The next Empire Magazine will feature The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and give us a few more insights into the series. One that caught my notice was the quote about John Walker, (played by Wyatt Russell) also known in comics as US Agent, and a sometimes rather hot-headed version of Captain America.
Despite being introduced at D23 back in 2019, very little has been seen or said about the character, but one thing we do know, he will be donning the Captain America mantle and taking the shield, at least temporarily in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Rumors have circulated around the internet, as they often do about these shows, speculating that he’s going to be anything from a racist monster, a true villain, to being a sort of red herring as a villain, to perhaps being messed up and mind-controlled after taking the Super Soldier Serum. Whether any or all of these turn out to be true, it’s likely that Walker, as MCU characters often are, may turn out to be much more complex and sympathetic, than what some of these rumors might suggest. Some new quotes from showrunner Malcolm Spellman certainly support that theory.
“We took him in a more human direction, someone who’s dedicated every minute to being the perfect person to inherit the shield and represent the country.”Malcolm Spellman via Empire Magazine
There have been a number of quotes recently from various people involved with the series, indicating that mental health and PTSD would be explored and John Walker won’t be an exception here. Those that choose to join the military carry a great deal of stress and trauma, that can stick with them as much as physical wounds sometimes can. This is something that Bucky, Sam, and certainly John Walker, could attest to and help show the audience what these people go through and how it affects, and sometimes scars, them.
“He has to confront that – ‘Was all the stuff I did righteous, if it’s not enough for me to be honoured or accepted as the rightful heir to this mantle?’ Wyatt crushed it – the humanity of that, the scar tissue of his journey.”Malcolm Spellman via Empire Magazine
One of the things about Steve Rogers Cap that I’ve appreciated is the fact that he’s called Captain America, but he by far isn’t a “I’m going to follow orders and do anything and everything for my country,” kind of guy. The mantle of Captain America, isn’t just about America, to Steve, it’s about an ideal to do the right thing, to do your best. Chances are Walker is a good soldier, been following orders, possibly done some things he feels guilt over but has to live with on the way, so he feels he deserves the mantle for being a good soldier. But to truly be the rightful heir to Steve’s legacy, you have to be a good man too. Here’s hoping John Walker finds his way to be a better man, during the course of the series. (But let’s face it, we all want Sam to get that shield).
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier featured issue of Empire Magazine on March 18th ahead of the serie’s first episode releasing on Friday.