Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 2: who is John Walker, the new Captain America?

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 2: who is John Walker, the new Captain America?
(Image credit: Marvel Studios via Disney Plus)

Just who is John Walker? Sam, Bucky and the rest of us are asking this after The Falcon and The Winter Solider episode 2. And yes, consider this your spoiler warning. 

In the episode that followed the series premiere, we learned that John Walker — the new Captain America — has a deep resume of work in the U.S. armed services.

In episode two, a Good Morning America host said that learned Walker earned three medals of honor, and ran counter-terrorism and rescue missions. But there's something about the performance from Wyatt Russell, the actor reportedly playing the character of John Walker, to make us think he's more like U.S. Agent — the character that he was leaked to be named. And U.S. Agent wasn't a good guy in the comics. 

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 2 did tease some interesting notes about Walker's background. His sidekick Battlestar (aka Lemar Hoskins) said that he's prone to "punching [his] way out of problems," which suggests he's got a rage issue. 

Who was John Walker in the comics?

Since Wyatt Russell was teased to play U.S. Agent, it's time to look back at what that character was in the comics. There, John Walker idolized his older brother Mike — who died while serving the country as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War. John, looking to meet that legacy, enlisted. But he didn't serve in the field, as he was only a member during peace time. 

Walker, looking for a way to become as noble as his brother, turns to a source called the Power Broker, who literally gives him superhuman strength. And we know that Power Broker will be involved with this episode, as that character appears to be hunting down the Flag Smashers.

Walker, then becomes the corporate-sponsored Super-Patriot (after an attempted pro wrestling career), who attacks Captain America at one point. Throughout these incidents, we see Super-Patriot/Walker as a more violent version of Cap, who cares less about the public's safety. 

But when Steve Rogers surrenders the shield and costume, as he reports to the Commission on Superhuman Activities, Walker is later picked to become the new Captain America.  And then after many storied adventures, Steve Rogers becomes Captain America again — and Walker takes the name U.S. Agent. All along, the Commission on Superhuman Activities is pulling the strings about who should take what names. 

That all makes us wonder what's the truth of this- "new Captain America." Hence, readers, why we're more than excited for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode three.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.