2021 is turning out to be a big year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the mother of all battles in Endgame (2019), fans are now ready for more. They are more excited to dive deep into every Avengers character that may not have had the same screen-time as others. After the success of WandaVision, and before the release of the anticipated Black Widow, here comes another of Marvel’s gems. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier aired last week, and the fans were briefly stumped to see a new character enter the MCU. The New Captain America raised some eyebrows, but the comic fans weren’t too surprised by this new twist.
It is difficult to know much about this character at this point because he comes in only briefly towards the end of the first episode. The U.S. Government introduces him to the public in a photo-op as Captain America without using a name. The intent is to feed the roaring patriotic sentiment with strategic propaganda.
But the Marvel comic fans hardly need this background on this. They already know who it is – John Walker, a.k.a. U.S. agent who becomes Captain America. Interestingly, this character’s introduction could have severe repercussions for the already developed story arcs in the MCU. How did this character come about, you ask? Check out this brief comic history.
The unexpected arrival of New Captain America on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier:
Avengers: Endgame ends with the Old Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans, bequeathing the shield onto Sam Wilson. When Rogers asks him, “How does it feel?” he replies with a “Like it’s someone else’s.”
Thus, Wilson’s shock is expected when the Government introduces the New Captain America holding Rogers’ shield. The character isn’t (just yet) portrayed to be evil. This introduction, which uses some of the same reasoning that Wilson gives for not taking up the shield, feels nothing less than a betrayal. It will be interesting to see how this character of the New Captain America pans out on screen. If the comics are to be believed, the two Captains are likely to be quite different.
Who is John Walker, after all?
The comics portray John Walker as a Super-Patriot. He is born in the fictional town of Custer’s Grove, Georgia. After losing his brother, Mike, in the Vietnam War, John also decides to join the U.S. Army. The patriotism quickly turns into propaganda as he transforms from an ordinary soldier to a super-soldier. He receives treatments from the Power Broker and, in return, agrees to rally as the corporate-sponsored Super-Patriot. Discrediting Steve Rogers as ‘too old,’ Walker becomes the face of America’s modernity and future.
The Government considers many names – Bucky Barnes and Nick Fury, a part of that list – finally settling on Walker. Hesitant to take up the title that he so widely criticized, Walker finally decides to try out this new role.
As per the comics, Walker has never had an easy time walking in Rogers’ Captain America’s shoes. His emotions have always been extreme as opposed to Rogers. This significantly hampers his control over his powers, making him much more volatile and dangerous for not just the bad guys but also for the public.
The Dynamics of the New Captain America and Sam Wilson Relationship:
The New Captain America is likely to have a significant impact on Sam Wilson. It is uncertain if, like in comics, the new Cap will be a villain. But what’s certain is that it will catalyze Wilson’s character development and self-discovery. Add to that the guilt of not fulfilling the responsibility that Rogers left him with, and Wilson is in for a roller-coaster of emotions and revelations.
In a nutshell, The Falcon and Winter Soldier is geared for an exciting view, especially as the battle for the shield heats up between Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and John Walker.