Off My Mind: Will Marvel Kill Bucky Barnes

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Posted by G-Man (39041 posts) - - Show Bio

If there's one thing that's become evident over the years is comic readers detest cheap comic book deaths. Actually it's when the deaths become insignificant with when the deceased character is miraculously brought back from the dead. Whether it's magic, science, alternate realities, time travel, clones, life-model decoys or some other type of doppelgänger, comic book writers have a multitude of ways to revive a dead character.

One of the few characters it was felt would and should never be brought back was Captain America's first sidekick, Bucky Barnes. When Ed Brubaker set his plan into motion with the re-introduction of Barnes as the Winter Soldier, I personally was both surprised and immensely intrigued to see where the story would take him.

Bucky went from being the beloved hero that sacrificed himself to a brainwashed assassin. Soon he was able to overcome his programming and stepped up to the role of Captain America when Steve Rogers was seemingly killed. In that role as Captain America, it looks as if Marvel may have plans to kill Bucky once again so that Steve Rogers can return to the mantle of Captain America. (Spoilers if you haven't read Fear Itself #3).

== TEASER ==

Deaths have always been a common shocking plot device to draw attention to comics. They have become mini-events in the media's eyes and are now splashed across the headlines. In the recent Marvel event, FEAR ITSELF, the Red Skull's daughter, Sin, has been transformed by an ancient Asgardian force of evil. In a chaotic battle in Washington DC, Bucky faced off against the Asgardian-powered Sin and didn't walk away from the encounter in one piece. He was left with a pretty nasty gaping hole in his chest and we saw his final words as the comic page faded to white.

Before you cry out that you've been spoiled, this is something that happened a month ago and also something that Marvel has discussed. Bucky's wound looked pretty bad and the preview image Marvel released for Fear Itself #4, he appears to be lying motionless on a slab. Could this really be the end for Bucky? With the upcoming release of Captain America: The First Avenger in theaters, it's no surprise that Marvel would want and need to have Steve Rogers back in costume. Doing so doesn't mean Bucky has to die.

Because characters never stay dead in comics, if Bucky does die, it shouldn't be a big deal, right? He died and returned before so why not again? It just doesn't feel like the deaths we've been seeing. Even though the death occurred in a Marvel event book, there wasn't any attention drawn to the fact that he may have died. Imagine the media attention the issue would get if Marvel announced The Death of Captain America (again) a month before the movie was released. It wouldn't matter that it was a different Captain America just as it didn't matter in the media's eye that it was Ultimate Spider-Man that died rather than the actual 616-version.

It might be because of the movie that Marvel decided not to gamble with shocking non-comic book readers with the comic book death of the character.

If it was the Red Skull's daughter that killed Steve Rogers' partner, that could have some big repercussions. There's some good story-telling potential there. What doesn't feel right is all the work that Ed Brubaker has put into making Bucky a hundred times cooler than he was before his return. Bucky has gone on an incredible journey in becoming Captain America and the recent Trial of Captain America and the following story with Bucky in a Russian Gulag feel like too much just to have him die by a giant Asgardian hammer.

In the pages of Captain America, Nick Fury has made it clear to Steve that the nation needs a Captain America and also that even though Bucky was exonerated in the U.S., he's too tarnished to be Captain America. This is where it would be perfect for Bucky to take on a different identity such as USAgent.

There's also the fact that when Steve was stuck going through time as part of Red Skull's plan that fooled the world that he was dead, he saw the future (in Captain America Reborn #6). He saw a future where Bucky was dead while wearing his old Winter Soldier costume. As long as Bucky was Captain America, this future couldn't happen. This was part of the reason Steve didn't reclaim the identity from Bucky.

In FEAR ITSELF, it looks like he died because he was Captain America. If he wasn't wearing the suit and slinging the shield, there's a chance he would have still been there fighting alongside the Avengers but it's also possible he wouldn't have been in immediate danger.

I've been a huge fan of what Brubaker has done with Bucky. I would absolutely hate to see him die after all the time that has been invested in him. The Captain America series is being renamed to Captain America and Bucky and will feature the formative years of Bucky Barnes as he rises from scrappy army brat to Captain America’s closest ally. If it is time for him to die (again), we can probably rest assured that he will return somehow. Perhaps some Asgardian magic could revive/cure him. Let's just hope it doesn't have to come to that. Bucky's come too far to simply die once again.

#1 Posted by JonesDeini (3856 posts) - - Show Bio

Knowing Marvel G-Man, yes, yes they will. 

#2 Posted by _Zombie_ (10551 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm pretty sure it's just an event death and Bucky will be back afterwards with some stupid explanation.  It's Marvel, so it's doubtful he'll stay dead.

#3 Posted by HellionVulcan (4242 posts) - - Show Bio

I might be the only one to say this but i like Bucky more then captain america ,he has a past that isn't so clean & yet in the end he may die a hero is justified to me how badass he is .I doubt he'll stay dead only z class characters stay dead .

#4 Posted by ArtisticNeedham (2480 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read the Fear stories, and I don't know if you mentioned this in your article, but is it possible that his death or injury is just a mass hallucination?

#5 Posted by blur1528 (1095 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn... I really liked Brubaker's Bucky

#6 Posted by Chane (557 posts) - - Show Bio

It's hard to get new characters "over" with the comic reading masses, Bucky seems popular so I doubt they would kill him and lose the £££ that he could bring in. 
 (Yes, I know he technically isn't a new character) 

#7 Posted by TDK_1997 (15882 posts) - - Show Bio
@JonesDeini said:
Knowing Marvel G-Man, yes, yes they will. 
#8 Posted by higher_evolutionary (2128 posts) - - Show Bio

nice read  great article

#9 Posted by Eyz (3184 posts) - - Show Bio

Not Bucky! NOOooooo!!
I mean,
Not Bucky! AGAAAaaaain!!

#10 Posted by leokearon (1939 posts) - - Show Bio

It is funny that there is a Captain America movie coming out and Marvel might be planning to kill off Captain America. 
I really hope they don't, still if they do, they could just say that the hammer was a magic time hammer which didn't kill him but instead sent his spirit through time.... nah that is a stupid idea no-one who use something like that.....

#11 Posted by Rudyftw (996 posts) - - Show Bio

This may be a bad place to ask this, but if I wanted to get into Captain America... wheres a good place to start? I have no clue, because i'm mostly a DC man, but this looks pretty cool.

#12 Posted by Mercy_ (92791 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rudyftw: Were you looking for Bucky as Cap or Steve as Cap?

#13 Posted by Rudyftw (996 posts) - - Show Bio
@The Dark Huntress: Which is better in your opinion? Bucky was his sidekick right?
#14 Posted by Mercy_ (92791 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rudyftw: I've only ever really read Bucky as Cap, so I'm a bit biased ;p I'll give you my starting point, if you want?

#15 Posted by _Grifter_ (12822 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Bucky as Cap, I could see Marvel killing him off though....

#16 Posted by CrimsonTempest (340 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugh. Marvel doesn't even surprise me anymore. This is just sad. Can they just make him be Winter Soldier again?

#17 Posted by Billy Batson (59154 posts) - - Show Bio



#18 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (8316 posts) - - Show Bio

I only came to like Steve Rogers once he had a much overdue expansion on his character and took on new roles and that was in part thanks to Bucky, not happy to see things take a massive step backwards. 

#19 Edited by doordoor123 (3810 posts) - - Show Bio

Hes going to come back as a vampire for the next event. SO predictable.
#20 Posted by Golden Cod (531 posts) - - Show Bio
@ZombieBigfoot said:
I'm pretty sure it's just an event death and Bucky will be back afterwards with some stupid explanation.  It's Marvel, so it's doubtful he'll stay dead.
The death of the Serpent at the end of the arc will probably revive Bucky but only the other heroes will know, allowing him to restart under a fresh identity.  
#21 Posted by BoOMbOoMpOw (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

I don`t want him to die either -.-

#22 Posted by Samimista (21784 posts) - - Show Bio

It's the fictional world if he does die I'm sure he'll come back no one really stays dead for long.

#23 Posted by sesquipedalophobe (4907 posts) - - Show Bio

This is the sort of reaction Marvel expects from fans.

#24 Posted by PowerHerc (86127 posts) - - Show Bio

After the epic story, and all the details involved, to bring him back I hope not. Let Bucky live.

#25 Posted by The Impersonator (6593 posts) - - Show Bio


#26 Posted by mikeclark1982 (423 posts) - - Show Bio

arent marvel killing off thor again, g-man? marvel will do anything for a 5 buck comic and keep folks comin back. 

#27 Posted by carnivalofsins00 (1224 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that if someone is going to kill him, it would be Brubaker that writes it. Like you've said, too much was put into the character to have him end just like that. But, I could be wrong. I just hope he doesn't die, is all.

#28 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1580 posts) - - Show Bio

He's already confirmed dead by Marvel.  Sorry.

#29 Posted by GTG12 (1584 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope they bring him back. While i prefer steve as cap I really like bucky and it would be a waste to see him die... again.
#30 Posted by MrMazz (1562 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes and they will bring him back with 2 robotic arms

#31 Posted by Kairan1979 (17085 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't they stop using the death of the hero as a plot device? It's getting annoying!

#32 Posted by skaarason (693 posts) - - Show Bio
amazing article !!!!! 
i feel the same i hate that he's dead , when steve was cap i had a few issues , but when james took over ive been picking up everthing with him as cap , he just became a better character than steve plus ed brubaker writing  was  phenomenal !!!!!!!
#33 Posted by davelecave (1123 posts) - - Show Bio
@ZombieBigfoot said:
It's Marvel, so it's doubtful he'll stay dead.
As opposed to DC, who keeps everyone dead forever...*cough*...
#34 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2268 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope they dont kill him.
#35 Posted by MrUnknown (1727 posts) - - Show Bio

First of all Marvel doesn't need to have Steve Rogers back as Captain America. I don't know why you said that.
Two, recently Nick Fury is so horribly written just about everywhere except for Secret Warriors surely he has better things to do than stalk Captain America.
Three, ruining the last three years of Captain America on a movie that may or may not be successful and has very little influence in increasing interest in comic books is a fool's errand.

#36 Posted by caladbolglight (129 posts) - - Show Bio

Unfortunately, the only character who seems to have stayed permanently dead is Uncle Ben. I wish that Marvel would consider whether or not killing off characters is the right choice more carefully, because unless they can resurrect themselves, they're a robot, or whether their resurrection is crucial to the story (i.e Blackest Night), then a character should stay dead. I believe that killing off the occasional character is important to the growth of the alter-ego, and so it annoys me greatly when a character comes back to life. I'm not familiar with Bucky, but he seems like a decent character, and I mean no offense to Bucky fans, but maybe he should stay dead. I like how Steve Rogers is no longer Captain America, as to me, it gives the feeling that the character is growing. If Rogers were to go back to being Cap, then it would feel like the character is regressing. 

#37 Posted by Deadcool (6898 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked Bucky Cap
#38 Posted by insanepayne6 (49 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think they will have him die as Captain America.

#39 Posted by Autopsad (106 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved the idea of the Winter Soldier and what they made him become. I don't wanna see him die.

#40 Posted by keith71_98 (656 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved the Winter Soldier angle but I really think Bucky as Cap had ran it's course.
#41 Posted by Mutant God (3219 posts) - - Show Bio

or maybe in a coma
#42 Posted by DH69 (4324 posts) - - Show Bio

only part that bugs me is the fact that rogers is going back to that stupid costume, i loved the super soldier suit.

#43 Posted by Chane (557 posts) - - Show Bio
#44 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Keep Bucky. I've always liked his character.  Just would really suck otherwise.

#45 Posted by sa5m (2381 posts) - - Show Bio

Perhaps just badly wounded? I do not like the killing

#46 Posted by maxicere (998 posts) - - Show Bio

He allways be Bucky, must to be simply Bucky, No Winter Soldier, No Captain America, No USAgent.

#47 Posted by Tigerstriper (461 posts) - - Show Bio

This is what I hate about comics becoming movies.  They always have to mess with things.

#48 Posted by Dragoness1993 (314 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel has killed of so many characters, so i wouldn't be surprised if they killed Bucky

#49 Posted by AlKusanagi (685 posts) - - Show Bio

I figure they could just have him "die" and then use him as the new USAgent, doing black ops missions and such.

#50 Posted by Silver Knight75 (1250 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't put it past them. 

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