Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, is one of the most intriguing and complex characters in the MCU. He was introduced as Captain America’s sidekick, but returned as a villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The last Marvel movie saw Bucky framed as a terrorist, and he ultimately became Zemo’s ultimate weapon. While Cap stood by his old friend, Tony Stark wanted nothing more than to see Bucky pay for his crimes – with his life.
“I’ve been enjoying rediscovering him in the last few movies, including Infinity War, because he started out a certain way and then it was such a hard left with Winter Soldier, it was immediately like a whole different ballgame. So now it’s been fun going back a little bit and finding different things that we discovered in that early movie and putting them back in little by little, finding out where is he now.”
Stan is certainly a master of understatement. His character was apparently killed in Captain America: The First Avenger, but seasoned comic book fans knew to expect his return. On the page, Bucky was killed off back in the #60s. In 2005, writer Ed Brubaker came up with the plot to bring him back – as a fearsome assassin. Brubaker’s run is generally considered to be a high point in Cap’s comic book history, so fans knew Marvel would look to it for inspiration. They were right, as was proven when Marvel announced the second Captain America film would bear the subtitle “The Winter Soldier.”
Captain America: Civil War ended with Bucky returning to cryogenic stasis. The Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comic has revealed that the Wakanda Design Group has been working on reversing his brainwashing. In fact, the scientist in charge is none other than Shuri, the Black Panther’s 16-year-old genius sister. The Prelude comic has already teased that she’ll be successful; the Bucky of Infinity War will be free from all Hydra conditioning.
It will be fascinating to see how Stan portrays this new version of Bucky Barnes. His comment implies that he’ll be revisiting elements from The First Avenger, but subtly reworking them. After all, Civil War established that Bucky can remember everything he did as the Winter Soldier. That kind of burden is sure to weigh upon him. A further complication is the fact that Bucky will be working alongside Tony Stark, the man who wanted him dead. With the fate of the Earth at stake, these two heroes will need to put their personal history behind them. Thanos is about to arrive, and the Avengers have no time left for Stark’s vendetta.
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