U.S.Agent is a patriot and American zealot who stops at nothing to protect his country.
John F. Walker grew up on his family’s farm outside small-town Custer’s Grove, Georgia. Inspired by his army veteran father and his military pilot older brother, John wants to become a patriot and serve his country just like them. After his brother dies heroically during A Southeast Asian combat mission when John was 13, it only strengthens his determination to be a soldier.
Upon finishing high school, he joins the army. During boot camp at Fort Bragg, John bunks with Lemar Hoskins. The black Chicago-born Hoskins and the white rural southerner Walker seem an unlikely pair, but they quickly become close friends. They are friendly with fellow recruits Hector Lennox and Jerome Johnson, and Walker pursues a futile rivalry with Kali Vries, who outperforms John throughout their basic training. Walker and Vries share a passionate romance that ends when Vries abandons her “Georgia Peach” to focus on her career. While Vries goes on to work with the elite intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D., Walker and his friends serve an uneventful two-year hitch with little or no combat. Bored, frustrated and wanting to be a hero like his brother, Walker quits the army alongside Hoskins, Lennox, and Johnson, in search of more exciting opportunities.
When propositioned by corrupt entrepreneur Curtiss Jackson, AKA Power Broker, the four friends received his exotic radiation treatments, which gives them all superhuman strength. Needing money to pay for these services, the foursome join the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation when talent scout Ethan Thurm convinces them to hire him as their agent. Inspired by Walker’s ambition to become a patriotic Super Hero like Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, Thurm persuades his four clients to become costumed patriotic crusaders: Walker as the Super-Patriot and Hoskins, Lennox, and Johnson as the Bold Urban Commandos or “Buckies.” Thurm finds financial sponsors to supply their costumes and gear.
To generate buzz and make more money, Thurm books Super-Patriot as either an opening act or special guest for touring rock groups. Initially reluctant, Walker eventually warms to this task as he gets better at working the crowds with patriotic speeches, during which he criticizes Captain America as an outmoded relic.
Patriotism Runs Through His Veins
Thanks to Power Broker’s experiments, U.S.Agent possesses superhuman strength (lifting over 11 tons and making high jumps over 20 feet), durability, stamina, agility and reflexes. His speed is enhanced slightly beyond human limits as well.
A skillful unarmed combatant highly trained in gymnastics and acrobatics, he has extensively studied and imitated the original Captain America’s fighting style. Walker is also skilled with pistols, rifles and automatic weapons. He is a capable motorcyclist and a trained parachutist, as well as an experienced pilot of both conventional aircraft and various high-tech air vehicles, such as the Avengers’ sky cycles and supersonic Quinjets.
Walker usually wields a circular shield (2.5’ in diameter) composed of Vibranium, a rare and highly durable metal that negates virtually any impact directed against it by absorbing vibrations. Walker can use the shield as a weapon by throwing it, sometimes performing complex ricochet shots or curving arcs; if propelled with enough force by Walker, his shield can penetrate, slice or smash many targets. He can also use the shield to survive falls from great heights by placing it beneath him and letting it absorb the vibrations on impact. While his shield’s design and function are based on the unique iron/Vibranium alloy shield long-wielded by Rogers, Walker’s pure Vibranium shield is neither as durable nor as aerodynamic as Rogers’ original, and cannot be manipulated with quite as much precision. Walker has wielded multiple Vibranium shields over time, replacing models that were lost, damaged or destroyed.
Walker often wields an “energy truncheon”, a handheld club that projects a cylindrical energy baton, able to shatter steel when wielded with his enhanced strength. The truncheon can also discharge low-power energy bursts sufficient to render normal humans unconscious. At its highest setting, the truncheon can slice through thick metal barriers such as vault doors, though this drains the weapon’s power rapidly.
Walker’s costuming is made from bulletproof synthetic stretch fabric. He occasionally carries infrared goggles. A subatomic key implanted in his palm grants him access to the Infinite Avengers Mansion and its dimensional doorways. Walker usually carries an M9 semi-automatic pistol.
Rival Super Soldiers
Walker goes up against several terrorists including Iron Monger, the Nazi Red Skull, Flag-Smasher, Major America, also known as the “Anti-Cap”, A.I.M. agent Protocide, Purple Man, and even Power Broker who initially gave him his superhuman abilities.
His fellow army and Power Broker-enhanced allies, Hector Lennox and Jerome Johnson, reveal Walker’s secret identity, which leads to his parents’ deaths at the hands of the Watchdogs. Walker brutally beats them up and leaves them for dead.
Allies Who Share His Ideals
Walker’s army bunkmate Lemar Hoskins, AKA Battlestar, becomes his closest friend and ally in protecting American ideals. They become friends with fellow recruits Lennox and Johnson, and the troop becomes a media sensation after Power Broker gives them superhuman abilities. Though Lennox and Johnson betray Walker, Walker and Hoskins remain friends.
Walker goes up against the all-American Super Hero Captain America numerous times, but they are ultimately allies to each other in the cause of fighting for freedom and justice.
Despite Walker’s missteps while being a hero, he commits to being a better man and joins the Avengers, Omega Flight, and Force Works. He even works alongside with Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, whom he has had a tumultuous relationship with over the years.
A Patriotic Path
Super-Patriot held patriotic rallies, did community service and staged publicity stunts, even patrolling city streets in search of crimes to stop; though Walker sometimes ignored crimes in progress if he deemed them unlikely to net him much publicity. Thurm eventually talked Walker into having the Buckies pose as Captain America followers and fake an assault on Super-Patriot during a big rally in Central Park, so Walker could defeat them in front of the audience. The crowd loved it, but curious onlooker Steve Rogers quickly realized the fight had been faked. Confronting Walker afterward, Rogers warned him that becoming a symbol of America could not be earned quickly or dishonestly. Annoyed, Walker challenged Rogers to a fight, but Rogers simply walked away. Restraining an angry Walker from attacking, Thurm instead had the Buckies ambush Rogers in the street, but Rogers defeated them.
The Buckies started a cross-country “anti-terrorist” campaign of vandalism and violence targeting foreigners and immigrants; however, they continued to conceal their ties to the Super-Patriot, protecting Walker’s more mainstream image. Captain America confronted Walker backstage at one of Super-Patriot’s bigger shows, an AMERICAID charity concert. Warning Walker that he knew about the Buckies’ crimes and would eventually expose him as a fraud, Rogers tried to leave but Walker attacked him in the parking lot. While the more skillful Rogers held his own despite Walker’s superior strength, he was shaken by his seeming inability to defeat Walker, who eventually quit the fight to rejoin the concert in progress.
When crazed pro-war terrorist William Musico, AKA Warhead, perched atop the Washington Monument with a nuclear bomb, Thurm convinced Walker this could be the Super-Patriot’s big break. A frightened Walker climbed the monument and defeated Warhead, who killed himself. Walker’s first truly heroic feat made the Super-Patriot a media darling. Meanwhile, the federal Commission on Superhuman Activities (CSA) secretly ordered Steve Rogers to become a government agent or forfeit his Captain America identity, costume and indestructible shield, all produced by the U.S. government. Unwilling to risk compromising his ethics by working directly for politicians, Rogers resigned as Captain America.
CSA official Dr. Valerie "Val" Cooper suggested the Super-Patriot as Rogers’ replacement, and the CSA soon offered Walker the job. Walker wanted to retain Hoskins, Lennox, and Johnson as his support team, and Thurm as his agent, but after an FBI security check, only Walker and Hoskins received government approval. Told he would have to cut his ties with Thurm, Lennox, and Johnson if he wanted to become Captain America, Walker agreed. Hoskins became his partner as the new Bucky (the costumed alias of Rogers’ original partner James Barnes). Unknown to the rest of the CSA, their Head Commissioner Douglas Rockwell was secretly working with the subversive Johann Shmidt, AKA Red Skull, who urged Rockwell to support Walker’s appointment as Captain America since Shmidt believed the unstable Walker would inevitably tarnish the Captain’s image.
Supervised closely by Val Cooper, Walker and Hoskins trained for months, during which Walker obsessively studied the original Captain America. While he still regarded himself as superior to Rogers, these studies gave Walker more respect for his predecessor and
greater regard for the role of Captain America. Walker did combat training under drill instructor Sgt. Don Simmons, rival super-agent team Freedom Force, and the imprisoned skill-replicating criminal Taskmaster, who helped Walker imitate Rogers’ fighting style in general and the use of Rogers’ unique shield in particular. When Thurm attempted blackmail by threatening to publicize the true identities of the new Captain America and Bucky, Walker and Hoskins posed as federal agents in borrowed CSA Guardsman armor and intimidated Thurm into backing off.
Supervised by the CSA’s Adrian Sammish and aided by Bucky, the new Captain America infiltrated the Watchdogs extremist vigilante group and arrested many of its members. Walker and Hoskins also defeated agents of Professor Power’s subversive Secret Empire, though a raging Walker beat Power to death. When a CSA press conference revealed the original Cap’s replacement by a new Captain America and unveiled Bucky’s new costumed identity as Battlestar, a jealous Lennox and Johnson crashed the event in costume as Left-Winger and Right-Winger, publicly revealing Walker’s secret identity before they were subdued. This led to the vengeful Watchdogs kidnapping Walker’s parents. Walker disobeyed CSA orders by attempting a rescue, during which his parents were killed. A grief-crazed Walker slaughtered the kidnappers, leaving ten dead and many more wounded. The CSA had growing doubts about Walker, but Shmidt pressured Rockwell to keep Walker on active duty, occasionally manipulating events to increase Walker’s stress (for instance, Shmidt secretly financed and controlled the Watchdogs).
After capturing mutant terrorists, the Resistants, using excessive force, Walker tracked down Lennox and Johnson, beat them into submission, and tied them to an oil tank with a lit torch, giving them a sporting chance to escape. Horribly burned in the ensuing explosion, Lennox and Johnson survived but were permanently disfigured and disabled by the blast, later apparently committing suicide. By now, most of the CSA wanted Walker gone, but Rockwell’s machinations and other factors kept Walker in service long enough for him to be captured by anti-nationalist terrorist Karl Morgenthau, AKA Flag-Smasher, who was battling his own U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. subversive group after discovering its funding came from the Red Skull. By this time, Steve Rogers was active in a new costumed identity as the Captain, and he and his ally Demolition Man helped Battlestar rescue Walker.
Knowing that the CSA now suspected Rockwell’s corruption and that Rogers was investigating, the Red Skull killed Rockwell and gloated to Rogers via video about tarnishing Captain America’s reputation. Meanwhile, Walker was lured to Shmidt’s offices, where Shmidt posed as Steve Rogers and confessed his secret role in Walker’s recent troubles, then tricked the crazed Walker into attacking the real Steve Rogers. Finally defeating Walker after a fierce battle, Rogers confronted Shmidt, who might have killed Rogers with his toxic “dust of death” if Walker hadn’t struck Shmidt, disfiguring the villain with his own dust. Shmidt escaped, and the CSA soon asked Rogers to reclaim his Captain America guise. While Rogers initially refused, Walker talked him into doing it, having belatedly realized Rogers was the only person equal to the role.
Wanting to retain Walker’s services despite his ruined reputation, the CSA’s General Lewis Haywerth faked Walker’s death. He then had Walker’s appearance and mannerisms modified via plastic surgery and speech therapy, mentally programmed him with data regarding his new civilian cover identity as Jack Daniels, and secretly went against Walker’s wishes by using the mental reprogramming technology to make Walker forget his parents’
deaths as well, believing Walker would be more effective without this trauma. Adopting Rogers’ red, white and black “Captain” costume and its matching Vibranium shield, “Jack Daniels” returned to government service as the U.S.Agent.
CSA official Raymond Sikorsky forced the western branch of the Avengers Super Hero team to accept U.S.Agent into their ranks as an in-house government supervisor. While U.S.Agent served capably, his smug, abrasive attitude alienated his teammates and sparked a long, bitter feud with Avengers veteran Hawkeye. Aided by Battlestar, Walker eventually realized how Haywerth had edited his memories; though Haywerth tricked U.S.Agent into believing Walker had requested that procedure. His memories fully restored, Walker belatedly learned of how Lennox and Johnson had died, and a guilt-stricken U.S.Agent vowed he would strive to become a better man.
When the Avengers reorganized under United Nations authority, U.S.Agent’s presence was no longer mandatory. The team demoted Walker to reserve status, then expelled him after he beat the non-superhuman but stubbornly relentless Hawkeye unconscious during a grudge match. Rogue CSA agent Mike Clemson soon hired Walker to kill ex-CSA operative Julia Carpenter, AKA Spider-Woman (now Arachne). Walker couldn’t bring himself to do it and instead helped Carpenter and the Avengers defeat the Pacific Overlords, which led to Carpenter joining the Avengers and U.S.Agent rejoining the group. But, Walker still felt isolated within the team. He was romantically rejected by Hawkeye’s then-estranged wife Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird, and reprimanded for moonlighting with the CSA. Eventually, he gradually made friends among his teammates, notably Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch (whom he coached in unarmed combat) and Carpenter, whose daughter Rachel regarded the Agent as an uncle of sorts. He also found unlikely romance with Russian communist mercenary Zvezda Dennitsa, but they only shared one kiss before parting.
After the eastern division of the Avengers shut down the team’s western headquarters, Walker quit the Avengers and tossed his costume and shield into the Hudson River. Scarlet Witch subsequently recruited him into Force Works, a new Californian super-team funded by Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, and included other ex-western Avengers such as Carpenter. Wearing a Stark-designed armored costume that generated a solid light “photon shield,” Walker resumed his U.S.Agent role. He also made peace with Hawkeye and tried to talk him into joining Force Works, though neither Hawkeye nor their mutual friend James Rhodes, AKA War Machine, ever joined.
When Force Works disbanded, U.S.Agent renewed his Avengers credentials after aiding the team against Morgan le Fay (briefly brainwashed into serving in her Reality-398’s Queen’s Vengeance army as the Liegeman), but was not offered active membership. Going back to his old costume and wielding a new remote-control shield, Walker worked for businessman Edwin Cord of Cordco as leader of the Jury, armored vigilantes hired to hunt down the Thunderbolts, outlaw heroes led by Hawkeye. U.S.Agent soon resigned, returning to government work and using various new shields. Attacked and nearly killed by rival super- soldier Protocide, Walker was temporarily fitted with an exoskeleton by S.H.I.E.L.D., and upon fully recovering was even stronger than before.
When the CSA created the Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad (S.T.A.R.S.) to police super-powered criminals, U.S.Agent was hired as leader under Val Cooper’s supervision. In this role, U.S.Agent adopted an adversarial relationship with the Super Hero community; though he successfully worked with the Avengers in resolving the “Maximum Security” crisis when a host of alien races unwittingly manipulated by the Kree tried to convert Earth into a prison planet. Later, when the corrupt Senator Warkovsky forced S.T.A.R.S. to accept Kali Vries as Walker’s new co-supervisor, Vries reluctantly aided a conspiracy masterminded by her political patron Warkovsky and his financial backer Curtiss Jackson; U.S.Agent thwarted the conspiracy and sent Jackson to jail, though Vries and Warkovsky went free.
Defense Secretary Dell Rusk (actually a disguised Red Skull) assembled a new government-backed Invaders team that would be more ruthless and less heedful of international law than most Super Hero groups. Walker agreed to serve as its new Captain America, despite Rogers still being active in that role with the Avengers. The two teams inevitably clashed, though Walker was largely unfazed upon learning of Rusk’s exposure as the Red Skull, and he remained with the Invaders until they broke up.
When the new SHRA law subjected all Super Heroes to government registration and control, S.H.I.E.L.D. Initiative head Tony Stark assigned U.S.Agent to join new Canadian Super Team Omega Flight as its American liaison. He gladly reunited with Omega teammate Julia Carpenter, now Arachne, and her daughter, but otherwise unimpressed by this transfer. Walker soon rejoined the Avengers as part of a new roster led by Hank Pym after helping that group defeat the elder god Chthon. Pym’s Avengers also serve as a division of the international Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity (G.R.A.M.P.A.), which has brought U.S.Agent some playful romantic attention from impish G.R.A.M.P.A. agent Ban-Luck.
Going up against the Thunderbolts, this time a covert-ops team led by Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin, Walker lost his arm and leg while fighting Frank Simpson, AKA Nuke. Afterward, he was outfitted with prostheses and retired. He became a warden at the superhuman prison, the Raft.
While transporting the Dark Avengers to the Raft, something went wrong with the transport and a group of Super Villains who terrorized the planet under the guise of the heroic Avengers were thrown into an alternate reality where the city was divided into factions, each led by versions of Earth’s heroes. When knocked out, June Covington bonded Walker with that reality’s Venom Symbiote which restored his limbs.
Later, Walker rejoined the Army and then received word that Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon, possessed Captain America’s shield. Deemed unworthy of it by Keane Industries president and Texas Senator Tom Herald, they reached out to Walker and asked him to reclaim it. Walker refused but then faced Captain America (albeit a bizarre human mutate version of Steve Rogers). Steve Rogers asked him to confront Sam who was apparently out of control; Walker confronted Sam but lost. He later resurfaced fighting against Hydra’s forces after they took over the United States government.
Walker later joined Force Works again alongside War Machine, Mockingbird, and Daisy Johnson, AKA Quake. They faced an army of Deathloks and Ultimo, a giant robot, in Lingares. M.O.D.O.K. assisted them but because the team failed to retrieve data on the Deathloks, Maria Hill disbanded the team—except Walker who presented a thumb drive to wipe Lingares of the Deathlok data.