Marvel’s next Captain America has his own John Walker moment, but in a new way that proves to fans he’s worthy of the Captain America name.
Warning: contains spoilers for United States of Captain America #1!
Marvel’s new Captain America has made his first appearance, and he’s the complete opposite of John Walker. Debuting at the end of United States of Captain America #1, written by Christopher Cantwell with art by Dale Eaglesham and colors by Matthew Wilson, the new Cap is young, optimistic, and inexperienced in a fight – but that doesn’t stop him from taking up the Captain America mantle. Though he and Walker have both adopted the name, Fischer’s reasons for it prove to fans that he truly deserves to be the next shield-slinger.
Steve Rogers is considering giving up his shield – though he’s quite reticent, and concerned that his name is being used for those who hate him and the ideals for which he stands – when he’s attacked by an unknown assailant in a Captain America costume. The mysterious Cap causes a train to derail and Steve and the Falcon (Sam Wilson, no longer Captain America), rescue the passengers. Steve spots a man with a shield in the crowd and tackles him, but it’s not the man who crashed the train. It’s Aaron Fischer, the new Captain America – and he’s here to help.
Aaron is the “Captain America of the rails,” as he calls it. After having run away from home with his boyfriend, leaving his abusive father behind, he protects his fellow travelers: the homeless, the downtrodden, and destitute. “There’s a lot of cool people on the rails. Kinda like family. But some real pieces of #@$% show up too. I take care of folks like that.” Aaron truly looks up to Captain America and sees him as a symbol of hope – so when he decided to fight for the oppressed, he naturally made a symbol of his own.
Aaron creates a costume for himself out of painted overalls and even makes his personal Captain America shield. It’s a far cry from the unbreakable vibranium shield carried by Steve Rogers, but it does the job as both a weapon and a symbol. In his words “Everything felt different when I picked up that shield.” John Walker, the government-approved Captain America in the Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Soldier, created his own shield as well – but his motivations were far from pure. He crafted his shield out of a desire for revenge, specifically searching for the woman who killed his partner. Aaron makes his shield to help everyone.
And that’s not the only notable distinction between Walker and Fischer. Walker is a combat veteran who received no less than three Medals of Honor in Afghanistan. He’s received training and was (until his dismissal) officially selected by the United States Government as Captain America. Aaron has no training, no allies, and no weapons beyond a homemade shield. He’s smaller than most others around him and – unlike John Walker – has no super-soldier serum flowing through his veins. And yet he decides to fight anyway.
Aaron Fischer is a fantastic addition to the Captain America cast. Far from being a government pawn, he instead feels abandoned by it and the people whom he once considered close. Aaron is an entirely selfless character who jumps at the chance to help Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson. This Captain America creates his shield for the completely opposite reason as John Walker: not for himself, but for others.
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