Not-So-Captain America John Walker was a controversial character in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as intended.
Walker demonstrated some hints throughout the earlier episodes of the show, which just wrapped with a season finale last Friday, that his character wasn’t the Steve Rogers replacement his government had propped him up to be, and that came to a head when Walker lashed out by murdering a Flag Smasher in front of the world.
What seemed like an extremely dark turn for the character led Walker down a path that would see him become U.S. Agent by the end of the show, and this decision and what it means for the character had many questioning what was next for him. IGN talked to Falcon and Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman about Walker and everything that transpired in the show’s six-episode season.
“To me, when we talk about John Walker, there’s two realms of punishment and price that you pay, right?” Spellman said. “On a personal level, when you look at this character who’s dedicated his life toward being the perfect soldier, to have that ripped away from you has an immense personal toll, and look at what it did to him as a character, right?”
Spellman said people have to remember that when Walker acts out and kills a Flag Smasher, he’s doing so “in response to his best friend being murdered.” Furthermore, everything he does after that moment is as a result of losing his best friend and the way “his government basically [cast] him aside,” with “no regard for what it means to be a veteran.”
“Continuing that journey, look at the pain on his face when he’s lying to Leymar’s family,” Spellman continued. “So everything doesn’t have to be — I don’t want to say superficial — but external, when a character pays for something, you know what I’m saying? I think John paid an immense personal price.”
“When it comes to how the government treated him, it would have been fake to have […] taking into account that the Flag Smasher had been sort of an enemy of the state, and therefore what John did to him maybe not being warranted, but in the heat of battle, those kinds of excuses you make for people […] that felt like what happens with people like Walker.”
Perhaps Walker as a character, who is now U.S. Agent in the MCU, will be explored further in the recently announced Captain America 4, which is being written by Spellman. He could even show up in a potential second season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Catch up on everything that could be in store for Walker with IGN’s US Agent explainer and then read about how the show might have set up Secret Invasion.
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.