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U.S. Agent #2: Review

Dec 2020
Christopher Priest, Georges Jeanty

Story Name:

American Zealot Chapter Two: Homeland

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

U.S. Agent #2 Review by (April 6, 2021)

Review: Still no idea what we have here: John Walker is a redneck; his sister hates him for it.  Constant mockery and bashing of America’s rural poor, which is likely shorthand for “Trump supporters.” Most of it comes from Kate, though, and the final page reveal suggests she is a bad guy. Still, the people themselves aren’t portrayed nicely, save for the Black guy who says they are all too poor to be prejudiced. I’m no Trump fan but I have friends and relatives who are so I’m still finding it insulting. So, what’s up your sleeve, Mr. Priest? Are we eventually going to be asked to examine our own prejudices or are you just showing us yours? We’ll see. “It’s the suspense that gets ya!”—Bugs Bunny.

Comments: First appearance of April Manning, the new U.S. Agent. Valerie Cooper is a government official whose primary job is to keep an eye on superhumans in the USA; introduced in UNCANNY X-MEN #176 in 1983, she has mainly appeared in X-titles but was also part of the team that stripped Steve Rogers of being Captain America and gave the job to John Walker (CAPTAIN AMERICA #332-350). Marvel’s sliding timescale at work: The murder of John Walker’s parents is said to have been six years ago; they died in CAPTAIN AMERICA #345 in 1988. 





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

U.S. Agent #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Financial wizard April Manning (a man, incidentally) leaves one of his lectures and enters the car to take him to his next assignment: he injects himself with a drug that rapidly increases his muscle mass….

Valerie Cooper catches up with the bored bureaucrat in Omaha who activated John Walker/U.S. Agent without knowing he had been fired—and fires that guy….

Walker recalls how his family left him in a burning house as a kid and Captain America (that’s how he remembers it) rushed in and rescued him; it was actually his brother Mike, an Army serviceman. Now he is arguing with his sister Kate Tolifson, who is part of the team (four other soldiers, all male) guarding the Virago building in Ephraim, West Virginia, actually a cover for a secret SHIELD installation. They argue a lot over the baggage both of them are carrying. She gets to the immediate problem: the local, resentful of Virago, blew up their power plant. Now a fuel cell is missing and Kate is certain someone in the town has it. So, they have only a little time until a) the containment field hiding the true nature of the base shuts down and b) the fuel cell leaks toxic energy to kill everyone in town. He heads out but his cycle breaks down and a local fellow gives him a ride back to town where everyone takes him for Captain America….

Meanwhile, John’s unwanted partner Morrie Watanabe wakes up in the home of a local family where the kids play with guns and there is no indoor plumbing….

Walker returns to Virago and reports that no one in town has the fuel cell; Kate thinks he’s an idiot for believing the hicks whom he identifies with. She also reveals something he never knew: brother Mike accidentally started the fire that night while he was drunk. And years later he wasn’t killed in a copter crash—he shot himself. Walker throws a fit and he can’t be restrained by the four soldiers with Kate. He leaves—and then a band of covert agents comes in and kills the four soldiers. Then Kate welcomes her lover, April Manning, the new U.S. Agent ….



Georges Jeanty
Karl Story
Matt Milla
Marco Checchetto (Cover Penciler)
Marco Checchetto (Cover Inker)
Marco Checchetto (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.


Kate Tolifson, Morrie Watanabe, U.S. Agent (John Walker), U.S. Agent (April Manning), Valerie Cooper.

> U.S. Agent: Book info and issue index

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