Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV series will pick up where Avengers: Endgame left off with Steve Rogers handing off the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson. Now that Steve has retired, the expectation is that Falcon will succeed him as the new Captain America. However, it’s possible that taking over as the Sentinel of Liberty won’t be so easy, and that the “new” Captain America is actually John Walker.
At Disney’s D23 Expo, Marvel Studios made several major announcements regarding its slate of TV shows for the upcoming streaming service, Disney+. It was confirmed that actor Wyatt Russell will play John Walker aka U.S. Agent in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Emily VanCamp is also set to reprise her role as Sharon Carter. It’s already known that Daniel Bruhl will return as Captain America: Civil War villain Baron Zemo, this time with his classic mask.
How Wyatt Russell’s U.S. Agent fits into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has not been revealed, but some clues can be found in his comic book backstory. U.S. Agent has deep ties to the U.S. government, Captain America, and the Avengers. The character has a reputation as both a hero and a villain. Given his history, it’s certainly possible that U.S. Agent will be Sam Wilson’s greatest obstacle in taking Steve Rogers’ place as Captain America.
John Walker Was Steve Rogers’ Captain America Replacement In The Comics
In the comics, john Walker first debuted in the pages of Captain America in the late 1980s as Super Patriot, a costumed hero who made Steve Rogers question his own abilities and his future as a superhero. Walker received his abilities by purchasing them from the Power Broker. After one heroic act involving the takedown of a terrorist, Walker becomes a celebrity.
After Steve Rogers retires as Captain America, the U.S. government appoints John Walker to be his replacement. Walker is granted ownership of the title, the costume. Unlike Captain America, Walker acts as a loyal operative of the government. For a while, Walker attempts to follow the moral example set by Steve, but he proves to be much more brutal and ruthless than his predecessor.
Due to the machinations of the Red Skull, the legacy of Captain America is tarnished by Walker’s violent actions, which leads to a heated confrontation between the two. Steve is deeply angered when he discovers that Walker murdered two supervillains as Captain America. Following Walker’s defeat, Walker gives the shield back to Steve Rogers and joins Hawkeye’s West Coast Avengers under a new name, U.S. Agent. As U.S. Agent, Walker wears Steve’s outfit from his brief time as “The Captain”.
The US Government Doesn’t Want Sam To Be Captain America In Falcon & The Winter Soldier
It’s been reported that in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the United States government does not want Sam Wilson to be the new Captain America, regardless of Steve‘s opinion on the matter. Though this hasn’t been confirmed, it does make sense, based on themes from Captain America: Civil War and past events in the MCU. The plot of Civil War revolved around Captain America deciding that the Avengers needed to keep their autonomy and not become a force of the U.S. government. Steve Rogers and his fellow Avengers -- including Falcon -- became fugitives by opposing the Sokovia Accords and protecting Winter Soldier. While Falcon may no longer be a criminal after Avengers: Endgame, its unlikely that the government will overlook what happened.
Sam Wilson’s actions during Civil War don’t make him an ideal candidate for the new Captain America, at least not in the eyes of the government. Civil War revealed that the government wants superheroes who follow orders and act on their behalf, so it stands to reason that they’ll want a Captain America they can control. Even if they agree to give this position to Falcon on these conditions, its unlikely that Sam will go along with it, knowing full well that this isn't what Steve would have wanted.
Is John Walker The MCU’s “New” Captain America, No U.S. Agent?
Sam Wilson may not fit the government’s idea of what Captain America should be, but John Walker does. Walker has never been an idealist. As a competent career soldier with no qualms about following orders, John Walker could be the everything the government has ever wanted from Captain America. This is something that they never got from Steve, who has been doing things his way since he went off to rescue Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger. An MCU version of John Walker could very well be the United States’ answer to Steve Rogers’ retirement.
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With Walker, the government would finally have a powerful superhero at their command. How they intend to use Captain America’s legacy to further their goals could put them at odds with both Falcon and Winter Soldier, who will of course be opposed to anything that damages what Steve Rogers built. If Walker’s comic book backstory is any indication of what he will do as Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam will have plenty of reasons to try to stop him. A poster seen at D23 reveals that Falcon will indeed suit up as Captain America, so the series could feature a dramatic clash between two Captain Americas.
If this is the direction Marvel will take Walker in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, his “U.S. Agent” persona may play no role at all in the series. Just like in the comics, it could be a while before Walker adopts the “U.S. Agent” moniker, a name that is mostly associated with Walker’s career as a superhero and an Avenger, rather than as a foil to Captain America. After all, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could just be the beginning for John Walker, who could return as the somewhat more heroic U.S. Agent in a future Disney+ series or Marvel movie.
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