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John Walker’s Captain America Has the Brutal Opposite of Steve’s Shield

John Walker was always quite a foil to Steve Rogers’ Captain America as his goals do not come from altruism or righteousness… but revenge.

Two of Marvel Comics’ most famous Captain Americas, Steve Rogers and John Walker, are not only personal foils in the manner with which they operate as superheroes but the weaponized shields they carry to invoke their sense of justice. One represents a vintage yet model era of American ideals, while another less colorful model gives tribute to the lives of real heroes lost in past battles.

U.S. Army veteran John Walker began his superhero career as Captain America with a circular shield modeled after Steve Rogers, naturally fitted with the classic red, white, and blue color motif. This would not last as Walker’s disdain for superheroes began to wane over time. Following his departure from the Captain America moniker, John’s next role as the “US Agent” would see the hero undergo a bit of a transformation in its darkened color and lack of a central star, deviating from Rogers’ former role as “The Captain.” While John would continue to operate under his new identity with a shield, further adventures would see Walker’s handy weapon undergo a dramatic new development.

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Writer Chuck Austen (Uncanny X-Men) and artist Scott Kolins’ (Omega FlightAvengers #82 sees a civilian John Walker in the Middle East attempting to gain information concerning a recent Teywara bombing, from a formidable criminal known as Malik. When Walker receives the necessary information, the hero quickly instigates a dangerous firefight. In its debut appearance, Walker uses his new custom shield on an overseas mission to immobilize a group of Malik’s own soldiers who find themselves on the offensive. Fighting alongside Steve Rogers’ former Invaders allies Blazing Skull, Union Jack, and Spitfire, Walker quickly dismantles the remaining armed forces. Unlike his Captain America shield of the past, John’s new shield is not only capable of protruding sharp edges resembling stars but is entirely covered with a mysterious set of inscriptions.


John Walker New Shield

As John Walker helped form a modern version of the titular superhero force, writer Allan Jacobsen (Spoof Comics Presents) and C.P. Smith (X-Men Unlimited)’s New Invaders#1 would unravel even more details on the personal significance of Walker’s brand new shield. The issue centers on the Invaders’ attempt at reclaiming the Republic of Mazikhandar accompanied by additional Invaders Namor the Submariner, Tara, the Thin Man, and Jim Hammond a.k.a. the Human Torch. Before killing a violent Pterorist creature, Walker gives a backstory to the various inscriptions on his shield, which are the names of the men and women who have lost their lives to terrorist violence. John then proceeds to demolish his enemy with that same shield, as his fellow Invaders conquer in the surrounding battle.


Unlike his fellow comrades, Walker did not seem to grow up idolizing the exploits of Steve Rogers or even other existing superheroes. Walker sought to follow in his brother’s footsteps and honor his country before all else, no matter the cost. With his sharpened shield, John Walker represents a side of the human spirit that is a lot rougher around the edges than the more altruistic and compassionate Captain America.

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