The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes have aged, their gadgets changed, and so did their weapons, but when it comes to Captain America shield, the discus shaped vibranium weapon retained its appearance whether it was in Captain America: The First Avenger, when the aged Steve Rogers plucked a shield from an earlier timeline to give it to Sam, or when it was passed on to John Walker. But in a recent trailer for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the shield seems to have undergone some changes that hint at developments that are yet to take place in the Disney+ series.
Our new Captain America, John Walker, recently assumed Steve Roger’s familiar shield in the initial episodes of the series and has been deftly wielding the same. But in the recently released mid-season trailer of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, brief footage halfway through the trailer sees him walking with a very different-looking shield in his left hand- the star in the center is depicted differently while lines going around the circumference seem to be thicker. What could possibly lead to this sudden change?
The mid-season trailer shows that Sam finally gets on board with the idea of fighting Walker to get Captain America’s shield, possibly after seeing for himself how the latter tarnished the legacy of Steve by using the shield to murder someone. As in other trailers and promos of the show, we have seen Sam and Bucky practicing with the shield which means that they will succeed in securing the shield. Then which shield is Walker wielding later in the episode?
There are only two possibilities- either the U.S. government gave him a new shield or given his newfound strength and lust for more power, Walker got his hands on some illegal vibranium and fashioned for himself a new shield.
As we know, the old Steve Rogers gave the shield to Sam at the end of Avengers: Endgame, finding him to be the best person to uphold his mantle with him gone. But Sam was always conflicted about becoming Captain America as he felt the shield belonged to Steve, so he returned the shield to the U.S. government in the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
But while he hoped that the government would preserve the shield in memory of Steve Roger’s bravery and sacrifices, they went ahead and gave the title as well as the shield to their own Captain America: John Walker, a special operations officer of the U.S. Army. Though Walker is brave and quick to think on his feet, the fact that the title of Captain America comes with immense power gets to his head and he becomes arrogant to the point that the shield stops being a legacy to him.
In the recent episodes, we saw him getting beaten by the Wakandian women warriors that remind him that while he may have the shield, he is no super-soldier. Thus, shamed by his loss, when he gets his hand on a super-soldier serum, he takes it without hesitation as he hoped that just like Steve Rogers it would only enhance his strength. But when Karli Morgenthau accidentally kills his friend Lemar Hoskins, we see what the serum has really enhanced; while he is indeed super strong now, he is also more vain and violent, an example of which we saw at the end of the last The Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode where he used the shield to bash a Flag Smasher to death publicly. Could this be the beginning of John Walker’s downfall?