The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman teases what to expect from MCU’s new Captain America, John Walker’s arc in the series.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner teases what to expect from the arc of John Walker, MCU’s new Captain America in the series. With Steve Rogers officially retired in the franchise, the superhero mantle was passed to Sam Wilson at the end of Avengers: Endgame. However, things seemed to have happened right before the events of the upcoming Disney+ show, as the iconic shield is now wielded by Walker instead of its true owner.
After WandaVision, MCU Phase 4 continues with the more grounded The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Banking on Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s chemistry, the show will see the pair go on a new adventure as they move forward in the franchise without Steve, who brought them together in the first place. Not much is known about plot specifics for the show, but it is confirmed to deal with the legacy of the Captain America legacy entwined with issues of racism, which makes it a more timely story to tackle for Marvel Studios. On one side of the story, there’s a Black man in Sam who is Steve’s rightful successor as the next Star-Spangled Avengers, and facing him is the government-anointed Walker who’s wielding the shield.
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Speaking with Polygon as part of the press tour for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, showrunner, Malcolm Spellman, previews Walker’s story in the show. As hinted, he’s also a military man like the show’s titular characters; he’s more like Bucky, however, in a way that no one is there for him after he devoted his life to duty for the country. Read what Spellman said below:
Bucky Barnes is dealing with grief. Same with John Walker [played by Wyatt Russell] — they both have different incarnations of a veteran story, in that you do everything for a country, and then who’s there to pick up the pieces for you?
Debuting in 1986 in the pages of Captain America #323 as villain Super Patriot, Walker was introduced as a contrast to Steve’s Star-Spangled Avenger’s core message of good patriotism. While Marvel Studios is known to stick to origin stories for their heroes, they tend to mix things up with their villains, as evidenced by Thanos and his motivations to collect the Infinity Stones. It’s unknown how much of Walker’s original print arc will translate on the small screen via The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; marketing for the series has purposefully kept his appearance minimal. That said, what he represented in the comics makes him a good fit for the narrative that the Disney+ show is going for with the idea of a Black Captain America in Sam.
Aside from effectively pitting him against Falcon given the circumstance they find themselves in, it’s interesting how Spellman compared Walker to Bucky. He’s seemingly floating the idea that there’s somehow an empathetic side to the character, which is possible considering Marvel Studios’ knack for making their bad guys somewhat relatable — at least in the last few years. It’s worth noting that aside from Walker, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also features other antagonists in Zemo and members of the new group called Flag-Smashers
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