Captain America's John Walker Was Originally Too R-Rated for the MCU
Controversial hero John Walker was originally a far more brutal and R-rated Captain America than he was depicted in the MCU. Over the countless decades since Captain America's creation, there have been many people to don the iconic stars and stripes costume. Some of the most notable have included Steve Rogers' best friend Bucky Barnes, his close friend Sam Wilson and even recently Miles Morales in an alternate What If... universe. However, none have been as contentious as John Walker, also known as Super Patriot and US Agent.
Walker briefly took over the role of Captain America after Steve decided that the name didn't match what the government intended in modern times. As soon as Walker took over as the red, white and blue hero, he was immediately met with controversy for his brutality. He recently made his MCU debut in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and ended up creating one of the most talked about moments in the entire show. After beating one of the Flag Smashers to death with the symbolic Captain America shield dripping down the side, viewers everywhere knew that this was a man that wasn't worthy of the name. However, what he pulled in this episode of the series is miniscule to how he actually was in the comics.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: US Agent's Most Offensive Nickname Is Too R-Rated for the MCU to Touch
In Captain America #350 by Mark Gruenwald and Kieron Dwyer, Steve Rogers finds himself speaking to a resurrected Red Skull disguised as him after one of the commissioners is killed. Wanting to see John Walker take on Rogers in hopes that he'll finally take down his greatest foe once and for all, Red Skull showcases just a few of the horrifying atrocities done by the new Captain America that tarnished the shield's legacy over the past 20 or so issues. Some of the acts of violence include beating Professor Power to death, murdering nine of Red Skull's watchdogs after they killed his parents and severely injuring two of his friends now known as Left-Winger and Right-Winger because "he believed them culpable in his parents' death." He has countless peoples' blood on his hands because of his extreme ideas of what it takes to be Captain America. To him, death is a viable option if the criminal is worthy of it.
While the now iconic image of Walker with a blood-drenched shield was a pretty shocking moment for fans of the MCU, it's pretty small compared to his comic counterpart. Walker in the comics is a man that sees violence as the answer. When he beats down Professor Power in Captain America #338, also from Gruenwald and Dwyer, he's relentless against Professor Power as he savagely kills him. There's no remorse in his eyes, and it's far more personal since he uses his fists over the shield. His horrid actions eventually led to Steve knowing the time had come to confront Walker, leading to a fight in Captain America #350 that would eventually see Walker forced to give up the shield and retire.
Walker's time as Captain America was short, but it was for a good reason. He was a one-man machine that didn't know how to pull his punches, creating some of the most brutal moments in the history of Captain America comics. While he would eventually find himself in a similar looking outfit as he became US Agent, there's no denying that it was a good thing he was forced to hang up the suit. John Walker's reign as Captain America was incredibly R-rated for its time, and while the MCU did a decent job bringing him to life, they just couldn't make him PG-13 without missing why he was such an unworthy replacement to hold the shield until recently when he finally became a real Marvel superhero.