Before Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes became defenders of the world in Endgame, they were facing a different kind of global threat from an enemy with a similar destructive view of mankind. Whether it’s from the comics or movies, Steve’s involvement in WWII was a catalyst that would irrevocably change the course of their lives so much that not even the Time Stone could alter it back.
The way we were introduced to Bucky in the MCU was as a best friend to underwhelming Steve Rogers. In Captain America: The First Avenger, it was Bucky who was shipping out to fight Nazis when Steve was rejected for service. However, in Captain America Comics, Bucky was more of a teenage sidekick to the future namesake of America. In fact, it was in these pages from 1941 that Bucky was inspired by Steve. Son of a man who gave his life in battle, young Barnes looked up to Captain America and kept the secret of his true identity.
For many years, the original storyline had halted a future for the would-be Winter Soldier early on. Due to his incredible bravery, trying to deactivate a bomb, Steve watched his young friend risk his own life to save others. The finality of this act took him out of the literal comic picture. Bucky was widely considered as one of the few comic characters who was actually deceased.
Thanks to Ed Brubaker, he was brought back to life to become a much more in-depth and critical part of an ever-shifting Marvel puzzle. The beauty of comics is that we’re allowed more insight and greater detail into the life of someone like Bucky Barnes, who has basically lived two lives that the movies have only scratched the surface of. Luckily, there’s plenty of comic action to put into play. Watching the big screen gives you the impression that Bucky’s only points of reference is Steve Rogers and HYDRA. What they haven’t shown yet is that the Super Soldier has hung out on the pages with other popular characters such as Black Widow and Wolverine. Adding flashbacks of Bucky training Natasha in the Red Room would have made for some thought provoking after credit scenes in Black Widow. Also, now that Disney brought X-Men back to the MCU after acquiring 20th Century Fox, it’s not hard to fathom a live action rekindling of disdain between Wolverine and Bucky.
Perhaps the start of further developing the on-screen Bucky Barnes was the recent Disney+ show, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where we partially follow along while he tries to atone for what he’s done, in addition to forging a bond with Cap’s other right-hand man, Sam Wilson aka Falcon. With the frequently evolving multiverse, it’s possible that fans will get to see more of the comics intertwined under new storylines of the MCU.
What’s your take on Bucky?