At first glance, the US Agent looks and feels like a generic copy of Captain America. As you look deeper you instead begin to see that the US Agent represents a different interpretation of the same concept. Steve Rogers and John Walker both love America but while Rogers’s moral compass is more aligned with the nation and its people, Walker believes almost exclusively in its government. If Cap represents the idealized America that says it won World War II, US Agent top-down, “might make right” world that came after. The one that believed the power of the American military made its government infallible.
The character first appears in 1986 during Mark Gruenwald’s 10-year run on Captain America, and will make his live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Disney+’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
Collects: Captain America (1968) #318-332, Annual #8; Amazing Spider-man (1963) #278; Material From Marvel Fanfare (1982) #29, #31-32
John Walker’s first appears under the name “Super Patriot.” He looks to establish himself as Captain America by dealing with the fallout of an international incident and the new “Commission of Superhero Activity.”
Collects: Captain America #332-350, Iron Man #228
John Walker takes over the government-sponsored Captain America role. Over time, the true power behind the Commission is revealed.
Collects: Captain America (1968) #351-371
With his days as Captain America behind him, The US Agent is born.
Collects: West Coast Avengers (1985) #38-46, Avengers West Coast (1989) #47-52, West Coast Avengers Annual (1986) #3, Avengers West Coast Annual (1989) #4, Material From Avengers Spotlight (1989) #23
The US Agent joins the West Coast Avengers as a government watchdog and rubs everyone the wrong way.
Collects: Captain America #372-386, Captain America Annual #9-10
Collects: Captain America (1968) #333; U.S.Agent (1993) #1-4; U.S.Agent (2001) #1-3; material from Captain America (1968) #358-362, #380-382; Avengers West Coast (1989) #100
A rare stand-alone mini-series dives more into the complicated history of the US Agent.
Collects: Force Works #1-11, #12, #13-15, Ashcan Edition; Century: Distant Sons #1; material from Iron Man/Force Works Collectors’ Preview
After the West Coast Avengers dissolve – US Agent reluctantly joins the Force Works teams.
Collects: War Machine (1994) #8-10, Iron Man (1968) #310-312, Force Works #6-7 and material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #169-172
Collects: Thunderbolts (1997) #23-37, Thunderbolts Annual 2000, Avengers Annual 2000
US Agent takes a corporate gig leading the vigilante group, the Jury, against Hawkeye and the Thunderbolts.
Collects: Captain America (1998) #25-34.
A classic comic trope: a new villain is introduced, and to show they mean business, brutalizes someone close to the main hero. US Agent draws the short straw here.
Collects: Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet, #1-3, Captain America (1998) #36, Thor (1998) #30, Uncanny X-Men #387, Bishop: the Last X-Man #15, Iron Man (1998) #35, Avengers (1998) #35, Gambit (1999) #23, X-Men (1991) #107, X-Men Unlimited (1993) #29
US Agent and his Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad (S.T.A.R.S.) end up heavily involved in the events of Maximum Security with Walker playing a key role in helping save the Earth.
Collects: Invaders #1-9.
US Agent joins the New Invaders and bizarrely demands that they call him “Captain America.” (They don’t.)
Collects: Omega Flight #1-5
As part of the Superhero Registration Act, US Agent is sent to Canada and ends up taking over the leadership of Omega Flight.
Collects: Marvel Comics Presents #1-11
Collects: Mighty Avengers #21-36
US Agent joins the Mighty Avengers under dubious circumstances.
Collects: Thunderbolts #138-143
With his active duty status put into question, The US Agent faces off against The Thunderbolts.
Collects: Thunderbolts #144-147
Walker becomes the Warden of the supervillain prison, “The Raft.”
Collects: Captain America Corps #1-5
Collects: Dark Avengers #175-183
Collects: Dark Avengers 184-190
Walker is charged with transporting the Dark Avengers to prison and things go horribly wrong.
Collects: Avengers World #1-21, Avengers (2012) #34.1-34.2, Material From All-new Marvel Now! Point One
US Agent returns to active duty by joining the Avengers… Doctor Doom’s Avengers.
Collects: Captain America (2012) #25, All-new Captain America: Fear Him (2015) #1-4, All-new Captain America (2014) #1-6, Amazing Spiderman Special (2015) #1, Inhuman Special (2015) #1, All-new Captain America Special (2015) #1, Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015) 1#-6
Walker rejoins the army and receives political pressure to #ReclaimTheShield from the new Captain America, Sam Wilson.
Collects: 2020 Force Works (2020) #1-3, 2020 Machine Man (2020) #1-2, 2020 Iron Age (2020) #1
A new Force Works team rises during the events of Iron Man 2020.
Collects: U.S.Agent #1 to #5
By Christopher Priest and Georges Jeanty.