With four episodes having aired, and a fifth on the way, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been a hit. In fact, it may have become more popular than WandaVision. There is one thing however that wasn't favored by the fans: the all-new Captain America.
Wyatt Russell's John Walker entered the scene in the closing seconds of the first episode, and boy was it felt. Non-stop fan berating greeted Russell to the MCU, proclaiming this new man an imposter.
While his worthiness to hold the shield is certainly a key question in the context of the show, audiences seem to have missed the fact that this character was never meant to be the full-time Captain America. Nevertheless, fans did not welcome Wyatt with open arms—something that even the head of Marvel Studios noticed.
In an interview with YouTube show The Undefeated, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was on hand to discuss The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Within this discussion, the inevitable talk of the all-new Captain America came up.
“I do want to say, as Malcolm said, I occasionally do make the same mistake of reading comments online. And what Wyatt went through in a week after his debut, and people going ‘Who is this? #NotMyCap, this is terrible. He’s horrible, I hate him already’—he’s not done anything.”
Feige went on to reiterate, that even though reading those anti-Wyatt comments, he saw something blossoming within all the negativity.
“What I’ve seen recently is really almost an awakening online of people going, ‘Wait a minute… I hate his guts. But that means he’s a good actor! Oh! This actor’s creating this performance to get this emotion out of me! He’s the best! He’s great!’”
The internet can be a harsh place, and one certainly has to have the stomach for it. That said, it isn’t always only darkness. There’s plenty of laughs to be found within—just ask Wyatt.
“...they were like, you don’t look like Captain America, you look like Camping Man.”
CAP, BUT NOT FOR LONG
Wyatt Russell has done an incredible job so far, as rightfully noted by Feige. He has perfectly embodied the character of John Walker, fantastically highlighting the differences between him and the man that came before him. As the show has progressed, it's become clearer that Walker isn't meant to be the man to fill the mantle that Steve Rogers left behind.
Given how last week's episode ended, one can only assume that Walker won't be holding that shield for much longer. In fact, recent TV Spots and trailers seem to indicate that the opening minutes of episode five could be when he loses it for good. This is great, seeing as it's about time Sam and Bucky got back that shield.
As already noted, John Walker was never meant to hold the shield for good. The tipping point seemed to be when Walker chose to take the Super Soldier Serum. A serum that now seems to be affecting him greatly. He is a perfect soldier, but not a perfect man—traits that Abraham Erskine aimed to avoid, leading him to his perfect candidate in Rogers.
It's a phenomenal parallel from what was witnessed with Rogers and plays really well into the entire show's theme of legacy. In the comics, Walker goes on to lose the mantle, instead opting to create his own, taking on the name of US Agent. If things continue in the direction that they are headed, that looks to be his final destination.