U.S. Agent

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U.S. Agent
Usagent.jpg
U.S. Agent.
Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Captain America #323 (November 1986)
Created by Mark Gruenwald
Paul Neary
In-story information
Alter ego John F. Walker
Species Human (empowered)
Team affiliations Mighty Avengers
Omega Flight
New Invaders
S.T.A.R.S.
The Jury
Force Works
Secret Defenders
West Coast Avengers
Dark Avengers
Commission on Superhuman Activities
Bold Urban Commandos
Partnerships Battlestar
Notable aliases Jack Daniels, Super-Patriot, Captain America
Abilities Superhuman strength, agility, reflexes/reactions, and endurance
Peak human speed, dexterity, coordination and balance
Exceptional hand-to-hand combatant
Highly skilled gymnastic and acrobat
Use of nearly indestructible shield and firearms

U.S. Agent is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in books published by Marvel Comics, usually those starring Captain America and the Avengers. He was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary and first appeared in Captain America #323 (November 1986) as Super-Patriot. He was later redesigned as a new incarnation of Captain America and, just a few years later, as U.S. Agent.

Publication history[edit]

The character John Walker was first introduced as the supervillain Super-Patriot in Captain America #323. Mark Gruenwald created Walker to counter the general message in Captain America of patriotism being invariably good, describing him as "[someone] who embodied patriotism in a way that Captain America didn't - a patriotic villain. Basically, I just wanted to do the opposite of Steve Rogers. Okay, Steve Rogers is a poor northern urban boy. So I'll make a guy from rural middle class south. Cap is now old, so this guy'll be a real young up-and-comer. Cap has lofty ideals, so I'll make Super-Patriot be more realistic and more pragmatic. So, I put together his background and character traits by playing the opposite game."[1] After a return appearance in Captain America #327, Gruenwald reintroduced him as the new Captain America in issue #333. Though Gruenwald said he would not have done this if it had not been a logical development from the preceding storylines, he also openly acknowledged that the motivating reason for replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America was to boost sales:

With Iron Man, for example, we had James Rhodes take the lead character's place, and we did it for two years - which I'm sure was about a year and a half longer than anybody thought we would do it. In Thor we had Beta Ray Bill take Thor's place for two or three issues. So, this is the sort of thing that has been done to shake up people before. You know, I'm responsible for it in Iron Man and I was editor of Thor at the time of Beta Ray Bill, and believe me it's a trick I know works because I've seen it work a number of times. It's just to get you noticed so that people who don't normally read it will say, "Oh, I heard something about this, let me read it and see." And with luck, folks will get hooked on the storyline.[1]

John Walker's installation as Captain America indeed provided a major boost to the series's sales,[1] and he remained the star of Captain America for issues 333 through 350, during which his character generally becomes more heroic. In Captain America #354 he is given another name and costume change, this time as U.S. Agent with a discarded costume of Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, which was black and had a different alignment of the stars and stripes to differentiate it from Steve Rogers' original Captain America suit design.

Like some West Coast Avengers teammates who had their own series (Iron Man and Hawkeye in Solo Avengers), the character was popular enough to earn his own limited series in 1993. The mini-series was used to finish off a long-standing Marvel Universe plot thread involving the Scourge of the Underworld.

During the events of the "Maximum Security" storyline, U.S. Agent was given a new uniform reminiscent of riot police uniforms. He continued to use that uniform in his 2001 miniseries, which followed the events in "Maximum Security", and was written and drawn by Jerry Ordway.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

John Walker was born in the fictional town of Custer's Grove, Georgia. He grew up idolizing his older brother, Mike, a helicopter pilot who died in the Vietnam War.[volume & issue needed] John wanted to honor his brother's memory by enlisting in the military, becoming a soldier himself.

After John received an honorable discharge from the United States Army, he was told by a friend about the Power Broker, a mysterious individual who gave people superhuman abilities.[volume & issue needed] Walker and his friend received treatments that granted him superhuman abilities.

Super-Patriot[edit]

John Walker as Super-Patriot. Cover of Captain America #327 (March 1987). Art by Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod.

Walker, now in debt to the Power Broker, intends to join the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. Ethan Thurm persuades Walker to become a hero instead. With Thurm backing him, Walker debuts as the corporate-sponsored Super-Patriot. Super-Patriot travels the country promoting his image to the nation. At a rally in Central Park, he holds a secretly rehearsed performance in which he publicly criticizes Captain America and is subsequently attacked by three extremist supporters of Captain America called the Bold Urban Commandos or "Buckies". Walker defeats them in the staged fight as a demonstration of his combat prowess and patriotism. Captain America confronts Walker privately afterwards and demands that he stop using the Buckies, since people attending the rally could have been hurt in a panic resulting from the staged attack. Walker refuses, arguing that his actions are justified by his quest to replace the outdated Captain America as the nation's symbol.[2]

When Captain America repeatedly refuses his challenges to a fight, Super-Patriot attacks him. Although Captain America proves to be a more skilled fighter and lands blow after blow, Walker manages to absorb the attacks. With neither man going down after a lengthy brawl, a weary Captain America is left questioning his own fighting abilities.[3] After his fight with Captain America, Walker kills a terrorist named Warhead who threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon in Washington, D.C.[4]

Walker is the second Super-Patriot character in the Marvel Universe. The first Super-Patriot debuted in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #13 in July 1969 and would never appear again. The original Super-Patriot's costume bears no resemblance to that used by John Walker.

Captain America[edit]

Soon after, the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, abandons his costume and identity.[4] Dr. Valerie Cooper, a member of the Commission on Superhuman Activities, suggests that Walker should be made the new Captain America, as a U.S. government operative. Though repulsed by the notion of giving up being Super-Patriot and taking on the identity he has criticized so much, Walker ultimately answers, "Ma'am, if Uncle Sam wanted me to be Mickey Mouse, I'd do it." In becoming Captain America, he is forced to abandon Thrum as his manager, and can only retain one of the "Buckies", Lemar Hoskins, since the other two fail to pass background checks.[5]

Hoskins is partnered with Walker as the new Bucky, but later changes his codename to "Battlestar". They follow the orders of Adrian Sammish. Walker is trained by Freedom Force, the Guardsmen, and the Taskmaster, and goes on his first mission against The Watchdogs, a militia group.[6] Although he finds himself trying to emulate Rogers' ethics, Walker is more brutal than his predecessor, due to his reactionary points of view. His superhuman strength and lack of emotional control lead him to inadvertently beat Professor Power to death.[7]

The two rejected "Buckies", now calling themselves Left-Winger and Right-Winger, crash the press conference arranged by Cooper to reveal the "new" Captain America and Battlestar, and announce Walker's name and birthplace on national TV.[8] His parents are subsequently killed by The Watchdogs; this incident drives Walker closer to a mental breakdown. In a state of rage, he kills many of the Watchdogs[9] and beats Left-Winger and Right-Winger to a pulp, leaving them to die in an explosion.[10] They are left terribly burned and in critical condition.[volume & issue needed] Walker is then captured by Flag-Smasher, but rescued by the original Captain America, Battlestar, and D-Man.[11]

The Red Skull, now in a clone body of Steve Rogers, lures Walker to Washington, D.C. The Skull attacks Walker with a horde of Walker's enemies, but Walker kills or critically injures them all in a single brawl. The Red Skull arranges for Walker to confront Captain America, who defeats him and confronts the Red Skull. Walker wakes up and throws his shield at the Red Skull, causing him to be exposed to his own "dust of death," giving his head a reddish skull appearance, but the Skull escapes. Rogers and Walker give a report to the Commission, which returns the uniform of Captain America to Steve Rogers. Rogers declines the offer, but Walker persuades him to reconsider and accept it. At a press conference announcing the return of the original Captain America, General Haywerth fakes Walker's assassination by a Watchdog in order to set up John Walker in a new identity.[12] To address Walker's psychosis, he is hypnotized into believing his parents are still alive and he would not recover his full memory for many years.[volume & issue needed]

U.S. Agent[edit]

Walker soon resurfaced as an adventurer, the U.S. Agent, wearing a variation of the costume that Rogers had worn as the Captain and using his vibranium disc as a shield. Walker continued to work for the Commission. He was first seen as the U.S. Agent, battling an Iron Monger as a test for the Commission.[13] He was placed as a watchdog of West Coast Avengers and the Vision by the Commission, as a condition to possibly get their government clearance reinstated.[14] Some time later, he rescued Battlestar from the Power Broker, and reconciled with him; Walker learned that his memories had been altered and that his parents were dead.[15]

While under the employ of the Commission for Superhuman Activities, U.S. Agent was charged with the responsibility of taking down the Punisher (Frank Castle). U.S. Agent locates the Punisher and after some hand-to-hand combat, the Punisher discloses that he is attempting to take down the Maggia; he agrees to help the Punisher, vowing to take him into custody once they had done so. Agent takes down the superpowered mercenary Paladin, who had been employed to kill the Punisher by the Maggia, breaking both of his legs with his shield. Ultimately the Punisher upon completing his mission escapes U.S. Agent by dressing a deceased henchman in his uniform and leaving him in a burning building, convincing U.S.Agent that he had perished in the fire. U.S. Agent is berated by his employers who inform him that his job is to act, not think and declaring that it is no wonder that he failed as Captain America. U.S. Agent walks away half way through his dressing-down.[16]

U.S. Agent fought alongside the Avengers in several battles. After the Avengers moved to a United Nations based charter, he received only one vote (though not from himself) in the ensuing vote and consequently lost his place on the team.[17] Even with his personality conflicts and reckless behavior, he soon proved himself worthy of being an Avenger and was able to rejoin.[18]

U.S. Agent along with the rest of the West Coast Avengers, the Avengers and the X-Men, participated in the 'Bloodties' crossover,[19] during which Professor X attempted to negotiate a peace to end the civil war on the island of Genosha.[volume & issue needed] U.S. Agent was charged with the responsibility of acting as bodyguard for Professor X.[volume & issue needed]

Captain America sarcastically cited U.S. Agent's use of his "famous powers of composure and diplomacy" as one example of the recent failings of the West Coast Avengers when he indicated his intention to shut the team down. This provoked U.S. Agent's fury, who raised his hand to strike Captain America; Iron Man stopped him and uttered, "Not now. Not ever".[20]

During this time, U.S. Agent was featured in a Marvel UK comic called Super Soldiers, teaming up with American and British soldiers empowered by a variation of the drugs that created Nuke.[volume & issue needed]

Force Works[edit]

When the West Coast Avengers dissolved, he dumped his U.S. Agent costume and shield into the Hudson River.[21] Soon after, most of the then-current members of the West Coast Avengers were asked by Tony Stark to found Force Works. Initially the Agent was reluctant, however Scarlet Witch later persuaded him to join, stating that she needed the Agent to be the team's "backbone" and intended to run the team on tight military lines and the values of strength and dedication that Agent had shown her during their time together on the West Coast Avengers. U.S. Agent ultimately joined the new team, wearing a new costume and using an energy-based shield.[22]

U.S. Agent remained a member throughout the team's tenure, fighting threats such as the Kree,[22] alien parasites The Scatter,[23] Slorenian supernatural threat Ember, Slorenia's armored protectors Black Brigade,[24] The Mandarin,[25] fighting alongside Australian super hero Dreamguard (Willie Walkaway) against the dream-manipulating Orphan,[26] Slorenia's undead shock troops The Targoth and Volkhvy the Eternal One,[27] teaming up with the Avengers against the Kree commandos Excel,[28] intergalactic mercenary The Broker,[29] battling Force Works' own rogue security system VIRGIL,[30] and an alternate reality version of deceased former Force Works member Wonder Man (Simon Williams).[31]

Heroes Return[edit]

U.S. Agent was briefly referred to as the Liegeman in Avengers vol. 3 #2-3 as it was the codename for him in the Morgan le Fay verse.[32]

U.S. Agent briefly appears in Captain America (Vol 3) during the 'American Nightmare' story arc attempting to steal an experimental jet plane.[volume & issue needed] Captain America stops him,[volume & issue needed] and U.S. Agent is later seen in stasis along with others affected by the villain Nightmare.[volume & issue needed]

He eventually became the field leader of the Jury, a group of armored corporate vigilantes, owned by Edwin Cord, owner of Cordco. U.S. Agent again wearing his original U.S. Agent uniform and now using an eagle-shaped shield that could be directed in midair via remote control. The Jury's job was to take down the Thunderbolts, but they were defeated by the Thunderbolts and their new leader Hawkeye, a former Avenger teammate of Walker's.[33] The Jury attempted to apprehend the Thunderbolts a second time, but instead the two groups joined forces together against Brute Force and the soldiers of the Secret Empire.[volume & issue needed]

U.S. Agent was severely beaten to near death by Protocide. Due to emergency medical procedures performed on him, he was outfitted, by S.H.I.E.L.D., with an enhancing exo-skeleton.[volume & issue needed]

S.T.A.R.S[edit]

Following his recovery, he soon adopted a new costume and rejoined the Commission on Superhuman Activities, with the position at the head of the federal government's U.S. Marshal division, called S.T.A.R.S., the Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad. The group battled alien invaders and superhuman threats and was responsible for their imprisonment.[34] In this role, he was placed in charge of coordinating Earth's heroes during the 'Maximum Security' crisis when Earth became a prison planet, claiming that he was needed to prevent the other heroes getting 'sidetracked' by their concern for the prisoners to ensure that their focus remained on what was best for Earth.[volume & issue needed]

U.S. Agent continued to work for S.T.A.R.S as America's super human 'top cop' under the observation of Valerie Cooper. In this role his former love, and current agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, Kali Vries - who he had endured Army boot-camp with many years previously, and who had bested him in almost all physical tests - was thrust upon him as second in command. U.S. Agent was uncomfortable with Vries' appointment as she had previously jilted him, although she was still affectionate towards him. Other S.T.A.R.S agents warned Agent that Vries was playing him. Vries is later revealed to be in the employ of ambitious Senator Warkovsky and on his order places a parasite capable of allowing mind control on U.S. Agent's neck.[35]

In their second mission together U.S. Agent and Vries teamed up to tackle a radical faction of Atlantians working with the super-villain Poundcakes (Marian Pouncey). It transpired that Pouncey was attempting to trade more of the alien parasites capable of mind control with the Atlantians. The Sub-Mariner (Namor) disrupts the battle and discoveres the parasite placed on U.S. Agent's neck by Vries. Vries later attends Agent's room and attempts to seduce him, placing another parasite on him. U.S. Agent - apparently no longer in control of his own will, and despite being informed that a S.H.I.E.L.D envoy had been dispatched - then takes the duffle bag full of parasites seized by S.T.A.R.S in order to take them to his manipulator who transpires to be none other than the Power Broker (Curtis Jackson) - the man originally responsible for granting John Walker his super-human powers, whose plan is to infect the International assemblage of Heads of State with the mind-controlling parasites.[36]

At this point Captain America (Steve Rogers), who had been revealed to be the S.H.I.E.L.D envoy responsible for collecting the parasites, along with Kali Vries, burst into the meeting between U.S. Agent and the Power Broker. Power Broker places a parasite on the neck of Senator Warkovsky intent upon influencing his address to the International assemblage of Heads of State, but is interrupted by U.S. Agent who is subsequently assaulted by Captain America intent upon stopping him. The two battle with neither of them able to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, Vries is captured by the Power Broker who reveals that he had been attacked and left for dead by aliens during the 'Maximum Security' crisis at which point, barely alive, he had become the host for an alien which produced the mind-controlling parasites, subsequently attempting to expand its control by infecting influential individuals. Power Broker then infects Vries with a parasite. Eventually Agent manages to escape Captain Americas attentions long enough to reveal the presence of the parasite on Senator Warkovsky's neck and removes it with his energy baton. Together Cap and Agent fight off the crowd of V.I.P's (also apparently under the control of the Power Broker), escaping and then teaming up to restrain both Power Broker and Vries and removing the parasites from each of them. Dum Dum Dugan then appears on the scene to inform U.S. Agent that Vries, far from being a traitor, was actually a deep cover agent acting on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D with the intention of gaining Senator Warkovsky's confidence and discovering who was using the parasites and attempting to take the mother-parasite into custody for study and as evidence. Agent destroys the specimen and then speculates that he didn't believe it to be alien at all but rather a product of a government genetics lab that went wrong. Dugan is suspicious by his silence and shocked when Captain America indicates that he believes U.S. Agent's accusation. U.S. Agent is later seen deep in thought, looking at a photo of himself and Vries during better times and reading a letter of apology from her for her deceptions. He later burns the photo before running out of his room after being informed that there is an assignment for him, declaring "I love this job!"[37]

Clockwise from top left: Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Union Jack (Joseph Chapman), U.S. Agent, and Blazing Skull on the cover to New Invaders #1, with art by Scott Kolins.

Invaders[edit]

Walker eventually became a member of the New Invaders,[38] wearing a Captain America-like costume.[38] When most of that group disbanded in the wake of the apparent death of the original Human Torch,[volume & issue needed] U.S. Agent, Union Jack (Chapman), and the Blazing Skull remained together for a time before disbanding.[volume & issue needed]

Walker insisted on being called Captain America.[39] Captain America (Steve Rogers), while attempting to close down the New Invaders, threatened Walker with legal action over his use of the uniform, stating that he owned the copyright to it. Walker informed Rogers that he had only taken the role in the first place because Rogers had refused the Thin Man's invitation to lead the team and that they had to show their enemies "that Captain America isn't afraid to fight!"[40]

Whilst Walker proved to be unpopular with many of his new allies, he later gained their respect, in particular winning over Namor who had been a close ally of the original Captain America, Steve Rogers. Walker saved Namor from a brainwashed and murderous Wolverine, who had been resurrected by The Hand during the 'Enemy of the State' storyline. The badly injured Namor later offered Walker his personal thanks.[41]

Civil War[edit]

In the special one-shot Civil War: Choosing Sides, U.S. Agent must choose between the government to which he has always remained loyal or the man whose legend he attempted to uphold. As a strong trading partner to the U.S., Canada is vulnerable and without a superhero team due to the death of Alpha Flight. The U.S. Government offers him the position to lead a newly formed team called Omega Flight. He is attacked by Purple Man and agrees to serve his country by going to Canada and consequently joins Omega Flight.[42][43]

In Civil War: The Initiative U.S. Agent was a part of the line-up of Omega Flight. He was assigned to the team as an American representative, but is personally motivated out of hate towards the Purple Man who humiliated him and stole his shield.[volume & issue needed]

Omega Flight[edit]

As an employee of Omega Flight, U.S. Agent is given the responsibility of training Weapon Omega (Michael Pointer).[volume & issue needed]

During a mission to take down un-registered super-criminal Tentakill, Weapon Omega passes out mid-combat for unknown reasons forcing U.S. Agent to detain the criminal single handed. Weapon Omega's unusual behaviour rouses U.S. Agent's suspicions, who is later seen to be communicating covertly with an unknown source.[volume & issue needed]

It later transpires that Weapon Omega is being manipulated by Omega Flight's handler Agent Brown as well as his psychologist Dr. Benning, but worse than that unregistered super-criminals are being detained, no record being made of their detention, and their powers being used to fuel Weapon Omega's energy absorbing power, resulting in the deaths of several of the inmates who are completely drained of life.[volume & issue needed]

It is later revealed that U.S. Agent is acting on behalf of Tony Stark (Iron Man), who is monitoring Weapon Omega's progress and requires U.S. Agent to obtain the data analysis of Omega's powers as well as the details of his private consultations with Omega Flight's psychologists.[volume & issue needed]

Before his departure Stark, due to his lack of knowledge that recently detained super-villain Rap-tor had been detained - despite having access to all prisoner manifests - unknowingly confirms Agent's suspicions that super-villains detained by Omega Flight are not being officially recorded and that the villains are subsequently disappearing without explanation.[volume & issue needed]

U.S. Agent's suspicions grow when Weapon Omega is not seen for weeks at a time. He is repeatedly told by Agent Brown that Omega is simply unwell and resting. Arachne (Julia Carpenter), acting with U.S. Agent in order to uncover the conspiracy, spies and informs him that Weapon Omega isn't resting and for some reason he is being constantly observed.[volume & issue needed]

During their next training session U.S. Agent is easily besting Weapon Omega in combat when Omega's handlers increase the flow of power from the super-powered detainees. This results in Omega losing control as he manifests the various powers of numerous inmates, breaking U.S. Agent's ankle before manifesting the reptillian powers of Rap-tor, beating and lacerating U.S. Agent almost to death - an assault only stopped by the interference of Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski). U.S. Agent tries to warn Weapon Omega - who is shocked at his loss of control - that power is being fed into him via his suit, but is sedated before he is able to do so.[volume & issue needed]

Weapon Omega eventually realizes that he is being manipulated and that his handlers intend to continue to use him even against his will, however this is stopped by the U.S. Agent who having discharged himself from the infirmary despite his severe injuries. Dr. Benning boasts that as a fail-safe had been activated, all evidence of her manipulation of Weapon Omega had been destroyed. It is at this point that Omega reveals that one of the individuals whose powers he had absorbed had been a technopath, and that he had accessed all of Benning's confidential records and sent them to Tony Stark. Weapon Omega then exposes Benning to a glimpse of the hundreds of personalities within his being, leaving her in a vegetative state. He then vows to become a hero rather than a weapon and is last seen assisting the people of Alaska - the location where his powers had first manifested, resulting in the deaths of the original Alpha Flight team.[44]

Mighty Avengers[edit]

During the Dark Reign, U.S. Agent is removed from Omega Flight by Loki (disguised as the Scarlet Witch) to aid Hank Pym in defeating the reality-altering Chthon.[45] Following their victory, U.S. Agent joins the Mighty Avengers.[46] The team is sent on various missions[46] including saving the Infinite Avengers Mansion from becoming untethered from reality.[47] On a mission to China investigating the Unspoken (a former king of the Inhumans), U.S. Agent is devolved by Xenogen gas which turns him into an Alpha Primitive. He attacks the current Captain America, James "Bucky" Barnes while in this condition. Quicksilver convinces him to attack the Unspoken by saying "The Commies will win!"[48] Hank Pym later creates a new shield for U.S. Agent after his previous shield was destroyed by the Collective Man.[49]

U.S. Agent was one of the Avengers who joined Hercules in his Assault on New Olympus. He said he believes that the Gods are just people with super powers and battled against Eris, Goddess of discord.[50]

Following a conflict involving a Cosmic Cube-empowered Absorbing Man and the Dark Avengers, U.S. Agent is stripped of his rank by Norman Osborn.[51]

Thunderbolts[edit]

U.S. Agent and several members of the now disbanded Mighty Avengers are called upon by Amadeus Cho during the events of Siege. Their mission is to stop Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts from stealing Odin's spear from the Asgardian armory. After engaging the Thunderbolts in battle, Nuke uses the spear to sever U.S. Agent's left arm and leg.[52]

As thanks for his service during the siege of Asgard, John Walker is appointed the new warden of The Raft maximum security prison. The injuries he sustained during his fight with Nuke have left him wheelchair bound and using a prosthetic arm. He refuses to repair his body using more technologically advanced prostheses because he does not want to become a cyborg like the man who crippled him.[53] Walker engaged an inmate in hand to hand combat during a prison riot, demonstrating that he could still hold his own despite some limitations.[54] The warden was influential in establishing the new Thunderbolts beta team, appointing Songbird team leader and handpicking the new candidates.[55] During the Fear Itself event, Juggernaut heavily damaged the Raft before escaping, causing a prison break. This triggered a security fail-safe in one section of the jail which reversed the air supply, eventually creating a fatal vacuum. Walker set out to override the system, which could only be done in person. He was assisted by Ghost, who earned Walker's respect after protecting the lives of the ungrateful inmates. Walker also rallies other help, inmate and powered alike, to assist him in his duties throughout this crisis.[56] Norman Osborn escapes the Raft due in part to traitors on staff (one had a shrine to Osborn), which leaves Walker under a cloud of suspicion.[57]

Dark Avengers[edit]

In August 2012 a teaser image for the Dark Avengers displayed U.S. Agent's traditional red, white and black shield followed by the tag line 'EVIL is our only HOPE!'.[citation needed]

An interview with writer Jeff Parker later confirmed that John Walker would be returning to the role of U.S. Agent with the Dark Avengers but that this return would 'come at a cost.'[citation needed]

The Dark Avengers team are thrown into an alternate world where, while unconscious, U.S. Agent is examined by an alternate reality Hank Pym and determined to be "John Walker, ex-Marine Captain."[58] June Covington is seemingly able to restore his lost limbs with help from this reality's version of the Venom symbiote in lobotomized form.[59]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As a result of the experimental mutagenic augmentation process conducted on him by Dr. Karl Malus on behalf of the Power Broker, John Walker has superhuman strength, agility, reflexes/reactions, and endurance. His speed, dexterity, coordination, and balance are of the order of a superior Olympic athlete.

Aside from the above advantages, U.S. Agent is an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant, having received rigorous training in unarmed combat and the use of his shield in a style similar to Captain America's own fighting style, by the Taskmaster. He is also a seasoned combat veteran with military combat experience in tactical and strategic planning and observations, special operations, and is highly proficient in the use of conventional firearms. He is also highly trained in gymnastics and acrobatics.

He is capable of using his nearly indestructible vibranium shield for defensive purposes and as a weapon. He has great accuracy at throwing his shield and due to his superhuman strength, it is potentially a lethal weapon.

Agent has used a variety of shields in his time, initially inheriting Captain America's indestructible circular shield after Steve Rogers had relinquished it upon quitting the role and refusing to work for the Commission for Super Human Activities.[60] U.S. Agent was later provided the Vibranium replica of this shield provided by Black Panther and used by Steve Rogers when Rogers adopted the title of 'The Captain'.[61] U.S. Agent then briefly adopted a remote control shield against Hawkeye and the Thunderbolts.[62] During his time with the New Invaders, U.S. Agent possessed a star shaped shield with retractable spikes.[volume & issue needed] The shield was decorated with the names of Americans who had died at the hands of terrorists as well as a photograph of U.S. Agent's parents.

The U.S. Agent also wears synthetic stretch bulletproof fabric.

After being crippled by Nuke, John Walker lost one arm and one leg.[52] Electing to use ordinary low-tech prosthesis, he retires his U.S. Agent identity, and no longer has access to his weapons and gear.[53] However, he still retains his full capability to act in self-defense.

At one point, the Agent used wrist guards which produced an energy shield as well as energy blasts.[63]

Other versions[edit]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In one panel, U.S. Agent is shown as one of the surviving heroes. He questions why Magneto is present, to which Nick Fury answers "anyone who is not a zombie is an ally."[64]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, 'Major' John Walker appears in Ultimate Comics: X-Men #9 as a high-ranking official at Camp Angel, a facility used to house mutants in the aftermath of 'Ultimatum'. The camp appears to be complicit in the beating and torture of some mutants. When the news breaks that all mutants are actually the result of secret government experiements a riot breaks out at the camp lead by the X-Man Storm.[65]

SS Agent[edit]

John Walker of Earth 9907 is the deputy leader of the Thunder Guard - that Earth's feared super human police force. SS Agent has a costume and photonic energy shield similar to that worn and used by USAgent during his time with Force Works. He first appeared in #10 of Avengers Next.[66]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Though Force Works frequently appeared in the Iron Man TV series, the U.S. Agent was not in it, being replaced by Hawkeye. He did appear in the connected 8 issue series Marvel Action Hour: Iron Man.

Video games[edit]

Toys[edit]

  • In 1990, ToyBiz produced a U.S. Agent action figure for their Marvel Superheroes toyline. The figure was merely a repaint of the previously released Captain America action figure.
  • In 1995, ToyBiz released an action figure line for the 1994 Iron Man animated series. A U.S. Agent action figure was produced but never made it to mass market. However, the figure eventually did get released in international markets and the odd short packed case. It became one of the more valuable figures in the line. ToyBiz did release the original version of the figure at a convention, that version usually sells for 2-3 times more than that of the international release. The figure was later remolded to become the Astral Armor Professor Xavier in the X-Men toy line.
  • U.S. Agent is in the Marvel minimates license. He is a two inch figure that comes with his shield, and a repainting of Blade's belt. He appears in the pack with the Taskmaster.
  • A U.S. Agent figure in his original costume is part of the Comic Series segment of the action figure line from Hasbro based on the 2011 Captain America movie.
  • As of 2012 Hasbro introduced a 6 inch U.S. Agent wearing the original costume into Wave 3 of their Return of Marvel Legends line.

Collected editions[edit]

Title Material collected ISBN
Captain America: The Captain Captain America #332-350; Iron Man #228
Captain America: Scourge of the Underworld Captain America #318-320, back-up stories from #358-362; USAgent #1-4;
Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest Avengers West Coast #42-50
Avengers West Coast: Darker than Scarlet Avengers West Coast #51-57 and #60-62
Avengers/X-Men: Maximum Security Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet, Maximum Security #1-3, Captain America #36, Thor #30, Uncanny X-Men #387, Bishop: The Last X-Man #15, Iron Man #35, Avengers #35, Gambit #23, X-Men #107 and X-Men Unlimited #29
Avengers: Once an Invader Avengers #82-84 and New Invaders #0
New Invaders: An End to All Wars New Invaders' #1-9
Omega Flight Omega Flight #1-5, Civil War: Choosing Sides
Weapon Omega Material from Marvel Comics Presents #1-12
Mighty Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Mighty Avengers #21-26, Secret Invasion: Requiem
Mighty Avengers: The Unspoken Mighty Avengers #27-31
Mighty Avengers: Siege Mighty Avengers #32-36
Thunderbolts: Siege Thunderbolts #138-143

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (January 1988). "Mark Gruenwald". Comics Interview (54) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 5–23. 
  2. ^ Captain America #323
  3. ^ Captain America #327
  4. ^ a b Captain America #332
  5. ^ Captain America #333
  6. ^ Captain America #333-335
  7. ^ Captain America #338
  8. ^ Captain America #341
  9. ^ Captain America #345
  10. ^ Captain America #347
  11. ^ Captain America #348-349
  12. ^ Captain America #350-351
  13. ^ Captain America #354
  14. ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #44-45
  15. ^ Captain America #376-378
  16. ^ The Punisher 'No Escape' original graphic novel (1990)
  17. ^ Avengers West Coast vol. 2 #69
  18. ^ Avengers West Coast vol. 2 #74
  19. ^ Avengers #368
  20. ^ West Coast Avengers #102
  21. ^ Avengers West Coast vol. 2 #102
  22. ^ a b Force Works #1
  23. ^ Force Works #2-3
  24. ^ Force Works #4-5
  25. ^ Force Works #6-7
  26. ^ Force Works #9-10
  27. ^ Force Works #11-12
  28. ^ Force Works #13-14
  29. ^ Force Works #15
  30. ^ Force Works #20
  31. ^ Force Works #21-22
  32. ^ Avengers Vol. 3 #1-3
  33. ^ Thunderbolts #23
  34. ^ U.S. Agent Vol. 2 #1
  35. ^ U.S. Agent Vol 2 #1
  36. ^ U.S. Agent Vol 2 #2
  37. ^ U.S. Agent Vol 2 #3
  38. ^ a b Avengers Vol3 #82
  39. ^ The New Invaders #1 and #2
  40. ^ The New Invaders #8
  41. ^ The New Invaders #6
  42. ^ Omega Flight #1-5 (April-Aug. 2007)
  43. ^ Cronin, Brian (July 29, 2010). "A Year of Cool Comics – Day 210". Comic Book Resources CSBG Archive. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  44. ^ Marvel Comics Presents #1-12 (2008)
  45. ^ Mighty Avengers #21-23 (2009)
  46. ^ a b Mighty Avengers #24 (2009)
  47. ^ Mighty Avengers #25-26 (2009)
  48. ^ Mighty Avengers #27-31 (2009)
  49. ^ Mighty Avengers #32
  50. ^ Incredible Hercules #139 (2009)
  51. ^ Mighty Avengers #33
  52. ^ a b Mighty Avengers #35
  53. ^ a b Thunderbolts #145
  54. ^ Thunderbolts #147
  55. ^ Thunderbolts #155
  56. ^ Thunderbolts #159
  57. ^ The New Avengers Vol. 2. #16.1 (Nov. 1, 2011)
  58. ^ Dark Avengers Vol 2 #184 (2012)
  59. ^ Dark Avengers #185
  60. ^ Captain America Vol1 #333
  61. ^ Captain America vol 1 #342
  62. ^ Thunderbolts Vol 1 #23
  63. ^ Force Works #1 (July 1994)
  64. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days No.1, July, 2007
  65. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #8-9
  66. ^ A-Next #10-11

External links[edit]