Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were surprised when a new Captain America showed up in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s first episode.
However, while fans of the MCU might have been shocked, this was no surprise to anyone who reads Marvel Comics, as John Walker has been around for over 30 years now and was Captain America in the comics as well.
The storyline on the show is a little different than the comics, but the fact remains that John Walker is the antithesis to Steve Rogers, and fans are angry that Marvel wants to replace Captain America.
While that is the entire point, the fact that fans are talking about it is a good thing for Marvel.
With that in mind, John Walker has a massive history in Marvel Comics, and only part of it has to do with his role as Captain America.
Here is everything that fans need to know about the new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Walker.
John Walker’s hero was his brother
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Walker was a soldier with multiple awards and citations for his work. He had said that it was Captain America that he looked up to when it came to being a hero.
In the comics, John Walker had a different hero. His brother was Mike, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot. John looked up to his brother and idolized him as a hero, especially after his brother saved him from a house fire, which John saw as Mike as his own Captain America.
However, things were complicated.
His brother had PTSD and almost burned the house down himself. Later, he took his own life, and John’s parents told him and his sister that Mike died in the war as a hero.
John did not learn about this until many years later, after his time as Captain America was long past.
John Walker got his powers from the Power Broker
One of the main villains in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier appears to be the Power Broker, which has recreated the super-soldier serum, only to have it stolen by the terrorist organization known as the Flag-Smashers.
In the comics, John joined the military like his brother, but he felt he had no chance to match his brother’s perceived heroism. He received his honorable discharge and joined up with the Power Broker.
He used the Power Broker’s serum and gained superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, and agility. He then started as a wrestler in the UCWF (where The Thing from the Fantastic Four wrestled) before becoming a hero.
Instead, he became a thorn in the side of Captain America.
John Walker was originally The Super Patriot
John Walker went by the name Super-Patriot and was first introduced in Captain America #323 by Mark Grunwald and Paul Neary.
He was the opposite of Steve Rogers, and he set out to prove that he stood for the “real” American ideals and that Captain America no longer represented the country properly.
He began to fight Captain America and attempted to discredit the American hero publicly.
John Walker became Captain America after Steve Rogers quit
Captain America quit serving the role after the events of the Secret Empire storyline (the first one, not the more recent Hail Hydra version).
Basically, the Red Skull took control of the Commission on Superhuman Activities. The infiltration made it to the President of the United States, who betrayed the country before taking his own life in front of Captain America.
Cap quit, and the government decided it still needed a Captain America and gave the role to John Walker.
Captain America and Battlestar
Fans of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have met the new Captain America and his partner Battlestar.
This is the same duo from the comics, although Battlestar was going to be Bucky until someone pointed out the racial connotations.
Battlestar had the same super-soldier serum that John did, also originally supplied by Power Broker. Their first appearance together came in Captain America #334 by Mark Gruenwald and Tom Morgan.
John Walker was manipulated by Red Skull
John Walker wanted to be a hero; he just went about it in the wrong way.
Unlike Steve Rogers, John was very violent and actually murdered several of his enemies. This eventually led to Steve, now going by the name Captain, going after John to stop him.
It turned out that Red Skull was still there, pulling the strings, and he manipulated this entire situation with John. Captain America finally teamed with The Captain to beat Red Skull.
John ended up stripped of his role after this as he was deemed unworthy.
John Walker becomes U.S. Agent
John Walker was back quickly but in a new role. While he was deemed unworthy of the Captain America role, the Commission turned him into U.S. Agent instead.
This was to repair the public damage that Walker’s name took due to his reputation being destroyed due to the Red Skull’s manipulations.
The Commission faked John’s assassination and then brought him in as U.S. Agent, telling the public he was a new man under the mask for a fresh start.
The West Coast Avengers
The first thing the Commission did was work hard to re-earn their security clearance by proving they were working as a legit organization and no longer under the control of the Red Skull.
Their first task was to send U.S. Agent to become the new leader of the West Coast Avengers, which angered most of the team members who considered U.S. Agent to be as close to a fascist a hero could get.
It took time, but U.S. Agent proved himself to the team and started to loosen up somewhat. That all ended when the Avengers’ main team dissolved the West Coast Avengers, causing most members to quit rather than fall in line with the main team.
John quit his role as U.S. Agent at that point.
John Walker vs. Falcon
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier set up John Walker to be a nemesis to The Falcon, as he has taken on the Captain America role, which Sam is against.
The two men also had conflict in comics.
After Sam Wilson became Captain America, he was the complete opposite of John Walker, with U.S. Agent being more of a government agent bordering on fascism. Sam Wilson was called Captain Socialist by his detractors for fighting for the little people, even against his own government.
John Walker rejoined the U.S. Army, and eventually, his commanders ordered him to get the shield back from Sam Wilson because the government deemed him unworthy to carry it.
When Steve Rogers told John that he didn’t want Sam to have the shield, U.S. Agent went after Sam, and the two fought, with Sam winning the battle.
It turned out that this was not the real Steve, but was an agent of Hydra in Steve’s body — the new Secret Empire storyline.
What is John Walker doing now?
John Walker is back in Marvel Comics and has his own miniseries by the creative team of Christopher Priest and Georges Jeanty.
The new series has John Walker back as U.S. Agent, but he no longer works for the Commission. He was sent to help a foreign government clear up some protestors, but he took the protesters’ side when the military opened fire.
It was one of the first times that John Walker took the side of the downtrodden against government forces. It was also what cost him his job.
He is now fighting a new U.S. Agent and trying to reclaim what he lost.
It seems that John Walker has come full circle since his days as Captain America in the comics, but now fans of the MCU have a chance to hate him all over again as his story plays out from the start on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.