Captain America (1st series) #333

Issue Date: 
September 1987
Story Title: 
The Replacement

Mark Gruenwald (Writer), Tom Morgan (Penciler), Dave Hunt (Inker), Ken Lopez & Bill Oakley (Letterers), Ken Feduniewicz (Colorist), Darryl Edelman (Assistant Editor), Don Daley (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

The Commission on Superhuman Activity (Valerie Cooper, Henry Gyrich, General Haywerth, George Mathers and Mr. Yates) discuss the recent resignation of Steve Rogers as Captain America, and after comments about what should happen to Rogers, they run through a list of candidates for his replacement, none of whom can be agreed upon, until Valerie suggests the new hero known as Super-Patriot. Super-Patriot’s recent exploits are retold while he has a television interview, after which he is approached by the FBI, who inform him that a presidential advisor wishes to speak with him. The patriotic Super-Patriot agrees, though his manager is a little concerned. The meeting between Super-Patriot and Valerie during which Super-Patriot reveals much of his origin goes well,. Valerie informs him that she and her colleagues would like him to become the new Captain America. Torn between loyalty to his country and the new life he has made for himself as Super-Patriot, John Walker finally agrees. His manager doesn’t take this too well though, and makes a list of demands for Walker to give to the CSA. Walker goes for a run and wonders why the original Captain America left, so rings the hotline to get Cap to meet him. But when it comes to the scheduled meeting, Cap never shows, instead, Super-Patriots allies, the Bold Urban Commandos arrive, wanting to make sure that Walker will not forget him now that he is a nation’s hero. Walker meets with the CSA again, who tell him his background checks turned out perfect, so they want him for the job. Walker agrees, and after giving the CSA his manager’s requests, he is fitted into the Captain America costume, before having a training session with three of Freedom Force - Blob, Pyro and Avalanche - who do a real number on him, causing Valerie to break it up, and remind Walker of the importance of the shield. Later, Walker is officially made Captain America, but informed that he must drop his manager, and two of his friends.

Full Summary: 

The Commissions on Super Human Activity offices, where, in a grand chamber, five very important and powerful humans sit at their respective positions and look down at the costume and shield lying before them. A very special costume and shield - they belonged to a nation’s greatest hero - Captain America! ‘Well, this is rather unexpected’ one of the CSA remarks. ‘Unexpected? It’s outrageous - a combat veteran like Captain America refusing to serve his country!’ another replies.

‘Just who does this Steve Rogers think he is?’ asks another. ‘Telling us that he can’t work with us because he represents the American dream! He represents what we say he represents!’. Another member of the CSA points out that they are the U.S. government - the boys who gave Steve Rogers the super-soldier formula that made him what he is - not to mention the uniform and shield - in fact, the very name and concept of Captain America. ‘How dare he say no to our directive that we coordinate his official activities! How dare he turn in his shield and uniform…!’.

Suddenly, the voice of reason shines through - Dr. Valerie Cooper, world expert on mutant affairs, and the only female member of the CSA, declaring that, firstly, they are not all boys, and secondly, they are not the government, but a presidentially-appointed commission charged with the task of managing America’s superhuman resources. Mr Yates tells the sultry blonde that he takes her point, before announcing that the floor is open to suggestions as to how they proceed from here.

General Lewis Haywerth declares that they should begin with court-martialing Steve Rogers for failing to live up to his military obligations. Nasty piece of work Henry Peter Gyrich cleans his glasses while replying that he is not sure court martialing Rogers is possible, for technically, he is not part of the military rank and file. However, Gyrich points out that, at the very least, they can impose strict sanctions on Rogers and his activities. Gyrich remarks that although Rogers has turned in his shield and uniform, there is nothing to prevent him from fashioning duplicates.

Gyrich goes on to propose that they get a court injunction prohibiting Rogers from calling himself Captain America, or wearing any uniform that is red, white and blue. Gyrich continues, suggesting they notify the Avengers and inform them that, unless they terminate Rogers’ membership in their group at once, they will prohibit the team from operating freely on U.S. soil. But Mr. George Mathers reminds Gyrich that it is their responsibility to coordinate superhuman activities, and points out that they cannot do that if they turn one of the nations most dependable superhuman teams into outlaws. But Gyrich declares that they can use Rogers to bring the Avengers into line. ‘They have to know we mean business!’ he asserts.

Dr. Cooper announces that she is more concerned with finding a new Captain America than taking punitive measures against the old one. Valerie tells her colleagues to face it - the administration does not need more bad publicity now. ‘And if it were to get out that the original Captain America was forced to resign…’ her voice trails off, before declaring that they have to get a new Captain America out there as soon as possible, performing some high-profile activities to win public approval.

Mathers asks what would happen if Rogers goes public with his version of the story before then, to which Valerie agrees that it always a possibility, but that Roger’s dossier suggests that he is not likely to go out of his way to give any administration a black eye - nor to present himself to the public as a victim of anything - including bureaucracy. Yates asks Gyrich to investigate the sanctions they can impose on Rogers, before declaring that they can now discuss their options for Roger’s replacement.

Yates turns to General Haywerth, remarking that he was involved in the most recent Super-Soldier project, and asks if there were any results. Haywerth replies that they had two promising results - the first being code-name Nuke. Haywerth explains that Nuke was the recipient of their latest efforts to recreate the precise formula that Rogers was given back in World War Two. Haywerth informs his colleagues that their attempt was successful to some extent, but without the “vita-rays” to stabilize the process, the subject became psychotic and made a mess in Manhattan.

Haywerth continues, announcing that the second candidate was a product of a totally different programme, developed independently by an L.A. contractor. This one was code-named G.I. Max and was forty times stronger than human. Haywerth explains however that G.I. Max, unfortunately, before he was fully trained, was accidentally shot by his immediate superior. Haywerth adds that, perhaps not coincidentally, Rogers was in the vicinity when both candidates met their demises. Haywerth adds that they may be able to get another G.I. Max, but that would take months.

Mathers holds up a photograph of Jack Monroe a.k.a. Nomad, and asks what about him, as his file says he was a recipient of a reformulation of the Super-Soldier serum and that he has been trained by - Gyrich suddenly interrupts, informing everyone that Nomad is a friend of Rogers, and therefore it seems unlikely he would accept a job that his mentor would not. Mathers holds up a photograph of Sam Wilson a.k.a. the Falcon and supposes that they can also rule him out, as he is another of Roger’s friends, and also ex-partner. He adds that he doubts the country is ready for a black Captain America anyway.

Gyrich holds up a photograph of Nick fury of SHIELD and remarks that he has an excellent service record. Gyrich suggests that Fury may even be tired of international espionage and want to serve differently. But Yates remarks that he cannot imagine Fury relinquishing the authority he has as head of SHIELD to permit them to determine his actions. ’Besides, Fury’s too old to be a viable Captain America’.

Haywerth boasts that he has gone over all the intelligence they have on all of America’s known super human beings and that as far as he is concerned, none of them is man enough for the job. Mathers rubs his brow and agrees with the General, remarking that it is pointless to consider any of the established costumed vigilantes, as they need someone new, someone young - someone hungry for the “big time”. ’But who? And how can we find him?’ Mathers wonders. Suddenly, Valerie holds up this morning’s copy of The Washington Post, whose headline reads “Monument saved from terrorist by vigilante hero!”. ’Gentlemen. Did any of you happen to read this morning’s paper?’ the good Doctor asks.

Meanwhile, at that moment, elsewhere in Washington: ‘So, tell me, mister…uh, Super-Patriot, how does it feel to be the hero of the hour?’ asks talk show host Katy as she sits across from the red, blue and white clad new hero. Super-Patriot pauses before replying that the sudden acclaim he has received is gratifying, but that he does what he does not for glory, but because it’s the right thing to do. ‘To do any less would be to squander my God-given talents’ he adds, before declaring that they have all been put here on Earth for a purpose, and his is to help the people of this grand country.

‘That’s quite a purpose’ Katy remarks, before asking Super-Patriot to forgive her for being blunt - ‘But before this incident, I can’t say I was even aware of your existence. Are you new to the “hero biz”?’ she asks. ‘You could say that’ Super-Patriot replies, explaining that he only began operating a few months ago, and this is just the first time he has had the opportunity to tackle something this big in public. ‘Big is the word for it’ Katy exclaims, before announcing that they will go to their exclusive News 6 footage of yesterday’s mayhem at the monument.

(Shown with flashback images)

As told by Katy, the excitement began 24 hours ago when a heavily armed terrorist calling himself Warhead apparently parachuted onto the Washington Monument and announced that unless America declared war on somebody, he would detonate a nuclear device. ‘The authorities didn’t know how to deal with the dangerous fanatic - then Super-Patriot arrived’. Katy explains that, working independently of the authorities, Super-Patriot stole inside the monument and made his way to the top. There, under the most precarious of circumstances, he stormed Warhead’s perch.

Somehow, Super-Patriot managed to make it to the top without being blown away in the wind and rain, where he grappled with the heavily-armed terrorist - a struggle that ended when Warhead plummeted from his platform. However, Warhead never hit the ground in one in piece, choosing instead to perish in a massive explosion of his personal arsenal.


Katy concludes by announcing that Super-Patriot brought the nuclear device down from the monument, and the authorities deactivated it with almost six hours to spare. Katy tells Super-Patriot that she has watched the news footage a number of times now, and that it continues to take her breath away to see him face danger like that. ‘How did you have the guts to do what you did?’ she asks, intrigued. ‘Born with them, I guess’ Super-Patriot replies, explaining that he spent a lot of time training himself to the peak of his abilities. He explains that he knows what his body is capable of, and calculated the risk as best he could, deciding it was worth it.

Katy asks Super-Patriot what the authorities reaction to his assistance was, to which Super-Patriot replies that they were glad to have the nuclear weapon down from there. ‘But I got chewed out pretty bad from certain officials I won’t mention’ he reveals. Katy informs Super-Patriot that she has one last question, and asks the handsome hero if he is any way associated with America’s other patriotic hero, Captain America.

‘No way, Ma’am. That fuddy-duddy is America past. I’m America’s future!’ Super-Patriot boasts, before exclaiming that what this nation deserves is a strong, decisive national hero, ready to put his all on the line every single day. ‘You didn’t see him up there yesterday, did you?’ Super-Patriot asks. ‘No, Super-Patriot, we sure didn’t’ Katy replies, before announcing that A.M. Washington will be back right after the following messages….

Super Patriot makes his way through the studio, accompanied by one of the staff who tells him that he was marvellous and exclaims that they seldom get guests as powerful as he. Super-Patriot thanks the woman and tells her that she will have to make sure he is invited back sometime. Exiting the studio, Super-Patriot’ manager, Ethan Thurm is waiting for him. Super-Patriot greets Ethan and asks if he saw him. ‘You bet your crew-cut I did!’ Ethan replies, telling Super-Patriot that he was fabulous, over the top.

Ethan then informs Super-Patriot that he received a phone call from a prominent business man who wants to front the bill for the damages to the monument. ‘Great!’ Super-Patriot exclaims, when suddenly, two men dressed in black suits approach him. Holding out their I.D. badges, they introduce themselves as Farber and McNulty, FBI, and inform him that a presidential advisor wishes to speak with him. ‘Can you come with us?’ they ask. ‘An adviser - not the president himself?’ asks Thurm.

But Super-Patriot declares that if his government wants to talk, he will listen. ‘That’s the kind of American I am’. Thurm declares that he should go too, but as the FBI agents hustle Super-Patriot along, announcing that the invitation is just for Super-Patriot. Super-Patriot looks back at his manager and tells him that he will see him back at the hotel. ‘Don’t forget to make my dinner reservations!’ he adds.

Half an hour later, in Valerie Cooper’s office, the stylish Doctor greets Super-Patriot, telling him that she is pleased to make his acquaintance. ‘The pleasure’s mine, Ma’am’ Super-Patriot replies politely. The both sit down as Super-Patriot asks Val how he can help her. Valerie replies that she would like him to tell her everything there is to know about him. ‘Excuse me for asking, but am I in some kind of trouble?’ Super-Patriot replies. ‘Not at all’ Valerie assures the handsome hero, before revealing that she has the opportunity of a lifetime to offer him - providing he is the right man.

Super-Patriot wonders if this is a ruse to get him to reveal himself so the government can keep tabs on him, before deciding that he refuses to believe a high-ranking official of the good ol’ U.S.A. would be party to such trickery. ‘Well?’ Valerie asks when Super-Patriot doesn’t respond. The hero clears his throat, before taking off his mask, and telling Valerie that, as she may have guessed from his slight drawl, he is from down South - Custer’s Grove, Georgia to be precise. ’The name’s John Walker’. John reveals that his parents are farmers and that he had an older brother and sister.

(Shown with flashback illustrations)

Super-Patriot explains that his brother, Michael, has a lot to do with what he is today, revealing that Mike was a soldier - a chopper pilot - in Vietnam. ’He came back home in a box in the Summer of ’74’. John tells Valerie that his parents could not have been prouder of Mike, and he wanted to live up to his brother’s memory, serve America the way Mike did. ’I enlisted, but after the war was over, it became a lot harder to become a hero’ Walker remarks as he recalls that he spent more time peeling potatoes than anything else.

Walker continues, revealing that after serving his stint, and still not making anything of himself, a service buddy of his heard about a fellow named the Power Broker, who claimed he could turn men into super-men. ’We signed up for the works!’ John exclaims, before revealing the process the Power Broker put them through delivered the goods, and that he could now lift over ten tons with his bare hands - except, before he could do anything to make his parents and country proud of him, he had to pay the Power Broker for the treatment.

Walker reveals that he was planning to try out for the Unlimited Wrestling Federation, when he met someone who had a batter idea - his name was Ethan Thurm and he then became John’s manager. John explains that they decided to forego the commercial wrestling route and plunge right into what he wanted to do - be an all-American hero like his brother. John adds that Ethan rounded up financial backers, helped him design his costume and mapped out the strategy that would make Super-Patriot a national hero.


Super-Patriot informs Valerie that they toured the country, held patriotic rallies, did community service projects, things like that - then Warhead came along. He concludes be stating that he is a simple guy, and tells Val that is his whole story, before asking her, if she doesn’t mind, why she wanted to know all this. Valerie holds up Captain America’s shield as she places it on her desk and asks Walker if he recognizes it. Super-Patriot replies that it looks like a replica of Captain America’s shield.

Valerie assures Walker that it is authentic, and informs him that the man who originally played Captain America was recently asked to serve his country in an official capacity once again, but he refused, so they stripped him of his shield and uniform. ‘He - resigned?’ asks Super-Patriot, confused as to why anyone who says they love their country would do a thing like that. Valerie remarks that is irrelevant, and tells Walker that what is important is that they find someone new to be Captain America. ‘We’re considering you’ she announces. ‘What? Me - Cap?’ Walker replies, astonished, before he begins laughing. ‘If this doesn’t beat all!’ he exclaims.

‘What…is so funny?’ Valerie asks, to which Walker reveals that he has been one of Captain America’s most outspoken critics, that he has felt obliged to publicly mention that he didn’t think Captain America was cutting it as a symbol of their great country anymore. Valerie ignores that comment and asks Walker if he is interested in her proposal. Walker gets to his feet and reminds Valerie that, as he said, a true patriot heeds his country’s call, no matter what. However, he feels that with all the time and effort he invested in making the Super-Patriot a name to be reckoned with, it would be strange to give it up.

‘I couldn’t just do the job without changing my name and costume?’ he asks. ‘No’ Valerie replies straight-out, stating that Captain America is a tradition that goes back decades, and they want to preserve it. ‘Well?’ she asks. A pensive Super-Patriot pauses, before declaring that if Uncle Sam wanted him to be Mickey Mouse then he would do it. ‘I’m that kind of American - the kind you can count on. When do I start?’ he asks. Valerie shakes Walker’s hand, explaining that they will have to run a background check on him first, and asks him to let her know where he can be reached. Leaving Valerie’s office, Walker puts his mask back on, and, smiling, thinks to himself ‘Me - Captain America! I can’t believe it!’ while wondering what Ethan will say.

He doesn’t have to wait long for to answer that question, for back in his hotel room shortly, ‘You - Captain America!?’ asks a wide-eyed Ethan. Sitting on the edge of his bed, Walker replies ‘Yep, providing my background checks out - which I know it will’ he asserts. Thurm exclaims that there must be a catch, as the original Cap’s no dummy, they must have asked him to do something pretty far-out for him to fold his cards. ‘Or maybe what I’ve told him finally sunk in: He’s a has-been!’ Walker suggests.

Thurm suggests that they wait to hear all of the terms, then drive a hard bargain of their own. ‘No can do, Ethan. I already agreed to it!’ Walker announces as he stands up. ‘You…nincompoop!’ Ethan exclaims, before realizing what he said, and quickly apologizing, before seeing the unimpressed expression on Walker’s face, he quickly sits down, and tells Super-Patriot that he probably made a smart move, showing them what a swell guy he is. ‘Sell them on you - then hit ‘em with your demands’ Ethan suggests.

Thurm then remarks what could their non-negotiable demands be, before deciding that he should be put on the federal payroll as Walker’s personal manager. ‘A hundred thousand a year should do nicely…’. Walker begins changing out of his costume into a tank top and small running shorts, while Thurm mutters his second demand - that Walker should get a one-year release option in case things don’t work out right. Staring off into nowhere as he continues to prattle on, Thurm suggests that thirdly, Walker should get great health and insurance benefits. ‘Yeah, you should be insured for a million dollars. I’ll be your beneficiary’.

‘What else?’ Thurm wonders, exclaiming that, fourthly, he wants a big office, overlooking Capitol Hill, and fifth, they should get a piece of all Captain America merchandising - at least twenty percent. ‘Sixth, we can’t forget your pals, the Buckies - make the Feds hire them as back-ups’ Thurm declares, before beginning his seventh demand, when he realizes Super-Patriot has got changed and is heading out of the hotel room. ‘Where you going?’ Thurm asks. ‘Exercise’ the buff hero replies, pointing out that he has got to stay in shape now, more than ever. ‘Wait - you didn’t hear all my -’ Thurm begins, but Walker isn’t interested, and slams the door on him.

Running past the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Walker thinks that Dr. Cooper’s agency will not go for Thurm’s demands, wondering what he should do about that, as Ethan has done so much for him. John wonders why the original Cap threw in the towel, deciding that it sure would be nice to know before he gets locked into it. Passing a payphone, Walker realizes he could find out be contacting Captain America through his national hotline service.

Picking up the phone, Super-Patriot rings the number and states that he heard what happened to Cap, and claims that he wants to talk to him about it. ‘No jive’ he assures Cap, asking him to meet him at the Lincoln Memorial, Wednesday at midnight, signing off as ‘Super-Patriot’. Walker hangs up the phone and decides that ought to do it, before wondering if the hotline becomes his when he takes over as Captain America.

Wednesday, at midnight, Super-Patriot checks his watch. ‘Okay old-timer, come out, come out wherever you are’ Walker thinks to himself. But, forty-five minutes later, Captain America is still a no-show. Super-Patriot decides that if Cap was going to show, he would be here by now, so obviously, he’s not going to show. ‘This is very odd, not like Captain America at all’ Walker decides, before wondering if, perhaps, he cannot make it. ‘Maybe he died in battle and -!’ Walker stops those thoughts, telling himself he is letting his imagination run away with him, for his government wouldn’t mislead him. ‘If he were dead, Miss Cooper would have said so’.

Super-Patriot decides to return to the hotel, when suddenly, out of the shadows, leaps someone with a big white star in the middle of their chest - ‘Where do you think you’re going, supes?’ he shouts, leaping at Super-Patriot, who, confused, turns - ‘Huh? Captain America?’ he asks, before the newcomer smacks into him, kicking him hard in the chest as he forces him to the ground. Super-Patriot begins rolling down the memorial steps, while the apparent Captain America follows him, ‘Come back here! I’m not letting you get off that easy. I want to hear you cry uncle…Uncle Sam!’.

Suddenly though, Super-Patriot gains the upper hand, ‘You really had me going there, man!’ he exclaims as he smacks his attacker hard in the face. ‘Aww! Nasty uppercut you got there, supes’ Walker’s friend mumbles as he rubs his smacked jaw. Super-Patriot grins, admitting that, for a moment, he thought he was the real Captain America, and not a Bucky. ‘And where there’s one Bold Urban Commando - can the others be far behind?’ Walker asks, as, indeed, the other two sneak up upon him, but Walker is ready for them, and flips one of them over him.

However, the third Bucky exclaims ‘Behind you a hundred percent, Johnny’ as he smashes into Walker’s back, knocking the hero to the ground. ‘Monkey pile on the Super-Patriot!’ Lemar Hoskins exclaims, to which one of the others asks ‘You say “Patriot” or “Pay-Toilet”, Lemar?’. ‘Don’t get wise with me, man’ Lemar replies, while they continue to punch Super-Patriot. Johnny just laughs and tells his allies that they have had their fun. ‘Now help me up before I accidentally hurt you all!’ he jokes, before asking his friends - who all wear masks and head coverings similar to Captain America’s, except theirs have a large white “B” on them - when they rolled into town.

Lemar replies that they got in a couple of hours ago, to which Johnny asks if Ethan told them where they could find him. ‘Yep - and that ain’t all he told us!’ Lemar adds, asking if it is true what Thurm said - that the feds have tapped him to be Captain America now that the first one “punked out“. ‘That’s the gospel truth’ Walker replies, before telling his friends not to worry, as he is not leaving them behind. ‘Wherever I go, you guys go too!’ he assures them.

Two days later, Super-Patriot enters the Commission on Super Human Activities large chamber, where the five CSA members are in their seats, he looks around, ‘Wow. This is where the agency Miss Cooper works for meets? You could play football in here!’ he exclaims, impressed at the size of the chamber, before realizing that this is where they tell him if his background meets with their approval or not. Mr. Yates addresses Super-Patriot formally, as “Mr. Walker” and thanks him for his punctuality.

Super-Patriot thinks that it is odd being called that while wearing this uniform, before Yates announces that they have good news for him, explaining that their investigation has shown him to be a most exemplary young man. ‘Your scholastic and military records, your personal references, your courage - all most commendable’. Cutting to the chase, Yates tells Walker that, the bottom line is, if he wishes to become Captain America, then the assignment is his. Wide-eyed, Johnny exclaims ‘It…really? Er, yes sir, I’m your man!’.

Walker then remarks that, with their permission of course, he would like to make a few requests. ‘You see, I have this manager, and he -’ Walker begins, until Yates interrupts, ‘This would Mr. Thurm, eh?’ he asks, before telling Walker to give him the list and they will see what they can do. Walker thanks Yates as he hands him the list, before Yates addresses him as “Captain” and asks him to accompany Ms. Cooper who will take him to be fitted. Valerie smiles at Walker as he approaches her, while thinking to himself ‘”Captain”…he called me “Captain”!’.

Soon, elsewhere, Valerie takes a Captain America uniform from a locker and hands it to Walker, asking him to try it on. ’Sure thing’ Walker replies, before asking Valerie if she would mind turning around. Valerie does so, and Johnny takes off his Super-Patriot costume, before replacing it with the Captain America uniform - pants, top, gloves, boots, and finally - mask. ’I’m done!’ Walker announces, to which Valerie, carrying the shield behind her back, asks him how it fits. ’Quite snug’ Walker replies, adding that it is a bit strange, before asking if they can have it modified a bit, as it itches having his whole head covered up.

‘Afraid not’ Valerie replies, before handing Walker the glistening shield, which Walker admires, ’What a piece of work!’ he exclaims, while recalling that the last time he felt it, Captain America threw it at him. Valerie asks Walker to come with her, as they will start his training. Entering another room, three costumed individuals are waiting, and Valerie introduces Walker - calling him Captain - to three of the Freedom Force operatives - Avalanche, Pyro and Blob. Shocked, Walker exclaims that he has heard of these “fellows” - ‘They’re criminals!’ he declares.

‘Ex-criminals’ Valerie corrects him, explaining that the former Brotherhood of Evil Mutants members have been pardoned as long as they continue to work as special government agents. Valerie remarks that Walker’s records say he is quite a capable fighter, and explains that the Freedom Force members will simulate combat conditions and help him get used to using the shield. ‘I’ll see you at lunch’ Valerie smiles as she leaves Walker alone with her Freedom Force cronies, despite the fact that Walker objects, ‘But -’ he begins, except Valerie has gone.

Johnny smiles sheepishly at the hardened criminals and tells them, that, as Miss Cooper probably already has, he is the new Captain America. ‘So, what do we do first?’ Walker asks. ‘Ha-ha, what a bodgie!’ Pyro laughs. ‘This oughtta be a riot!’ the Blob bellows, while Avalanche calls Walker “Captain America Junior” and tells him that what they do first - is beat the stuffings out of him! With that, the Greek mutant unleashes his powerful abilities to create seismic shocks, which ripple through the floor, knocking the new Captain America back.

Walker is forced to leap over some fireballs which Pyro shoots at him, before once more being knocked off his feet. Unable to get his footing, he wonders what these bozos are trying to do to him, before deciding that if rough is the way they want to play, then that is fine by them, and he leaps towards the Blob, holding his shield adjacent to his body, ‘Okay, fellows, you asked for it!’ Walker shouts. ‘Wrong, little man - you asked for it be agreeing to take the place of one of the biggest saps I ever met!’ the Blob exclaims, before Walker rams into him, only to bounce right back due to the Blob’s immense blubber.

Walker dodges more rings of fire from Pyro while the Blob tells him to stop hopping around like a bullfrog and take his lumps like a man. ‘No thanks!’ Walker replies, only for the ground to rise beneath him, smacking him over, Walker realizes that these three have worked together before. ‘One sets me up, the other bushwhacks me!’. Walker grips his shield, grimacing, he tells himself that he has never fought anybody who could do the weird stuff that these guys do, and wonders what he should do now, before realizing that he wasn’t given this shield because it matches his uniform, and he tosses it at Pyro, smacking him in the stomach, causing him to stop unleashing fire upon Walker.

Walker decides that there is now one down, but regrets losing his shield in the process. Avalanche raises some more of the floor under Walker, who is seriously annoyed and decides that it has to stop. Leaping over the rising floor, Walker uses the force from his leap to drop down on Avalanche, kicking him in the stomach and knocking him over. Walker turns to the Blob, ‘Okay, big man, now it’s one on one!’ he exclaims. The Blob snarls at Walker, ‘Hope you enjoyed your beginners luck boy scout - ‘cuz it just ran out!’ he boasts.

Walker tells himself that he will plant himself firmly this time, and let the Blob face the full force of his augmented strength. But it does nothing to the Blob, who grabs Walker by the neck and holds him up above the ground. ‘Nice try, but I’ve shrugged off punches from the Hulk hisself!’ the Blob boasts. Walker is clearly anxious about being trapped by the Blob, who exclaims ‘Now lemme show you what we do to wimps who can’t cut it! Nighty-night, boy scout!’ he remarks, when suddenly, Valerie storms into the room and orders the obese mutant to put Captain America down.

Begrudgingly, the Blob does as he is told, dropping Walker, who coughs as he gets his breath back. Valerie asks Walker if he is okay, to which John replies that it is hard to swallow. Valerie explains that she was monitoring his performance. ‘Swell’ Walker mumbles, before collecting his shield, while Val asks him if he learnt anything from the exercise. ‘Yes’m, that those guys only play for keeps!’ Walker replies. ‘I was hoping you’d learn what an asset that shield is’ Valerie replies. ‘Right’ Walker mumbles, before Val tells him to report to the archive library and start studying the footage they have of the original Captain America in combat. Val informs Walker that she will be by in two hours to quiz him. ‘Yes…ma’am’ Walker replies.

Later that night, Walker stumbles into his hotel room. ‘Hey, look who’s back - the greatest American hero himself!’ one of the Buckies remarks as the three of them play poker with Thurm. Walker’s manager asks him how it went, to which Walker replies that he got the job. He takes off his jacket as he walks towards his bed, while Thurm asks if the CSA agreed to all their demands. Walker replies that they said they would look into them, before flopping down on the bed.

‘What do you mean “look into them”?’ the tubby Thurm asks, reminding Johnny that he told him not to do anything without a written contract. ‘Lay off man, I’m really beat. I need rest’ Walker replies, before Lemar asks him if they didn’t even let him take the costume home. ‘No, not yet’ the exhausted hero replies.

Three days later, the new Captain America stands before the CSA once more, as Yates informs him that they wanted to get back to him on his list of requests as soon as possible. Yates tells Walker that, after careful consideration, he must report that they cannot grant all of his wishes. ‘In particular, you’ll have to drop Mr. Thurm as your manager, and two of the three men you propose to assist you do not meet with FBI approval’ Yates declares, before asking Captain America if he has any problems with this. Walker pauses, and looks to the ground, before assertively replying ‘No, sir’….

Characters Involved: 

Super-Patriot / John Walker / Captain America VI

Dr. Valerie Cooper, Henry Gyrich, General Lewis Haywerth, Mr. George Mathers, Mr. Yates (all Commission on Super Human Activity)

Avalanche, Blob, Pyro (all Freedom Force)

Ethan Thurm (Super-Patriot’s manager)

Lemar Hoskins, Jerome Johnson, Hector Lennox (all Bold Urban Commandos / “Buckies”)

Katy (A.M. Washington presenter)

camera crew and studio personnel

Farber & McNulty (FBI)

In Illustrative Images:


G.I. Max

In Photographs:

Sgt. Nick Fury



In Newspaper Photo

In First Flashback:




In Super-Patriot’s Memory:

Caleb & Emily Walker (parents)

Michael Walker (older brother)

Kate Walker [later Tolifson] (older sister)

In Origin Flashback

Johnny Walker at various stages

Caleb, Emily and Kate Walker

Lemar Hoskins (latter Battlestar)

Ethan Thurm


Admin woman

Story Notes: 

Prior to this issue, Johnny Walker appeared in Captain America (1st series) #321 (1st appearance), #323, #327 and #332.

Technically, Johnny is the second Super-Patriot, as someone called Super-Patriot appeared once in Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #13.

Years later, Mike Farrell, a fireman and member of the Watchdogs, becomes the third Super-Patriot during the storyline “Fighting Chance” [Captain America (1st series) #425-437].

Captain America (Steve Rogers) resigned in Captain America (1st series) #332.

The Nuke that is referred to this issue should not be confused with any other Marvel Comic character called Nuke. This one is a foe of Daredevil, first appearing in Daredevil (1st series) #231, and most recently, in the Wolverine: Origins series.

G.I. Max is a little-known character who appeared in Captain America (1st series) #331 alongside the “fake” Ms. Marvel (Sharon Ventura) and Demolition Man.

The Buckies / Bold Urban Commandos are comprised of Lemar Hoskins (who goes on to be Walker’s side kick Bucky and later takes the name Battlestar), as well as Jerome Johnson and Hector Lennox who are not named this issue. They go on to bear a grudge against Walker as they are not chosen to assist him, and become Left-Winger and Right-Winger, the men responsible for the deaths of Johnny’s parents.

Thurm first appeared in Thing (1st series) #30. This marks his final appearance for some time, before returning in the USAgent back up stories in Captain America (1st series) #373-381.

According to a footnote, “Bodgie” as Pyro calls Walker, is Australian slang for “Jerk”.

The appearances of Blob, Pyro and Avalanche take place following their guest stint in the Avengers Annual #15 and West Coast Avengers Annual #1.

Dr. Valerie Cooper’s appearance prior to this issue was in Iron Man (1st series) #214, and appears as a supporting character in many Captain America (1st series) issues until #355, before returning to the pages of the X-books, though of course still holding her CSA membership and power.

Johnny Walker serves as Captain America until Captain America (1st series) #350, when Steve Rogers returns. Following that, he is placed with the Avengers West Coast [West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #44] where he remains with the team (aside from a couple of short breaks) until the disbanding of Force Works [Force Works #22]. Since then, he has served in various capacities alongside the Avengers, working for the government and as a member of the short-lived New Invaders team, before moving to Canada and serving as leader of the new Omega Flight. [Civil War: Choosing Sides, Omega Flight #1-5].

More of Walker’s origin can be seen in the first USAgent mini series.

Issue Information: 
Written By: