Walker’s unhinged behaviour shows how much more worthy Sam is of the shield…
Last week’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gave us an insight into John Walker that we thought we would never see on screen. He suffers a severe mental break which sees him kill Nico, a member of the Flag Smashers in cold blood using the Vibranium shield, once belonging to Steve Rogers, the true Captain America. This week, however, we jump into the aftermath of what happened.
Suffering flashbacks of the death of his best friend and partner Lamar Hoskins/Battlestar and of his slaughter of Nico, Walker is confronted by Sam and Bucky who disagree with his methods to kill the enemy in exchange for revenge. A fight breaks out where the New Captain America’s arm is left either broken or dislocated.
Walker is then discharged from the military during a hearing and is stripped of the Captain America mantle. Though, he is not disciplined further given his stellar record. He protests that the government ordered him to do as they wanted and he did it. He and his wife, Olivia are then approached by a woman, Contessa Valentina Allegra De Fontaine who supports what he did to Nico.
Sam Visits Isaiah And Proves Him Wrong
Sam pays Isaiah another visit and manages to get him to open up about his experiments as a Super Soldier Serum test subject. Bradley reveals to him that he was the only survivor of all the test subjects. He essentially was experimented on by scientists as a way of finding out why the Super Soldier Serum worked on him but not the others.
It is also revealed that Bradley was given a version of the serum that was different to the one given to Steve. Isaiah also shows him a scar that was left behind from the experiments. He tells Sam that the world will NEVER accept a black Captain America.
Returning home to his sister Sarah and nephews AJ and Cass, Sam goes about calling in favors from the neighbours to fix his parents’ beloved fishing boat. Though, this comes from much conversation as Paul and Darlene were owed a load of favors and were just waiting for the right time to cash in on them.
Bucky shows up and ends up flirting with Sarah which annoys Sam. He and the Falcon end up putting their past behind them after a conversation about how Steve had wanted Wilson to have the shield because he would forge his path while also honouring the symbol.
The Winter Soldier explains that he was upset that Sam had given up the shield to the government because for him, it meant still have a piece of his best friend around. This implies that Bucky and Steve were more than just BFFs. They were brothers fighting for the same cause.
Knowing what he has to do, Sam begins training with the shield with the help of his nephews.
Honouring What Came Before
It was never a secret of how much Sam admired Steve. To be given the shield was a big deal to him. He chose to give it up because he felt the world wouldn’t accept him because he’s black. This is what Isaiah was talking about. The white people of the world struggle to accept when someone who does not look them suddenly has the same as they do.
Steve never judged Sam because of the colour of his skin. He honoured him in the same way he did everyone else around him. Look at his acceptance of the guy in the support group he set up for snap survivors. The dude was gay and Rogers didn’t think differently of him. He accepted him for who he was, not for what he was.
Isaiah has every right to be skeptical of the outside world, especially after the way he was treated. However, Sam also had a point. People are capable of change. Though, the US government gave Steve’s shield to Walker because to them, he is the perfect specimen to Captain America. However, they do not understand what the shield actually represents.
The shield is more than just a symbol of hope. It the person who wields it that makes the most impact. That is the reason Steve wanted Sam to be the next Captain America. He understood what the world needed as well as the morals that the mantle should entail.
Finally, the government saw Walker as a propaganda machine who could fight their cause without him actually questioning their motives. This is why the Avengers Civil War broke out. One side of the team didn’t want to have to answer to the government while the others did. It’s also what drove Sharon to no longer believe in heroics.