In Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) will be going by a new codename: White Wolf. Though the comic book versions of White Wolf and Bucky are two completely different people, Marvel's decision to make Bucky the Marvel Cinematic Universe's White Wolf gives clues as to what Bucky's future may hold, including his association with Captain America and a possible role in Black Panther 2.
In Captain America: Civil War, it was decided that Black Panther should take custody of Winter Soldier until the problem of his brainwashing by HYDRA could be resolved. After being placed in stasis, Bucky wasn't seen again until the post-credits scene of Black Panther - where Wakandan children referred to him as "White Wolf", making fans speculate about what this could mean for the character. Bucky's "White Wolf" identity was confirmed by the release of an Avengers: Infinity War cover for Entertainment Weekly.
We know that Bucky will have an important role in Avengers: Infinity War as one of the many heroes who will take a stand against Thanos and the Black Order. What we don't know is where Bucky will end up by the end of the film, or what his place will be in the MCU going forward. It's possible that Bucky's new identity could be a major indication of what Marvel has planned for the character in future movies.
This Page: White Wolf Explained, How Bucky Fits In The MCU
Who Is White Wolf In The Comics?
Introduced in Black Panther #4 in 1999, White Wolf was a white man named Hunter whose parents died in a plane crash in Wakanda. Though Hunter was mistrusted by the Wakandans, he was taken in by King T'Chaka and raised as his own. Hunter became jealous once T'Challa was born, but not because he desired the throne. He had no delusions of becoming king; he genuinely loved Wakanda and his adopted father. He worked hard to prove his worth to the king and eventually became the leader of Wakanda's secret police, Hatut Zeraze (reinvented as the "War Dogs" in Black Panther).
After taking the name "White Wolf", Hunter remained a devoted subject of Wakanda until the king's death. The Hatut Zeraze was disbanded by T'Challa due to their brutal methods, further straining Hunter's relationship with T'Challa. He left Wakanda to work as a mercenary, but has been known to return to his home in times of crisis. He later became an ally to T'Challa's successor, Kasper Cole.
How Bucky Fits As The MCU White Wolf
Looking at the comics, Bucky Barnes and White Wolf don't really have anything in common. However, the events of Infinity War could put Bucky on the path to becoming the MCU's White Wolf. Bucky is a fugitive and can never again live as a free man in his home country, so working in the service of Black Panther could actually be a solid career choice for the character. In Wakanda, he could finally have a fresh start and a new purpose.
In Captain America: First Avenger, he was Bucky, Cap's best friend. In Winter Soldier, he was a brainwashed assassin working for HYDRA. In Civil War, he was a fugitive on the run. Who will Bucky be now? Becoming a full-fledged superhero doesn't seem like Bucky's style, so becoming White Wolf could be the most logical direction for the character to take next. It's a decision that could totally redefine Bucky's role in the MCU.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019