Bucky Barnes was the best friend of Steve Rogers, the man who would eventually become Captain America after receiving the Super Soldier Serum. They grew up together, both enlisted into the military, and many years later, were both members of The Avengers. The character has been around for decades; but there was a very violent and pivotal time in Bucky’s life, when he first became the Winter Soldier. That was something that they kind of dealt with in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
We never really got to see the decades worth of missions the Winter Soldier was sent out on, but we definitely got a sense of them. In Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky was the best friend of Steve Rogers, and they went into battle together – when Bucky seemingly died, falling to his death. Only Steve had no idea that his best friend was still alive, being taken by Russians who brainwashed him to be an assassin. They also gave him a version of the Super Soldier Serum, making his physically equal to Cap. He’s really the perfect adversary. They kept him on ice and kept him alive and young for several decades.
Just like in the comics, Captain America comes across the Winter Soldier, revealed to be Bucky, and is confronted with the inevitability of having to take him out. But he couldn’t and by the end of the movie, the two parted ways, though Cap is still looking for him. He finds him in Captain America: Civil War, coming out this summer. From the looks of the trailer, the two will be rebuilding their friendship and no longer seeing the other as an enemy. If you don’t know that much about Bucky/the Winter Soldier, this is definitely a must-read.
10. Origin Of His Name
Stan Lee loved giving his characters nicknames in the comics. He did it as a way to humanize the characters and add more personality, as well as connect with the readers. Joe Simon originally created both Captain America and James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes and came up with the name Bucky because of someone he knew in high school. Bucky Pierson, a star on Joe Simon’s high school basketball team was a friend of Joe’s.
9. He Was Originally Cap’s Sidekick
Bucky Barnes appeared alongside Captain America in nearly every story in that publication after his debut in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). Yeah, Batman wasn’t the only superhero with a sidekick in that era of comic books. It was a smart way to bring more children into readership and make them feel as though they are in the story. Bucky caught Steve putting on his Cap costume, and left him no choice but to let him join as his partner. Bucky was even part of a superhero group called the Young Allies, comprised of Bucky and four of his young friends.
8. His Sidekick Status Was A Coverup
In 2005, series writer Ed Brubaker returned Bucky from his seeming death near the end of World War II. He additionally revealed that Barnes’ official status as Captain America’s sidekick was a cover-up, re-writing canon to insist that Bucky was a traitor from the very beginning. Apparently Barnes began as a 16-year-old operative trained to do things regular soldiers and the twenty-something Captain America normally would never do, like conduct covert assassinations.
7. He Is An Orphan
There are a lot of heroes who have never met their parents. Bucky was one of those heroes, wit his father having died as a soldier. His father was killed while in training at U.S. Army Camp Lehigh in Virginia and his mother died when he was a child. It was just before the United States made their entry into the second World War. The camp then decided to unofficially adopt young Bucky, and used him as their mascot. He was learning the tricks of the trade, so to speak, and this is when he bumped into Steve Rogers at Camp Lehigh. He was only a teenager, and it’s fairly safe to assume that Bucky probably saw Captain America as somewhat of a father figure.
6. Has A Cybernetic Arm
The Winter Soldier’s left arm is a cybernetic prosthetic with superhuman strength and enhanced reaction time. When Bucky seemingly died in the 1940s, he survived but his left arm was replaced with a cybernetic arm. It can function when not in contact with Barnes and can discharge bolts of electrical energy from its palm. The arm is also able to discharge an EMP which can cause electronics to either shutdown or become totally useless. In the comics, he’s even been able to disguise the arm as one covered with flesh, via a holographic function.
5. He Helped Wolverine and Killed His Wife
In Volume 3 of the Wolverine comic series, Wolverine found his way to the Department K facility where the Weapon X program was conducted. It brought up some bad memories, and Bucky was involved in two very important ones. Wolverine remembers Winter Soldier helping him escape the facility, though the memory had been blocked for quite a while. He tracked Bucky to Serbia and the two got into a pretty vicious fight. This is where Bucky admitted that he killed his wife, Itsu, who Wolverine had met while in Japan. Itsu was carrying their unborn child, their son Daken, who survived the attack after being cut from his mother’s womb.
4. He Dated Black Widow
The Winter Soldier had a brief relationship with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. The pairing of these two actually makes a lot of sense when looking at their personalities and respective histories. They both have very specific ties to Russia, were both killers/assassins, and they carry some moral ambiguity within themselves. Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Bucky in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would love to see his character develop a romance with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. “I could talk about the Black Widow all you want! That’s an amazing storyline. I would love for that to happen.”
3. He Becomes Captain America
Yep, Captain America being shot was one of the most famous deaths in comics. Steve Rogers is shot and dies in the hospital, and following this tragic event, Bucky takes up the Captain America mantle and gets a pretty cool costume. As Captain America, he possesses the original, indestructible, vibranium alloy shield used by Steve Rogers. He also got a Kevlar/Nomex blend, shock-absorbing costume. Bucky, as the Winter Soldier, often carries several conventional weapons such as knives, guns – usually it’s a Colt 1911-A1 .45 and a P08 Luger – and he also has grenades and was not afraid to utilize any of these weapons as Captain America.
2. He Was Put On Trial For His Crimes
Winter Soldier was put on trial for the crimes he committed during the last several decades. He was not found guilty in an American court, but Russian officials took him away, having convicted him of crimes against the state, blaming him for the deaths of two civilians. But as Sharon Carter and Black Widow discover, his victims were connected to Russia’s Department X’s Red Room division. Bucky managed to avoid imprisonment with help from Widow and returned to America, however it was decided he was too tainted by his past to be allowed to continue wearing the Captain America title.
1. He Helped Train Black Widow
The Red Room is an espionage training facility at Department X, a covert Soviet agency that produced super-soldiers. It was here that Black Widow (Natalia/Natasha Romanoff) received her training, and the Winter Soldier trained her as part of the Black Widow Ops Program. As they spent more time together, they grew close and fell in love. Natasha was promised to another man, Alexi Shostakov, but she loved Bucky more. Plus, he would often sneak into her sleeping quarters in the middle of the night for some late-night training.