How John Walker Is The Antithesis Of What Captain America Stands For

John Walker was named as Steve Roger's replacement in The Falcon and Winter Soldier and his words and actions prove he is unfit for the shield

I was scrolling through my TikTok feed about a month ago, and it caused this idea to pop into my head. The video says that "Steve Rogers is what America believed it was. John Walker is what America truly is, and Sam Wilson is what America should be." 

image source: @_charlie_m_'s TikTok 

Now, this isn't going to be a political article. Believe me; I'm sure you have heard enough about politics over the past few years. There are also people out there who do not know who John Walker is. Well, let me tell you.

John Walker is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Wyatt Russell in The Falcon and Winter Soldier. He is a former captain of the United States military, having received three separate Medal of Honors. The US government chose to be Steve Rogers's replacement as Captain America after Sam Wilson refused to take up the mantle and Captain America's shield in a museum. 

John Walker did not understand what it truly meant to be Captain America, and because of that, he was destined to fail right from the start. When we are first formally introduced to Walker, he is seen running out for a big, flashy interview on his old high school football field. There were cheerleaders, and the stands were packed to the brim. 

John Walker's First Interview after being named Captain America. Image Source: theringer

This interview alone shows how Walker didn't understand what it meant to be Captain America. This interview is more Tony Stark-like and highly extravagant. Steve Rogers did not become Captain America to do interviews like this. You can also note that there is no white in Walker's suit, unlike Roger's iterations of the suit. 

Leading up to this interview did show one thing about Walker's understanding of his newfound mantel. He knew he had big shoes to fill. He expresses his nervousness to his wife in a touching scene before heading out. He also describes his goals on what he plans to do with his partner, Lamar Hoskins. He is disappointed with sitting in on government meetings and how he wanted to serve his country. 

Indeed, his heart was in the right place, but he just went about almost everything else in the entirely wrong manner. 

After Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, the respective Falcon and Winter Soldier, get caught up in a mission with a group called the Flag Smashers in Munich, Germany, Walker is there to bail them out. After ultimately losing to this group, Walker and Hoskins drive past Wilson and Barnes walking to the airport on foot. The interaction between Walker, Wilson, and Barnes also shows how Walker is unfit for the role of Captain America. 

Wilson and Barnes do not accept Walker as Captain America and call him out for it, with Barnes stating that since he carries the shield does not make him Captain America. Wilson asks Walker if he had jumped on a grenade before, much as Rogers did during the process of choosing Captain America during World War II. He replied that he had jumped on a grenade on four separate occasions, and due to technology in his helmet, he was able to survive. 

When Steve Rogers was chosen to be Captain America, he was selected for who he was as a person, not his military feats. Walker was selected for his military accomplishments and not his character as a person. 

Walker automatically assumes that he, Barnes, and Wilson should be working together to stop the Flag Smashers, which doesn't sit well with the latter two. Walker did phrase his sentences very wisely because he referred to Wilson and Barnes as Roger's wingmen, which added gasoline to the fire. 

Upon their return to the United States, Barnes is arrested for missing his court-mandated therapy session. However, in an attempt to try and get Sam and Bucky back on his side, he arranges for Bucky's freedom as well as organizing for his therapy sessions to end. Despite trying to make a separate name for himself, Walker does so many things that someone with the title of Captain America should not do. He used his newfound title and rank in order to pull strings within law enforcement, and Steve Rogers would never. 

Walker then has another short conversation with Sam and Bucky, furthering the tension between the trio of men. Once again, after a failed attempt to convince the Falcon and Winter Soldier to aid him in his hunt for the Flag Smashers, he threatens the two men to stay out of his way. Steve Rogers would never threaten men that have the same goal as him.

Walker slowly and slowly becomes more and more unhinged as his investigation of the Flag Smashers continues. After tracking them back into Munich, Walker encounters an owner whom he thinks had harbored the Flag Smashers. After asking him a few questions, the owner spits Walker's face. This causes him to snap and resort to physical violence. The man said he knew who he was, and he did not care, causing Walker's inner turmoil to fuel more. 

He then chooses to get more leads based upon Sam and Bucky's findings, which leads him into a confrontation with the duo and a recently escaped prisoner in Helmut Zemo, a former enemy of the Avengers. Zemo has a location on the leader of the Flag Smashers, who Walker has become increasingly obsessed with, and their ideas differ on how to approach.

Walker wants to take the location by storm while Sam wants to talk to the leader, Karli Morgenthau. Walker agrees to give Sam ten minutes to speak to her, and Sam is in the process of talking her out of everything before Walker's patience runs thin, and he storms in, interrupting the meeting. After Zemo destroys many of the super-soldier serums that the Flag Smashers possessed, Walker, picks the last remaining vial up and hides it. 

Walker felt that he needed the serum to be Captain America, while Steve Rogers was Captain America whether he had the serum or not. He is pushed to finally take the super-soldier serum because he got beaten by the Dora Milaje when he tried to arrest Zemo.

Walker then decided to take the serum and ambush the Flag Smashers at their location. During the ongoing battle throughout the camp, Hoskins is subsequently killed by Karli, and Walker snaps, and we finally see how Walker is the antithesis of Steve Rogers in one scene. In order to get revenge for Lamar, Walker chases after one of the Flag Smashers while looking for Karli. The Flag-Smasher doesn't know, and Walker begins to beat him with his shield brutally and kills him in front of a growing crowd of bystanders. 

The aftermath of Walker's beating of the Flag-Smasher. Image Source

This forever tarnishes the name of Captain America as the clips and videos taken of Walker go viral on Twitter. He killed an unarmed and defenseless enemy in front of civilians on a mission that was never officially assigned to him. Bucky and Sam later fight Walker for the shield, and he ultimately loses the shield and has his title of Captain America removed.

John Walker was given the title of Captain America under the pretense of his accomplishments in the military, rather than choosing based on his character as a person. Walker is forced to take actions that he might not have generally made under different circumstances. Still, the decisions he made as Captain America showed that he truly is the antithesis of everything that Steve Rogers stood for as Captain America. However, he was able to redeem himself, somewhat, in the finale of The Falcon and Winter Soldier by helping Sam, who had recently taken up the mantel of Captain America, and Bucky fights Karli for the last time.

Luckily for Walker, he is no formally known as the US Agent, his accurate comic alias. Hopefully, in future media, Walker will continue to take strides forward and continue his character development. The Falcon and Winter Soldier was terrific, and Wyatt Russell played John Walker's character brilliantly. Despite not living up to the Captain America mantel, he can still make a name for himself as US Agent. 

Curry College Student. An aspiring writer, journalist, and knowledgable TV and Movie fan.

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