John Walker, the new Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier played by Wyatt Russell, has divided the Marvel Cinematic Universe right across the middle.
Russell has an unenviable job of following Chris Evans’ career-best turn. It doesn’t help that the first appearance of the actor as Cap was meant to evoke derision and disgust. His appearance inspired numerous memes on social media.
While the first episode only showed a glimpse of the man, this one showed more details about his character. The second episode did a lot in humanising a character that people, both inside MCU and the fans, see as an impostor of the real person and usurper of the mantle of Captain America.
Steve Rogers retired as a superhero at the end of Avengers: Endgame, leaving the shield in Sam Wilson’s care. However, Sam chose to donate the shield to the Smithsonian museum. And the US government decided to bestow the Adamantium shield to Jon Walker, a soldier.
Since MCU does not always follow the lore very faithfully, John Walker in the show will be pretty different from the comics version. In the comics, he was introduced as Super-Patriot, the very antithesis of Captain America. Unlike Steve Rogers’ inclusive patriotism, Walker’s version of patriotism is of the extremist kind. And that is why he often comes into conflict with Steve. However, he is not an out-and-out villain and is more of an anti-hero.
— hehe😏 (@picklesx_) March 26, 2021
— kiki (@kikiharr8) March 26, 2021
— han (H’) (@c4psicle) March 26, 2021
— makai | tfatws spoilers (@unidentifiedkai) March 27, 2021
me @ John walker when he talks about steve and gloats about his role as captain america pic.twitter.com/z1SVb0F30v
— nikki ⍟⃝ (@andybahber) March 26, 2021
Later, Walker assumes the mantle of Captain America as well in the comics, and then U.S. Agent.
In the show, however, despite the noise surrounding him, and Bucky and Sam’s reservations about him, he seems like an overall good guy. When Sam and Bucky refused to take down the Flag-Smashers together, he did warn them about not interfering in his plans. So not a wholly good guy.
We have a feeling that before the end of the show, he and Sam-Bucky duo will be at loggerheads with each other.
Walker is a decorated soldier and has peak physical strength and can wield Cap’s shield quite well. But he is not a super-soldier and was not injected with any special serum and this was evident when he went head-to-head against the Flag-Smashers, who were injected with the serum.
It cannot be said whether John Walker is the next Cap of MCU or not. Either way, we should see much more of him in the coming episodes.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar Premium.