WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first episode.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 's first episode ended with a major cliffhanger: after Sam Wilson's decision to give up the Captain America shield passed on to him by Steve Rogers himself, the United States government took the liberty of giving the shield - and the title - to someone else.
Since this new Captain America didn't make his debut until the end of the episode, little is known about him in-universe. Fans of Marvel Comics, however, know that he is John Walker, known in the comics as US Agent.
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Malcom Spellmen, head writer of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , has spoken on the new Captain America in plenty of interviews about the show and its premiere. While speaking with The Wrap , Spellman revealed that the character "had to evolve to fit into the MCU."
“The character he's playing, is initially born from the comics, but then had to evolve to fit into the MCU. He is a completely different character. The character from the books is who he is from the jump. This character goes to a completely different place by the end of the series, for better or worse.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly , Spellman described the MCU's John Walker as "someone who had done everything he's supposed to do."
"[John Walker] has done everything his country has ever asked [but is now] bumping into a reality where the country and life [in general] is going to challenge you in a way that upsets and obliterates your privilege. The truth is, life isn't fair and just being the best and doing what's right does not mean that your journey is going to go accordingly. So, John Walker is in for some rough times up ahead as a human being."
Spellman also touched on the new Captain America in an Entertainment Tonight interview. Even though there will be some differences between Walker's original iteration and his on-screen portrayal, fans of the comic version of the character who are excited to see him in the MCU can rest assured that "he's going to have a big impact on the MCU."
A MODERN US AGENT
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 's creative team has already made it clear that the show won't be shying away from political themes, and Spellman's comments indicate that John Walker is going to be deeply involved with those elements of the show's story. Given this, it makes sense that his storyline has to be updated to fit modern times, since the series is dealing with issues that are very much relevant to today's modern world.
The MCU is no stranger to taking liberties with the story arcs of certain characters, and it looks like fans can expect this to happen with Walker. Being part of a connected universe means things have to line up, and characters and story elements who are making their debuts over a decade into the MCU's existence are more likely to be molded to fit the established universe, since plenty of "rules" have already been put in place by the creators.
New episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are available to stream Fridays on Disney+.