Christopher Priest Writes U.S.Agent for Marvel as a Morality Play

Writer Christopher Priest is no stranger to writing about politics, as evidenced by his landmark run on Black Panther, and now he's back at Marvel to write about a divisive figure during an incredibly divisive time. No, it's not a biography of Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter. (Though, look for that soon, probably coming from Bluewater Productions, or whatever they're calling themselves these days.) No, the fan-favorite writer is back at Marvel with a U.S.Agent series, which will run for five issues starting in November. Artist Stefano Landini will join Christopher Priest on this series, which picks up with disgraced agent John Walker as he enters into a conflict between a small town and a staggering corporate entity. The run will be called "American Zealot" and is described by Priest as a "morality play."

U.S.Agent is back with Christopher Priest on board. Credit: Marvel Comics
U.S.Agent is back with Christopher Priest onboard. Credit: Marvel Comics

In Marvel's announcement for this upcoming U.S.Agent series, Priest spoke on John Walker's upcoming journey and what "morality play" will mean in the context of this superhero title:

"'American Zealot' is a morality play told in five acts. John Walker has been fired. Or he quit. Depends on who's telling the story. Now finding his way as a civilian government contractor, Walker is making more money and taking more risks as he can now venture into places sanctioned agents can't always follow. However, with limited official access to intelligence data, the now-former USAgent's missions can and often do lead him into blind alleys he'll need to MacGyver himself out of."

Christopher Priest has always had a shrewd understanding of politics, which characterizes not only his Black Panther run but also his work on Dynamite's Vampirella and Sacred Six. That is where Priest turned a horror story about vampires and zombies into a metaphor for the deepening political division in our country. As Priest brings his talents to U.S.Agent, he seems intent to not only make a statement about morality but also about John Walker as a man. He continued on to say:

 "I was thrilled to be invited back to Captain America," Priest continues, "until I realized it was this guy, Cap's scowling, emotionally damaged misfit cousin. Cousin America. But USAGENT presents an exciting writer's challenge to explore the myriad expressions and aspirations of the American dream, how that dream is fulfilled or not, through the eyes and voices of a nation often at war with itself. John Walker is a man often at war with HIMself, so Marvel knows no better a protagonist for this journey, this stumble, this Parkour carom through the many visions of the greatest nation on Earth."

U.S.Agent #1 will be available from Marvel this November. Stay tuned to Bleeding Cool for our post on the rest of Marvel's November releases.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.