Falcon and the Winter Soldier: How John Walker's Captain America Is a Twisted Payoff of Civil War

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made its debut on Disney+ over the [...]

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made its debut on Disney+ over the weekend, further shining a light on the new status quo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the most surprising aspects of the series thus far has been its portrayal of John Walker (Wyatt Russell), the man who is now stepping into the role of Captain America in a post-Blip world. As those who have seen the first two episodes know, Walker's genesis as Captain America has already caused some ire for both Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) for a slew of reasons — and one, in a way, could be tied back to Captain America: Civil War. Spoilers for the first two episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier below! Only look if you want to know!

From the very beginning of Episode 2, we begin to get some understanding of how John Walker seemingly got into the Captain America role, including his service in the military, his peak physical fitness, and the like. And while he does appear to have some genuinely altruistic traits, more than anything, Walker's Captain America feels motivated by a sense of duty, particularly to the United States government that put him into that position.

Not only is this trait relatively comic-accurate, as Walker became Captain America in the comics through a similar sort of government intervention, but it provides a stark contrast to the way that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) operated as Cap in the tail-end of his run. Yes, Captain America was at the center of both battles against Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and is clearly regarded as being a positive enough impact to have a museum exhibit in his honor. But just prior to that, Steve spent years as a fugitive from the government, as he refused to comply with the Sokovia Accords in Civil War. As we saw in Spider-Man: Homecoming, that refusal impacted Steve's public reputation in even the smallest of instances — and it certainly stands to reason that, even in a post-Blip world, there are people who still look at him negatively after the public fallout of Civil War.

On the flip-side is John Walker's Captain America, a man who isn't afraid to ruffle the feathers of Sam and Bucky in a social context, but whose biggest priority is his overall "company man" reputation in the eyes of the government. As the series goes along, that could create an interesting dichotomy, one that mirrors the relatively brash, violent, and controversial way that John operated as Captain America in the comics. While Steve might have looked like a criminal in the eyes of the government, he was always concerned with doing the right thing — and for Walker, the opposite could potentially turn out to be true.

Watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+.

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