Some new concept art for the Winter Soldier reveals the character could have had a much different look. Marvel characters, like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk (just to name a few) have become iconic over the past 50 years or so, but did so especially after the superhero genre exploded on the big screen. Their names, likeness, and symbols can now be found on everything from live-action movies and television to cartoons, clothing, toys and so much more. The characters were originally created for print, of course, but over time concept artists have had to redesign their looks for each new medium.
The Winter Soldier, aka Bucky Barnes, is one superhero who has had a long history in comic books. After being originally introduced in 1941 as a sidekick of Captain America, the character was later brought back from the dead as a brainwashed assassin, who later assumed the role of Captain America once Steve Rogers was presumed dead. He’s grown from being called ‘Captain America’s Young Ally’ to become a strong and formidable fighter in his own right.
For the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, concept artists and character designers at Marvel Studios decided to go with Bucky Barnes’ latest incarnation as the Winter Soldier. Complete with long hair, a face mask and cybernetic arm, the Winter Soldier is a ruthless mercenary in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A user on Reddit has put together a bunch of concept art (seen below) of the character in various forms:
Bucky Barnes’s first appearance as the Winter Soldier in the Marvel Universe dates back to Captain America #1 (Vol 5) back in 2005. His look was designed and created by artist Steve Epting, one of series writer Ed Brubaker’s most frequent collaborators in the modern era of Captain America comics. Together they created a Winter Soldier who looks more like a hitman than a superhero considering his origins.
It seems the concept artist for the films toyed with giving the character a trench coat, making him look more like a masked avenger or covering up his cybernetic arm. In the end, the Winter Solider seems to have incorporated elements from all these designs. When doing concept art more details and ideas are always better, since those can then be made simpler for the final draft. For a character in the heat of all the action, only the main features are going to be noticeable anyway. When it boils down to it, the Winter Soldier we see onscreen is essentially the one for the comics, which should make a lot of fans happy.
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