Captain America: Beginner's Guide To Bucky Barnes

Posted by No_name_here (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

For nearly all the time I’ve been reading comics, it was an intractable “rule” that Bucky would always stay dead. His death was integral to Captain America’s back story: he was the ghost of failure that would forever haunt the Sentinel of Liberty. To his credit, he stayed dead for 40 years, which is a far longer time in the dirt than most heroes spend in these frequent cycles of death and resurrection.

James Buchanan Barnes' bio would’ve been so simple to write up before his resurrection in ’05. He was an orphan adopted by an army camp who became their “mascot” in as much a capacity as any teenager could for a military unit. After he accidentally walked in on Steve Rogers’ tent and discovered that the unremarkable enlisted man was actually the super-soldier, this little smartass more-or-less blackmailed the hero into letting him tag along on his missions as a costumed sidekick.

That was generally how such partnerships began in the Golden Age of comics.

After several years of adventuring that seriously bordered on reckless child endangerment, Bucky met a tragic end while he and Cap were trying to stop the flight of Baron Zemo’s automated, airborne drone. While the plane's explosion sent Steve Rogers into icy waters that would freeze him for the next few decades, its fire summarily killed Bucky Barnes. The image of a falling Bucky desperately reaching for a wing would be burned into Cap’s psyche forever. It would play in his head, over and over again, as a terrible reminder of the risks inherent to superheroics.

For many years, that was the extent of Bucky’s life and times.

== TEASER ==

A few years back, Cap started fighting a villainous relic of the Cold War named the Winter Soldier. As it turned out, this nasty "wetworksman" was actually his long-lost sidekick. The kid’s barely-living body had been picked up by a Soviet submarine who subsequently revived him, brainwashed him and augmented him through the USSR’s own equivalent of the Super-Soldier Program. With a new cybernetic arm to get business done, Bucky was like a Manchurian Candidate who was “on” all the time. The Reds had him do their dirty work throughout the intervening decades, pulling him out of deep freeze whenever they needed a covert assassination.

Through the magic of the all-powerful, though-actualizing Cosmic Cube (an object of power which factors prominently into THE FIRST AVENGER,) Cap got Bucky to snap out of it. Wrought with guilt over all the crimes he’d committed as the Winter Soldier, Bucky nevertheless put aside his shame and reluctance and finally took on the mantle of Captain America while Rogers was believed dead. Even after Cap returned last year, he kept the identity while Steve operated as the Super Soldier.

Recent developments are starting to change who’s wielding the shield, though.

Bucky’s time as Soviet assassin wasn’t the only thing that was recently revealed about him. A “retcon” recast the once relatively-innocuous kid as an older (but still younger than Cap) junior special forces commando who’d get his hands dirty in battlefield business Rogers was too hesitant to take care of. He’s also had a long, on-and-off romance with the Black Widow.

Judging by the trailers, Bucky’s depiction in the forthcoming movie seems to be hewn a little closer to these later retcons as well as to some facets of his incarnation in THE ULTIMATES. He and Cap will be friends before the war - - with Bucky even protecting the frail Mr. Rogers from bullies - - and it’ll be his enlistment in the army that stokes the greater fire in Cap's belly to join the war effort. It also doesn’t look like Bucky will be wearing a domino mask or a bright blue outfit like he has traditionally. Instead, he’ll be a member of Dum Dum Dugan's elite combat unit, the Howling Commandos.

Though the Winter Soldier story might seem too involved for the Marvel Cinematic universe, Sebastian Stan (the actor playing Bucky) has reportedly signed on for six sequels. Unless those appearances are all going to be flashbacks, I imagine he’ll be showing up in some new guise after the conclusion of this first movie. Who knows? Maybe he and the movies' retooled Natasha Romanova will become an item eventually.

#1 Posted by Mr.Hulk_Smashin'! (2569 posts) - - Show Bio

I love your description of pre-Brubaker Bucky. XD

#2 Posted by Fluffy6079 (27 posts) - - Show Bio

"Recent developments are starting to change who's wielding the shield, though."  I love the way you put that.  Hopefully, he won't really be/ stay dead for long.

#3 Posted by elayem98 (454 posts) - - Show Bio

six sequels!? 
they are making 7 captain america movies!?

#4 Posted by cattlebattle (12274 posts) - - Show Bio
@elayem98 said:
six sequels!? they are making 7 captain america movies!?
Nope, Cap will appear in 6 films altogether, his movies and the avengers trilogy, pending their success of course
#5 Posted by Seraphim84 (58 posts) - - Show Bio

@elayem98: That's what I was thinking. And I thought Sammy L signing with Marvel for some many movies was bold, yeesh.

#6 Posted by War Killer (19482 posts) - - Show Bio

Dang....I really wish G-Man would have done a 3-Minute Expert on Bucky, but oh well. Personally I like the tweaks the made to Bucky for the movie, I like that he was Cap's sidekick during the war but even I still find it confusing and hard to understand how he goes from army boy who loses his father, to training as a teenage covert soldier, to Cap's partner/sidekick. Hopefully when the Captain America and Bucky series starts at the end of the month we'll get a better understanding on how all of that worked. But I really like the idea that they were friends and that Bucky went off to war like all the other men while Steve was left back home, only for him to become Cap's sidekick after Steve is turned into a Super-Soldier.
 
Also, I believe it Stan mentioned something about the Winter Soldier being a villain in a sequel around the time the first movie started filming. I could see Bucky being the "main" villain of the sequel while being controlled by maybe the Red Skull. Plus with the Cosmic Cube possibly being used by Loki in the Avengers movie, I could see it reappearing in a Cap sequel....maybe Bucky is sent to steal it from S.H.I.E.L.D. as the Winter Soldier, which leads to his confrontation with Steve? Either way, I cannot wait for this movie!!! ^___^

#7 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

That's a real common denominator I'm seeing among the Marvel movies as of late. Iron Man. Hulk. Thor. Captain America and the like.  They all seem to be heavily borrowing elements and forming bases from the Ultimate comics with some qualities of 616 still thrown in for good measure.  I liked the concept of Brubaker's retcon even if it did kinda twist things around in the character's history.  Still, I'm curious to see how Bucky's character comes off in the movie! 

#8 Posted by -Vigil- (379 posts) - - Show Bio

Basically all you need to know about Bucky: HE'S FREAKING AWESOME.

#9 Posted by pinchworm (22 posts) - - Show Bio

This is timely for me. I'm not a Cap fan, but I've been thinking about reading the story arcs where Bucky returns, where Steve Rogers "dies", where Bucky becomes Cap and where whatever is going on with Bucky and Steve right now happens. What are the key story arcs/issues I should be reading? My research so far says Cap vol 5 1-14 (Winter Soldier) and 25-42 (Death of Captain America), Captain America: Reborn miniseries... what else would you include in the core 'must read'?

#10 Posted by Fluffy6079 (27 posts) - - Show Bio

@pinchworm  Honestly, I'd start at vol 5 #1 and just go forward.  It's all been pretty organic (with the exception of the House of M tie-in issue).  I actually read from #1 up to where Civil War started and it was cool to see how well it all actually flowed together.  Once you get past Civil War, prepare for a long (albeit very good) story that sets Bucky up as the new Captain America.

#11 Edited by War Killer (19482 posts) - - Show Bio
@pinchworm said:

This is timely for me. I'm not a Cap fan, but I've been thinking about reading the story arcs where Bucky returns, where Steve Rogers "dies", where Bucky becomes Cap and where whatever is going on with Bucky and Steve right now happens. What are the key story arcs/issues I should be reading? My research so far says Cap vol 5 1-14 (Winter Soldier) and 25-42 (Death of Captain America), Captain America: Reborn miniseries... what else would you include in the core 'must read'?

Recommended Storylines for Bucky:
  • Winter Soldier (Captain America #8, #11-14)
  • Red Menace: Book Two (Cap #18-210)
  • Death of the Dream (Cap #25-30)
  • The Burden of Dreams (Cap #31-36)
  • The Man Who Bought America (Cap #37-42)
  • Captain America: Reborn
  • No Escape (Cap #606-610)
  • The Trail of Captain America (Cap #611-615)
  • Gulag (Cap #616-619)
  • Fear Itself (#2-3...this may change depending on how the series ends though, just a heads up.)
That pretty much covers everything for Bucky from Winter Soldier, to Captain America, to present. Though for both Steve and Bucky (if your budget allows) I'd personally suggest picking up all of Brubaker's run on Captain America just for the heck of it while your at it xD
#12 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio

Great Article. Loved Brubaker's run; Excited for tomarra's issue

#13 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio
@pinchworm: Do yourself a favor and get a month of Marvel Unlimited. Brubaker's 2004 series is on there (up to issue 607) and they also have Reborn. Everything you would ever need.
#14 Posted by pinchworm (22 posts) - - Show Bio
@blur1528: That's good to know - I've been tempted by Marvel Unlimited, but I haven't been able to find any info at all about what the selection was like. I've been afraid that I would subscribe only to find gaping holes. How do you find the selection in general?
#15 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio
@pinchworm: I find it to be AMAZING! I love it. Especially when you want to try and break into a series their viewer is easy to use and having all the issues right there is the greatest. I've only noticed gaps in a couple of series. As far as I can tell they keep it pretty tight. All of the event are on there (Civil War, Secret Invasion, Siege..) and so is the majority of the Ultimate Universe. Follow this link for a free one-month courtesy of Dr. Pepper http://www.drpepper.com/promotions/thor/ All you need is to make an account for the Dr. Pepper site. COMPLETELY FREE
#16 Posted by pinchworm (22 posts) - - Show Bio
@blur1528: Excellent tip! I went ahead and signed up. Starting my free month now.
#17 Posted by War Killer (19482 posts) - - Show Bio
@-Vigil- said:
Basically all you need to know about Bucky: HE'S FREAKING AWESOME.
#18 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

why isn't this a 3 min video.  what happened to those. 
#19 Posted by TheIncredibleNightcrawler1999 (84 posts) - - Show Bio

 "this little smartass more-or-less blackmailed the hero into letting him tag along on his missions as a costumed sidekick.

That was generally how such partnerships usually began the Golden Age of comics."  

haha
#20 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1064 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's what I want for the movie version of Bucky… I think it's a good compromise between Bucky being the unit's "mascot" and being an adult sidekick/childhood friend. 
 
Bucky should be one of the kids in Steve's neighborhood. Make him like 3 to 5 years younger than Steve, 16 years old, but a local high school sports star. Like a football or baseball player; bigger than Steve, but also bigger than most of the other kids. That way it's reasonable that Bucky would protect "wimpy Steve Rogers" from bullies, and it's believable (true for some wars, dunno about WWII) that some 16 year olds lied about being 18 to join the army.  
 
Knowing Bucky was able to join up despite being underage, that would give Steve even more incentive to do whatever he could to be part of the war effort. Plus, if his unit finds out that he's underage, there's more of a reason that Cap would want to protect him (aside from paying him back for the neighborhood bullies) thus explaining the "sidekick" role in more realistic, slightly more modern terms (instead of being recruited by the hero, like Batman and Robin, Bucky is determined to fight, so Steve agrees not to tell the top brass as long as he's there to look out for him). And it's more believable that they'd call him a stupid nickname like "Bucky" if he's a kid.

#21 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio
@pinchworm: Always glad to help a fellow fan. Cheers!
#22 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

Awwww :/
I was awaiting for one of G-Man's classic 3-Min Expert...

#23 Edited by skaarason (683 posts) - - Show Bio
@War Killer@War Killer said:

@-Vigil- said:

Basically all you need to know about Bucky: HE'S FREAKING AWESOME.
awesome !!! 
#24 Posted by Maki_P (273 posts) - - Show Bio

You know? What I'm most looking forward in the movie is the reunion of Bucky and Steve after he's injected with the Super Soldier Serum. I think it will involve a variation of the lines "Steve is that you?" and "What the hell happened to you?"

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