a public memorial. Had he known it would then be given to a new guy, he likely would not have given it up. In the comics, Sam does take over from Steve, so we may yet see Sam wielding the iconic shield before the series is over – the trailers certainly suggest he’ll either get it back or will get a new one.

Next: Falcon And The Winter Soldier: Who Is Zemo?

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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

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