As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier prepares to premiere, a lot of discussion is about the twists the show may have.
Notable is how the show is keeping under wraps details about John Walker (Wyatt Russell), who may become the new Captain America. It sounds like those fans expecting the same U.S. Agent as the comic book version may be in for a surprise.
In many ways, U.S. Agent is a unique flip of Captain America. John Walker was a former soldier who started in staged fights as the Super-Patriot, claiming Cap was too old-fashioned for the modern world.
When Steve Rogers quit as Captain America rather than obey a government agency, Walker was chosen to take his place. While he wanted to prove himself, Walker soon realized he didn’t have the same moral code as Steve.
Walker could be brutal in a fight, even killing an opponent. When a militia group killed his parents, Walker slaughtered several in response before coming to his senses.
It turned out Walker had been manipulated into his actions by the Red Skull. After giving back the Cap mantle to Steve, Walker took on a new costume and shield to become U.S. Agent.
While he has worked with the West Coast Avengers and other groups, Walker prefers being a lone-wolf operative while still clashing with Steve and Sam Wilson.
U.S. Agent is capable in a fight, but his attitude has often rubbed any teammates the wrong way. At best, he can be arrogant and belligerent, while at his worst, he’s a loose cannon whose temper can cause a mess.
Another contrast is how Steve Rogers grew up in the 1930s while Walker is a modern person, and thus, their views of American patriotism differ significantly.
Russel himself stated that the complexity of Walker is what drew him to the role.
“He’s a complicated character. That’s what drew me to him. It’ll be fun seeing how all three of these guys interact in terms of what their identity is. I think that I can safely say that it’s a show about identity and what it means to each specific person.”
Clips indicate that in the show, the government gives Walker the role of Cap despite Steve Rogers having given Sam his shield to be his successor. A decorated war hero, Walker seems ready to be the new Cap, leading to a clash with Sam.
While loose on details, showrunner Malcolm Spellman indicated the TV show’s Walker may smooth down some of the comic book version’s attitudes.
“That character from the books, what he represents is extremely relevant. We shifted away from the books a little bit, so we added some very, very different dimensions, especially once Wyatt got involved and started really inhabiting the character. But the spirit, all you’ve got to do is read Marvel comics and then imagine that we didn’t do half of what’s in the books. That’s my way of saying I can’t talk about Wyatt.
It does seem the series will end with Sam becoming Captain America after all. This could pave the way for Russell to follow the comic book example of becoming U.S. Agent.
Yet, the fact the character has barely appeared in any of the promotional pieces for the show has led to theories ranging from having the new Cap shockingly killed in his first mission to Walker secretly being in league with villain Helmut Zemo.
MCU fans know the movies and TV shows love to play with the established lore of the comics. Thus, U.S. Agent may end up being a much different character than any of his fans expect in this show.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres on Disney+ on March 19.