Bucky Barnes as Winter Soldier. Promotional art for Captain America vol. 5, #11 (Nov. 2005), by Steve Epting
|First appearance||As Bucky:|
Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
As Winter Soldier:
Captain America #1 (January 2005)
As Captain America:
Captain America #34 (January 2008)
|Alter ego||James Buchanan Barnes|
Legion of the Unliving
|Notable aliases||Bucky, Winter Soldier, Captain America|
|Abilities||Skilled hand to hand combatant, martial artist and marksman|
Use of military weapons and throwing knives
As Winter Soldier:
Skilled assassin and spy
Via cybernetic left arm:
Enhanced reaction time
As Captain America:
Carries a Vibranium alloy shield
Wears a shock absorbing costume
Use of conventional weapons
James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Originally introduced as a sidekick to Captain America, the character was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (cover-dated March 1941) (which was published by Marvel's predecessor, Timely Comics) as the original and most well-known incarnation of "Bucky". The character is brought back from supposed death as the brainwashed assassin Winter Soldier (Russian: Зимний Солдат, translit. Zimniy Soldát; Belarusian: Зімовы Салдат translit. Zimovy Saldat; Uzbek: Qish Askari translit. Kish Askari), and later assumed the role of Captain America when Steve Rogers was presumed to be dead. IGN listed Bucky Barnes as the 53rd greatest comic book hero of all time stating that after Robin, Bucky is easily the most iconic superhero sidekick of the Golden Age and describing him as one of the central players in the Marvel Universe since his role of being Captain America. IGN also lists Bucky as #8 in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012.
Sebastian Stan portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), as well as cameos in Ant-Man (2015) and Black Panther (2018). Stan will return to portray the role in the upcoming Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2020).
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 Collected editions
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
When Joe Simon created his initial sketch of Captain America for Marvel Comics precursor Timely Comics in 1940, he included a young sidekick. "The boy companion was simply named Bucky, after my friend Bucky Pierson, a star on our high school basketball team," Simon said in his autobiography. Following the character's debut in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941), Bucky Barnes appeared alongside the title star in virtually every story in that publication and other Timely series, and was additionally part of the all-kid team the Young Allies. In the post-war era, with the popularity of superheroes fading, Bucky appeared alongside team-leader Captain America in the two published adventures of Timely/Marvel's first superhero group, the All-Winners Squad, in All Winners Comics #19 and 21 (Fall-Winter 1946; there was no issue #20). After Bucky was shot and seriously wounded in a 1948 Captain America story, he was succeeded by Captain America's girlfriend Betsy Ross, who became the superhero Golden Girl. Captain America Comics ended with #75 (Feb. 1950), by which time the series had been titled Captain America's Weird Tales for two issues, with the finale a horror/suspense anthology issue with no superheroes.
Captain America and Bucky were both briefly revived, along with fellow Timely stars the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner, in the omnibus Young Men #24 (Dec. 1953), published by Marvel's 1950s iteration Atlas Comics. Bucky appeared alongside "Captain America, Commie Smasher!", as the hero was cover-billed, in stories published during the next year in Young Men and Men's Adventures, as well as in three issues of Captain America that continued the old numbering. Sales were poor, however, and the series was discontinued with Captain America #78 (Sept. 1954).
Retroactive continuity, beginning with The Avengers #4 (March 1964), established that the original Captain America and Bucky went missing near the end of World War II and were secretly replaced by then-U.S. President Harry S. Truman with successor heroes using those identities.
Bucky appeared in very occasional flashbacks from the 1960s on, and co-starred with Captain America in flashback World War II adventures in Tales of Suspense #63-71 (March-Nov. 1965). His apparent death was depicted in flashback in The Avengers #56 (Sept. 1968).
In 2005, series writer Ed Brubaker returned Bucky from his seeming death near the end of World War II. He additionally revealed that Barnes's official status as Captain America's sidekick was a cover-up, and that Barnes began as a 16-year-old operative trained to do things regular soldiers and the twenty-something Captain America normally would not do, such as conduct covert assassinations.
Bucky's death had been notable as one of the few comic book deaths that remained unreversed. An aphorism among comic book fans, known as the Bucky Clause, was that in comics, "No one stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd and Uncle Ben". However, all three were brought back to life in their respective universes in 2006, although Uncle Ben turned out to be an alternate Ben from another reality.
Bucky's death has also been used to explain why the Marvel Universe has virtually no young sidekicks, as no responsible hero wants to endanger a minor in similar fashion. Stan Lee also disliked the plot device of kid sidekicks, saying in the 1970s that "One of my many pet peeves has always been the young teenage sidekick of the average superhero". Roger Stern and John Byrne had also considered bringing Bucky back, before deciding against it. However, in 1990, co-creator Jack Kirby, when asked if he had ever heard talk of resurrecting Bucky, answered: "Speaking completely for myself, I wouldn't mind bringing Bucky in; he represents teenagers, and there are always teenagers; he's a universal character".
A climactic scene of Bucky's return involves Captain America using the reality-altering Cosmic Cube to restore the Winter Soldier's memories. Writer Ed Brubaker, in an interview, said he intended no loophole, and that Captain America did not "will" the Winter Soldier to have Bucky's memories.
As Captain America, he appeared as a regular character in the 2010-2013 Avengers series, from issue #1 (July 2010) through issue #7 (January 2011), and in issue #12.1 (June 2011). After the events of the 2011 "Fear Itself" storyline, Bucky returned to the role of Winter Soldier, this time as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in an eponymous series that lasted 19 issues. The first 14 issues were written by Brubaker, with the last story arc written by Jason Latour. Since January 2014, Bucky has been part of the cast of James Robinson's All-New Invaders.
In July 2014, it was announced that Bucky would again have his own series, titled Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier. The series was written by Ales Kot with art by Marco Rudy, and began in October 2014. The series ran for 11 issues before cancellation.
Fictional character biography
Origin and World War II
James Buchanan Barnes was born in Shelbyville, Indiana in 1925. Barnes grew up as an Army brat. He was orphaned when his father was killed in training at U.S. Army Camp Lehigh in Virginia just before the United States' entry into World War II. As a result, he is unofficially adopted by the camp as a mascot. Nicknamed "Bucky", he takes to wearing a uniform and becoming savvy with the ins and outs of military life, even though he is a teenager. It was at Lehigh that he meets and befriends Private Steven Rogers, who by all appearances is the clumsiest soldier in the camp. This was at the same time that reports of the then-mysterious Captain America begin to appear in news magazines, and Barnes eagerly devours the accounts of this new hero.
In 1940, Bucky accidentally walked in on Steve Rogers changing into his uniform, thus discovering his friend was Captain America and insisted that he join him. He underwent extensive training and was assigned to be Captain America's partner. The military justified putting a 15-year-old in harm's way by using him as a symbol to rally the youth of America (as revealed in Captain America vol. 5, #12, Dec 2005). They fight the Red Skull together, and Captain America accepts Bucky as his partner. Together, Captain America and Bucky fight Nazis both at home and abroad, as a duo and as part of the superhero team known as the Invaders, fighting Master Man in their first mission. Barnes also teams up with the sidekicks of other heroes in a group called the Young Allies. Additionally, Bucky was retconned in 1976 as the organizer of the flashback World War II super-team the Liberty Legion, set between the formations of the Invaders and the post-war All-Winners Squad. He was also briefly one of the Kid Commandos at this time. Bucky served as an advance scout for Captain America and the Invaders, often being assigned tasks that none of the heroes could be seen doing.
In the closing days of World War II in 1945, Captain America and Bucky tried to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launches the plane with an armed explosive device on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reach the plane just before it takes off. Bucky unsuccessfully tries to defuse the bomb, and it explodes in mid-air before reaching its intended target. He will be believed to have been killed in action, as Rogers is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Rogers' body, preserved in suspended animation in a block of ice, is found decades later by The Avengers while searching the Arctic for the Sub-Mariner.
It was only in modern times that Captain America would learn that Bucky had a sister, Rebecca, whom he met at a veterans Christmas celebration. Bucky also had one notable post-mortem appearance when the Grandmaster challenged the West and East Coast Avengers for the destruction of the universe, apparently resurrecting long-dead friends and foes for them to fight. Captain America battled Bucky, whom he defeated, and the apparitions disappeared.
In 2005, Marvel launched a new Captain America series (Volume 5) with writer Ed Brubaker, who revealed that Bucky did not die in World War II. It was revealed that after the plane exploded, General Vasily Karpov and the crew of a Russian patrol submarine found Bucky's cold-preserved body, albeit with his left arm severed. Bucky was revived in Moscow, but suffered brain damage with amnesia as a result of the explosion. Scientists attached a bionic arm, periodically upgrading it as technology improved.
Programmed to be a Soviet assassin for Department X – under the code name the Winter Soldier, he is sent on covert wetwork missions and becomes increasingly ruthless and efficient as he kills in the name of the state. While a Soviet agent, he also has a brief relationship with the Black Widow. The Winter Soldier is kept in a cryogenic stasis when not on missions, and as a result has aged only a few years to a young adult since the closing days of World War II. In 1968, the Winter Soldier was sent to kill Professor Zhang Chin, whom he had met over 20 years earlier. He was thwarted by an intangible being called the Man with No Face, though he was able to escape. On assignment in the United States in the 1970s, he suffers a breakdown and goes missing for days after assassinating his target. The Winter Soldier also aided in Wolverine's escape from the Weapon X laboratory and later murdered Itsu, Wolverine's wife, seemingly killing their unborn son Daken, who survived the attack after being cut from his mother's womb.
In the present day, the Winter Soldier seemingly kills the Red Skull and Jack Monroe (Nomad) under orders from former Soviet general Aleksander Lukin (Karpov's former protégé). The Winter Soldier launches a terrorist attack on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, killing hundreds, and charges the Cosmic Cube which Lukin sent him to retrieve. He kidnaps Sharon Carter, an agent of the international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and a former lover of Steve Rogers (Captain America). Upon her rescue, Carter tells Captain America that Winter Soldier looked like Bucky. S.H.I.E.L.D. chief Nick Fury confirms the Winter Soldier's existence, but cannot ascertain his identity.
Captain America tracks down and confronts the Winter Soldier. Regaining his memories, Bucky becomes overwhelmed by guilt over his past actions, crushing the Cosmic Cube and teleporting away.
He reappears shortly afterward in London, where he helps Captain America fend off a terrorist attack. He asks Nick Fury for employment and new equipment following the loss of his bionic arm. Following the events of the superhuman Civil War, Winter Soldier helps Fury plan the escape of an arrested Steve Rogers. Before the plan can be implemented, however, Rogers is assassinated. Considering registration architect Tony Stark (Iron Man) as ultimately responsible, Winter Soldier plans to kill Stark in revenge. Deducing that Stark will oversee the appointment of a new Captain America, Winter Soldier steals Captain America's shield from S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Black Widow so that it cannot be handed down. Ultimately, he heads to Kronas's headquarters, where Lukin reveals he is the Red Skull and has the evil psychiatrist Dr. Faustus attempt unsuccessfully to brainwash the Winter Soldier.
The new Captain America
After escaping from Faustus and being captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., Barnes learns from Executive Director Tony Stark that Steve Rogers had left Stark a letter asking Stark to watch over Barnes and that the Captain America mantle should continue. Stark suggests that Barnes become the new Captain America. Barnes agrees to become the new Captain America only if Stark has telepaths eliminate any potential subliminal commands and guarantees him complete autonomy. As the autonomy arrangement is illegal under the Superhuman Registration Act, Stark keeps his support of the new Captain America secret. Barnes's new Captain America costume is laced with adamantium, and he carries a pistol and a combat knife. Barnes' first major adventure as the new Captain America has him, Falcon, Carter and S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting against the original Red Skull and Dr. Faustus who have revived the 1950s Captain America in a plot to secure one of their pawns attaining the U.S. presidency. Barnes and his allies succeed in aborting the Skull's plans, and Barnes saves the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates from assassination, winning public applause. The adventure ends with Barnes accepting himself and addressing himself now as Captain America. He also begins a friendship with Black Widow.
A still-teenaged Barnes is transported from 1941 and appears in the 2008 Avengers/Invaders miniseries alongside his fellow Invaders when a time travel incident takes them from a World War II battlefield to the present-day Marvel Universe, where they encounter both the Mighty Avengers and New Avengers. At the conclusion of Avengers/Invaders #4, while attempting to break out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, which he believes to be a German base, Barnes encounters his future self dressed as Captain America. During this meeting, the future Barnes attempts to change his history by telling his past self to abandon the plane that he was seemingly killed trying to disarm, without ever telling his younger self his true identity. Barnes decides to let his life turn out the way it should after witnessing the devastating risks involved in changing history.
During the Secret Invasion storyline, after most of the other heroes have fallen as the Skrull invasion of Earth continues, Captain America is seen watching Thor defend a group of civilians in Central Park. Later, after a brief confrontation with Thor, he joins the other group of heroes (the Mighty Avengers, the New Avengers, the Initiative, the Thunderbolts, Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors, Young Avengers, and the Hood's group) in battle against an army of Super-Skrulls led by Queen Veranke herself.
Following the Secret Invasion storyline, Captain America discovers that the remains of Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch, have been recovered and studied by the United Nations. The body was stolen by Professor Zhang Chin who used the Torch to create a virus to exterminate half the Earth's population. Teaming up with Namor, they stop Chin and make sure that Hammond receives a proper burial.
In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, Captain America joins the New Avengers and offers his home as a base of operations. He later participates in the search for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' child, Danielle. He was considered a possible team leader but turned it down because he did not have the proper team experience.
In the Captain America: Reborn storyline, Barnes finds out from Sharon that she did not really kill Steve Rogers. As explained by Doctor Zola to Norman Osborn, Rogers was trapped in a fixed position of time and space. But since Sharon ruined the machine that was supposed to bring him back, Steve was reliving his own past. Barnes and Black Widow attempt to steal the device from H.A.M.M.E.R. but are captured. Osborn sends the Black Widow back to Sharon with an ultimatum: either she turns herself in, as Osborn had implicated her as Rogers' second shooter, or he'll kill Barnes. Barnes is then sent into the custody of the Thunderbolts who tell him that he'll be inducted into their group once Rogers is brought back. However, Barnes is secretly freed by Ant-Man and then rescued by the Falcon. Barnes then teams up with Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff, the Falcon, Hank Pym, and the Vision to save Sharon. The group intercepts the Red Skull's ship beside the Lincoln Memorial and attacks. The Red Skull has already taken over Steve's body, and Barnes attacks him. The two battle while Hank saves Sharon and the others battle Crossbones and a squad of M.O.D.O.K.S.. Sin shoots Barnes in the shoulders, giving the Skull the opportunity to take Captain America's shield. He pins Barnes to the ground and cuts off his cybernetic hand with the shield. However, inside Steve's mind, Steve prepares to kill the Red Skull to keep him from doing any more evil in his name. Realizing its peril, the Red Skull's consciousness returns to its own robotic body. As the robotic Skull attempts to flee, Sharon shoots him, causing the Skull's body to become giant-sized. Steve, back in control of himself, leads an attack. The Vision uses the Skull's ship's weapons to destroy the Skull.[volume & issue needed]
Leading up to the Siege storyline, Bucky Barnes is shown still as Captain America talking with Steve Rogers in a dark body suit and standing next to him. But Rogers is back in costume and seen alongside Barnes still in his own Captain America costume. The two are helping restore Tony Stark's mind by using the shield as a conduit for Thor's lightning. In the second issue, Barnes is alongside Steve's team of heroes. Barnes (still in his Captain America suit) pulls Rogers aside just before they are about to leave for Asgard. Barnes tells Rogers that they should "skip the argument" and insists that Rogers use Captain America's shield. Rogers takes the shield, and Barnes is shown with a large gun in his hands, ready for the fight ahead. In the following issue, Barnes is shown fighting alongside Rogers with both wearing their respective Captain America uniforms in Asgard. After the events of Siege, Rogers returns the shield to Barnes and retires his uniform, leaving Barnes as the only Captain America.
Barnes is a member of the main Avengers team formed in the aftermath of the Siege storyline. Barnes is then put on trial for the crimes he committed as the Winter Soldier. He is found not guilty in an American court, but Russian officials take him away, having convicted him of crimes against the state and claiming that he had gone rogue and killed two civilians. But as Sharon Carter and Black Widow discover, Barnes' victims were connected to Russia's Department X's Red Room division. Barnes escapes imprisonment with the help of Black Widow and returns to the USA, however it is decided he is too tainted by events to be allowed to continue as Captain America.
Fear Itself and return as Winter Soldier
During the Fear Itself storyline, Barnes takes up the Captain America identity again, but is apparently killed in battle with Sin (in her Skadi form). He survives after being injected with a dose of the Infinity Formula. With the world believing him dead he returned to his former identity of Winter Soldier to perform special jobs behind the scenes relating to his earlier days as the Winter Soldier. Only Rogers, Nick Fury, and Black Widow know the truth of his "death". Bucky and Natasha then pursue sleeper agents trained by Bucky during his Winter Soldier days, awakened recently by an unknown ex-KGB agent, who turns out to be Ivan Kragoff, the Red Ghost and former prime minister of Latveria Lucia von Bardas.
During the Original Sin storyline, Bucky initially participates in the investigation into the death of Uatu the Watcher, travelling into deep space with Moon Knight and Gamora to follow up a lead. After the Orb uses one of the Watcher's eyes to force the heroes in its vicinity to witness their deepest secrets, he returns to Earth after destroying the shuttle to strand his teammates, brutally attacking Nick Fury (actually a Life Model Decoy) as he proclaims that there will be "No more secrets". Following the revelation that Nick Fury has been secretly protecting Earth from various alien threats for years using more brutal methods than the heroes would have condoned, as well as the revelation that he killed the Watcher in self-defense and used the Watcher's eye to find the identity of his attacker when Uatu refused to break his oath and reveal that information himself, Fury now acts as the Watcher's replacement while Bucky takes over Fury's role as Earth's more ruthless guardian.
During the Avengers: Standoff! storyline, Bucky, upon being alerted of a catastrophic event, returns to Earth and traces the source of the event to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility where he fights off the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents there. He leaves a trail for Steve Rogers, who finds a message on a napkin he used. At Bev's Diner, Steve Rogers meets with Winter Soldier where they learn that S.H.I.E.L.D. never discarded the Kobik project as they believed, which Whisperer (an alias of Rick Jones) made it public. He then meets Sam Wilson, the current Captain America, who received a tip from the Whisperer about Pleasant Hill and Kobik. After rescuing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Avril Kancaid from the Blood Brothers at the Day Care Center, they are informed of a super weapon hidden in town that Baron Zemo and the other villains are looking for. They later find Steve Rogers at the bowling alley restored to his prime, after Kobik used her powers to restore his youth when he was about to be killed by Crossbones. They begin to search for Kobik again only to discover that Baron Zemo had Fixer invent a device that would help find Kobik as Kraven the Hunter rallies the villains to help with their goals. Upon not being able to successfully locate Kobik, Steve decides to rally the heroes so they can take the fight to Baron Zemo. In the aftermath of the incident, Winter Soldier is approached by Kobik, who offers to help him do good. Winter Soldier agrees to the terms as Kobik suggests that she brings some "friends" she made in Pleasant Hill with them.
During the "Opening Salvo" part of the Secret Empire storyline, Baron Helmut Zemo uses Kobik to send Winter Soldier back in time to World War II. However, Zemo has other plans for Winter Soldier, deciding to tie him onto a rocket to be killed in its explosion, preventing him from stopping Hydra's true objective of conquering the United States. Before being launched, Winter Soldier is shocked to see the Steve he saw besides Zemo is not the man he once knew. However, Winter Soldier manages to escape and falls into the ocean, where he is rescued from drowining by the Atlantean army led by Namor, and is offered to disguise himself as the king's bodyguard to cover his tracks. Once Sam Wilson returns as Captain America and gives hope to his fellow heroes to find the Cosmic Cube fragments before Hydra does, Namor told Winter Soldier that the time has come to remove his disguise and help their fellow allies.
During the resistance's preparation for the final battle against Hydra to restore America to normal, Winter Soldier reveals that he knew whom Kobik was aside being a manifested sentient of Cosmic Cube, a misguided child whom Hydra manipulated into replacing the real Steve with a Hydra counterpart. Thus, Winter Soldier devices a distraction plan by needing Ant-Man/Scott Lang and Sam's help to get Kobik and their Steve back, while Hawkeye leads the rest of resistance on their final raids on the Hydra army at their main base, located in Washington, DC. During the heroes' final raid against Hydra, Winter Soldier rescues Black Panther, who was captured by Hydra and they apprehend Zemo together. When Zola equips Hydra Supreme Steve Rogers with a modified stolen Iron Man armor, infused with the 90% fragments of Cosmic Cube, and both altering the reality into Hydra's image and erasing the heroes from their existence, Winter Soldier, Ant-Man and Sam Wilson uses the last fragment to defend themselves, and initiate their plans, by pretending to surrender the last fragment to Hydra Steve, for Ant-Man and Winter Soldier to enter the cube inside. Once entering the cube thanks to Ant-Man, and Sam's distraction, Winter Soldier manages to save both Kobik and Steve Rogers, restoring the reality and restoring both Steve's physical appearance on the surface, as well as wearing his iconic Captain America costume, and his Super Soldier serum powers. Winter Soldier wanted to help his friend defeating his evil Hydra counterpart, but Sam told him to stand down and let Captain America do this alone.
After Captain America defeated his counterpart, and eventually Hydra, Winter Soldier went to Madripoor while still mourning over Black Widow's death, who was killed by Hydra Supreme Rogers, watching her funeral on TV as he is currently on the lead of an infamous general, who is the target of assassination. Someone snipes the general and Winter Soldier suspects that it might be Black Widow. However, Bucky has doubt that the last Black Widow he saw is not Natasha, but an impostor. He is soon joined by Hawkeye in the search for Natasha's impostor who they discover to be Yelena Belova, who temporarily replaced Natasha as the Black Widow ten years prior.
Powers and abilities
Having trained under Steve Rogers (the original Captain America in World War II) and others in the time leading up to World War II, "Bucky" Barnes is a master of hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, as well as being skilled in the use of military weapons such as firearms and grenades. He also used throwing knives on occasion and was a gifted advance scout. His time as the covert Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier helped to further hone his skills, making him the equal to his predecessor in combat skills and an expert assassin and spy. He is also fluent in many languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Latin, and Japanese.[volume & issue needed] He can understand French.
Winter Soldier's left arm is a cybernetic prosthetic with superhuman strength and enhanced reaction time. The arm can function when not in contact with Barnes and can discharge an EMP causing electronics to either shut down or become useless. The use of Barnes' EMP is shown when Barnes uses it to shut down a Nick Fury LMD and when he attempts to use it on Iron Man. The arm has a holographic function to disguise it as a flesh and blood arm.
As Captain America, he possesses the original, indestructible, vibranium alloy shield used by his predecessor, as well as a Kevlar/Nomex blend shock-absorbing costume. He often carries several conventional weapons such as knives, guns—mostly a Colt 1911A1 .45 and a P08 Luger—and grenades.
In the DC Comics/Marvel Comics one-shot intercompany crossover Batman/Captain America (Dec. 1996), written and drawn by John Byrne and set during World War II, Bucky briefly takes Robin's place as Batman's sidekick, while Robin becomes Captain America's sidekick. In this alternate reality (set in one of DC Comics' numerous "Elseworlds" continuities), Bucky dies (off-page) as he had done in numerous Avengers and Captain America recollections.
In the alternate reality of the five-issue Bullet Points miniseries (Jan.-May 2005), James Barnes never teams up with Steve Rogers as the Super-Soldier program was never activated. However, Rogers volunteers for the 'Iron Man' program and as such, saves Barnes and several fellow soldiers from an advancing tank during the battle of Guadalcanal. Unfortunately he is not swift enough to save Barnes from severe damage to his legs.
In the House of M reality, James Buchanan Barnes is one of the United States government agents (alongside Mimic and Nuke) sent to Genosha to kill Magneto and as many of his followers as possible. Nuke and Mimic served as a distraction while Agent Barnes sneaked into Magneto's headquarters; and though he fatally stabs Professor Xavier, Bucky was killed by Magneto.
In the second issue of the crossover miniseries Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, a zombified Winter Soldier appears and attempts to devour Dazzler. This version of the Winter Soldier is ultimately killed by Ash Williams, who shoots his head off with his "boomstick", even having shot off his bionic arm.
The alternate reality Ultimate Marvel version of Bucky Barnes is an adult sidekick of Captain America (Steve Rogers). This version is Steve's childhood friend who accompanies on missions as an Army press photographer. Surviving the war and believing Captain America's death, Bucky eventually marries Gail Richards and has a large extended family. During which, Bucky is diagnosed as having lung cancer from chain smoking back in the War. Barnes and Gail both live to see Steve's revival in the 21st century and renews their friendship. After America was taken by the Liberators, Bucky is captured at a cemetery with Steve and remains unseen. However, both he and Gail are seen being taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. protective custody after it is discovered that the Red Skull is Steve's and Gail's illegitimate son.
In the alternate reality Marvel MAX series U.S. War Machine, Bucky was serving in the present as Captain America, as the Captain had died in his stead in World War II. Bucky was accompanied here by two assistants that are both addressed by their real names.
In the 2005 What If? event, the Captain America story, set during the American Civil War, featured Steve Rogers' commanding officer, Colonel Buck Barnes, whom the men called "Bucky". His mercenary tendencies led to Rogers' desertion, and when he later intervened in Rogers' transformation into Captain America, his face was destroyed, turning him into an undead being known as the White Skull.
In Ruins, which is set in a dystopian alternate future, Bucky is taken into custody alongside Victor Creed and others for several heinous crimes, including cannibalism.[volume & issue needed]
An alternate-universe Bucky appears in the 2011 miniseries Captain America Corps.
In a world where all the Marvel characters are small children depicted in A-Babies vs. X-Babies, Bucky is Steve's teddy bear, named Bucky Bear. He is stolen by Scott Summers, igniting an enormous battle between the baby Avengers and the baby X-Men.
A female version of Bucky Barnes named Sgt. Rebecca "Becky" Barnes appears in Exiles Vol. 3 and fights against the Axis Powers alongside Peggy Carter, the Captain America of their universe. She joins the Exiles and is in a relationship with Valkryie.
A Battleworld version of Bucky Barnes, along with Steven Rogers and the Devil Dinosaur form the Winter Devils in Planet Hulk #1. Before becoming gladiators in the Killiseum the two were inspired by the heroism of Sam Wilson and joined the Super Soldier program and fought in the war together but eventually lost. Both characters are implied to be lovers in this universe.
In other media
- Bucky Barnes appears in Captain America's portion of The Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Carl Banas.
- Bucky Barnes appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Scott Menville (Bucky) and by Jon Curry (Winter Soldier's animated debut). In the show, Bucky assisted Captain America during World War II. He and Captain America snuck into HYDRA's base, where they battled creatures from other realms. When Bucky and Captain America later go after the Red Skull onto the villain's rocket ship, Bucky's leg got caught in a bar. When Captain America tried to help him, Bucky kicked his friend off, stating that "The World needs Cap more than it needs Bucky Barnes". Although presumed dead for decades, he returns (possibly due to Captain America's contact with the Cosmic Cube) as the mysterious Winter Soldier, one of Dell Rusk's government operatives along Doc Samson, Falcon and the Red Hulk.
- Bucky Barnes appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Rod Keller. He appears in the episode "World War Witch".
- Bucky Barnes appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series, voiced by Bob Bergen (Winter Soldier in "Ghosts of the Past"), Roger Craig Smith (Winter Soldier's spectral form in "Spectrums"), Robbie Daymond (true self in "Saving Captain Rogers"), and Matt Lanter (Winter Soldier in "Vibranium Curtain" Pt. 1). In the episode "Ghost from the Past", Winter Soldier infiltrates Avengers Tower in order to abduct the Red Skull and take his own revenge which conflicts with the Avengers needing information on Thanos. During a fight on a rocket, Winter Soldier fights Captain America before retreating. In the episode "Spectrums", a spectral version of Winter Soldier is made from Captain America's fears thanks to Doctor Spectrum, however, Captain America eventually overcomes the nightmare. In the episode "Saving Captain Rogers", Captain America gets trapped in a hypnosis where Bucky helps fight Heinrich Zemo's HYDRA army. It was Bucky that enabled Captain America to snap out of the hypnosis to assist Iron Man and Black Widow against Helmut Zemo. In the episode "Vibranium Curtain" Pt. 1, Winter Soldier is called in by Iron Man to help the Avengers bring down the Black Panther after Wakanda's King is accused of killing Captain America with the Crown's energy. After a long fight, Winter Soldier defeats Black Panther but Iron Man prevents him from taking Black Panther's life since this is not what Captain America wanted. While blaming Iron Man for not being Captain America's friend, Winter Soldier leaves telling Iron Man to take Black Panther.
- Disney announced that the Falcon and Winter Soldier will star in their own team up limited series on Disney+ with Sebastian Stan reprising his role.
- Sebastian Stan is set to reprise his role as Bucky Barnes in the Disney+ animated series, What If...?
- The Ultimate version of Bucky Barnes appears in the animated direct-to-video film Ultimate Avengers, voiced by James Arnold Taylor.
- Sebastian Stan portrays Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios to play the character.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky is a year older than Steve Rogers rather than a much younger teenager, and is his childhood best friend as opposed to simply being his sidekick. He often protects Rogers from neighborhood bullies and tries to discourage Steve from joining the war effort due to poor health. He serves in World War II along with Captain America until he falls to his apparent death. This version is thus a combination of his character's mainstream and Ultimate versions.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Winter Soldier is brainwashed in the present as Hydra's most reliable assassin and secret weapon. He ambushes and seemingly assassinates Nick Fury, and later attacks Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson to kill Jasper Sitwell. During the fight, Rogers discovers Winter Soldier's identity when his mask falls off. In the climax, Winter Soldier intercepts Captain America and the Falcon when the two attempt to disarm Hydra's Helicarriers, but Rogers starts to succeed in reminding Bucky of their friendship; after the Helicarriers crash, Bucky rescues Rogers from the Potomac River. In a post-credits scene, Bucky visits Captain America's exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, determined to recover the memory of his old life.
- In the post-credits scene of Ant-Man, (actually a scene taken from Captain America: Civil War), Bucky is shown to have his metal arm caught in a vise, and is speaking to Rogers and Wilson.
- In Captain America: Civil War, Rogers tries to protect Bucky from the authorities as he's framed by Helmut Zemo for a terrorist bombing. While Bucky is slowly regaining his memories, his Hydra programming is still present in his mind and can be activated with a series of code words, causing him to revert into the Winter Soldier mindset. Throughout the film, Bucky becomes more and more like his old self and resumes his friendship with Rogers, as well as getting to know several of Steve's allies and fighting alongside multiple times. Zemo eventually reveals that Winter Soldier had assassinated Tony Stark's parents while brainwashed by Hydra, a fact which Rogers had kept from Stark. Blinded by vengeance, Iron Man fights Bucky and Captain America, destroying the former's metal arm in the process. After the three way fight, Bucky is taken to Wakanda, where T'Challa has granted sanctuary and Bucky chooses to return to suspended animation until a way is found to undo Hydra's brainwashing.
- Bucky appears during the post-credits scene of the film Black Panther, where he is resting in a Wakandan village after Shuri helped to remove Hydra's trigger words from his mind.
- In Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky now is known under the "White Wolf" alias. Given a new metal arm by T'Challa, he joins up once again with Rogers and the Avengers to fight to protect the Vision from Thanos's forces. When Thanos wipes out half of the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet, Bucky is the first to be disintegrated on-screen.
- Bucky returns in Avengers: Endgame. Bucky is revived by Professor Hulk along with the rest of the decimated five years previously following the Avengers' mission to retrieve the Infinity Stones from different times in the past. He participates in the final battle against Thanos who has come from the year 2014. The battle ends with Stark sacrificing himself to destroy Thanos, after which Bucky attends to Tony's funeral and witnesses the elderly Rogers give the Captain America shield to Wilson, to whom he gave a nod of respect.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a mini-boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Crispin Freeman.
- The Winter Soldier appears in the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.
- Bucky Barnes and Winter Soldier appear in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet.
- Bucky Barnes appears in Captain America: Super Soldier, voiced by Sebastian Stan.
- Bucky Barnes appears in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by Mikey Kelley (Captain America) and by Yuri Lowenthal (Winter Soldier). Both iterations are separate characters: Captain America [listed as "Bucky Cap"] is a playable character and the Winter Soldier is a boss and a playable villain character.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a card in the Heroes vs. Heralds Mode of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Additionally, one of Captain America's alternate costumes is based on Bucky's Captain America suit.
- The Winter Soldier appears in Marvel Heroes, voiced by David Hayter.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a DLC in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by James Arnold Taylor.
- The Winter Soldier is a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a playable character in the iOS/Android game Marvel: Contest of Champions.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a sidekick character in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.
- Bucky Barnes's various aliases appear as different playable characters in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Scott Porter. The various incarnations consist of his original version, Bucky Barnes's Captain America: The First Avenger design, Winter Soldier's original design and subsequent MCU designs, and his Captain America iteration. Barnes is first playable in the Story Mode's third chapter (which is based on his role in The First Avenger). Then, Winter Soldier serves as the main boss of the "Out of Insight" Bonus level (which is based on his role in The Winter Soldier). His Classic form is unlocked when player finds Winter Soldier in a side-quest of Washington DC hub, where he requests player to help him remember his past.
- The Winter Soldier is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- The Winter Soldier is a DLC character in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, again voiced by Scott Porter.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- The Winter Soldier appears as a non-playable character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, voiced by Ray Chase.
- as Captain America
|The Death of Captain America, Vol. 1: The Death of the Dream||Captain America vol. 5, #25-30||0-7851-2423-3|
|The Death of Captain America, Vol. 2: The Burden of Dreams||Captain America vol. 5, #31-36||0-7851-2424-1|
|The Death of Captain America, Vol. 3: The Man Who Bought America||Captain America vol. 5, #37-42||0-7851-2971-5|
|Captain America: The Man with No Face||Captain America vol. 5, #43-48||0-7851-3163-9|
|Captain America: Road to Reborn (HC)||Captain America #600-601; vol. 5, #49-50||0-7851-4174-X|
|Captain America: Reborn (HC)||Captain America: Reborn #1-6||0-7851-3998-2|
|Captain America: Two Americas||Captain America #602-605; Who Will Wield the Shield?||0-7851-4510-9|
|Captain America: No Escape||Captain America #606-610||0-7851-4512-5|
|Captain America: The Trial of Captain America||Captain America #611-615 and #615.1, and material from Captain America 70TH ANNIVERSARY MAGAZINE||0-7851-5119-2|
|Captain America: Prisoner of War||Captain America #616-619||0-7851-5121-4|
- As Winter Soldier
|Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker: The Complete Collection||"FEAR ITSELF" 7.1: CAPTAIN AMERICA, "WINTER SOLDIER" 1-14||0-7851-9065-1|
|Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Longest Winter||Fear Itself #7.1: Captain America, & Winter Soldier #1-5||0-7851-4440-4|
|Winter Soldier Vol. 2: Broken Arrow||Winter Soldier #6-9||0-7851-4405-6|
|Winter Soldier Vol. 3: Black Widow Hunt||Winter Soldier #10-14||0-7851-6728-5|
|Winter Soldier Vol. 4: The Electric Ghost||Winter Soldier #15-19||978-0-7851-8398-3|
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Newsarama: But playing devil’s advocate—asking the Cosmic Cube to help you is very "monkey's paw" at best ... the Winter Soldier could have been, in reality, someone named Comrade Pitor Nikoli, created just to demoralize Cap, but with him wishing it to be so with the Cube, couldn't Cap just have willed the Winter Soldier to be Bucky, and so he was?
Brubaker: That wasn't how I looked at it. Look at what he said—"Remember who you are". He didn't say, "Become who I think you are". Or, "Be Bucky". It was very straightforward. Which is more the tragedy, since Bucky immediately has this immense guilt for everything he did as the Winter Soldier.
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