September 18, 2022 8 min read

Bucky Barnes is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 ( March 1941), which was published by Marvel's predecessor, Timely Comics. Over the years Bucky Barnes has assumed the role of both Winter Soldier and Captain America.

Publication History(1)

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 by 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, entitled Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier. The series is written by Ales Kot with art by Marco Rudy, and began in October 2014.

Fictional Character Biography(2)

 As a young boy, James Buchanan Barnes lost his father (a soldier during WWII), and was adopted by Camp Lehigh as their mascot, and given the nickname "Bucky". It was here that he learned the identity of Captain America. He underwent rigorous training and was assigned to be Cap's sidekick, accompanying him on many adventures, and the two often worked with the original Invaders. However, on a final mission against Baron Zemo, Bucky and Cap hopped on an experimental drone plane in an attempt to disarm a bomb. The bomb detonated, dropping Cap in the North Atlantic, where he would later be found and thawed out by the Avengers. American forces never found Bucky's body, and he was presumed dead. Unbeknownst to the Americans, he was found and revived by Russian General Vasily Karpov.

When Bucky awoke, he had no memory of his identity, which gave Karpov an opportunity to reprogram Bucky as a Soviet assassin called the Winter Soldier. He was sent all across the globe, committing political assassinations with huge effects on the Cold War. However, his memory implantation caused mental instability, and he was kept in stasis between missions to prevent rebellion.


Recently, the Winter Soldier killed the Red Skull, and stole his Cosmic Cube for Karpov's successor, former General Aleksander Lukin. In order to mess with Cap's mind, Lukin also commanded the Winter Soldier to kill Jack Monroe and launch a major terrorist attack on the city of Philadelphia, fueling the Cosmic Cube's power in the process. However, when the Winter Soldier kidnapped S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, she told Captain America upon her rescue that she believed her captor to be Bucky. Later, Nick Fury confirmed to Cap that the Winter Soldier was indeed his former partner.

When Lukin ordered the Winter Soldier to bury the Cosmic Cube in an underground bunker, Cap, with help from the Falcon and Iron Man, tracked him down and defeated him. After the battle, Cap used the Cosmic Cube to restore Bucky's memories, but he then destroyed the Cube and disappeared. All but Captain America believed him to be dead.

It was recently revealed that the Winter Soldier was involved in helping Wolverine escape from Weapon X, and was responsible for the loss of his wife and baby.

When the Superhuman Registration Act was passed, S.H.I.E.L.D's Nick Fury recruited Bucky for covert operations, so as to protect Captain America from government forces. In the aftermath of the seeming death of Steve Rogers, Barnes became the new Captain America. Rogers survived, but upon his return, he gave Barnes his blessings to continue as Captain America on the Avengers while he accepted a federal role as an administrator managing super-heroes.

Powers and Abilities(3)

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. 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 bolts of electrical energy from its palm. The arm 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 shutdown 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 1911-A1 .45 and a P08 Luger - and grenades.

Supporting Characters

Allies

Bucky Barnes has a number of allies including Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Sharen Carter and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

Enemies

Over the years Bucky Barnes has made a number of enemies including General Vasily Karpow, Red Skull, Baron Zemo, Aleksander Lukin and many more.

 

 

 

 

Movies

Captain America: The First Avenger(2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger was the first Captain America movie and was the fifth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was directed by Joe Johnston. The movie featured Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, and Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. The movie had mixed reviews and performed moderately at the box office.

You can check out the trailer below

Captain America: The Winter Soldier(2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and was the 9th installment in the MCU. It was directed by the Russo Brothers(Anthony Russo and Joe Russo). The movie featured Chris Evans reprising his role as Captain America, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury. The movie was a huge success and performed amazingly at the box office. The Russo brothers' work was praised by everyone.

 

You can check out the trailer below

Captain America: Civil War(2016)

Captain America: Civil War is the 13th installment in the MCU. It was directed by the Russo Brothers(Anthony Russo and Joe Russo). The movie featured Robert Downey Jr. as Iron man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johannson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch,Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Tom Hollandas Spider-man. The movie was a huge hit, it performed extremely well financially and critically. It is considered to be the best superhero movie.

 

You can check out the trailer below

Notable Comics(4)

Comics Writer(s) Artist(s)
Captain America Comics #1 Joe simon, Jack Kirby Joe Siomn, Jack Kirby, Al Liederman
Avengers #4(1964) Stan Lee Jack Kirby, George Roussos, Stan Goldberg
Captain America #1(2005) Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Frank D'Armata
Captain America #34(2008) Ed Brubaker Steve Epting, Butch Guice, Frank D'Armata
Fear Itself: Part 3 Matt Fraction Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, Laura Martin, Larry Molinar
Winter Soldier Volume 1(2012-2013) Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice, Bettie Breitweiser

 

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Sources

1.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucky#Publication_history

2.http://marvel.com/universe/Captain_America_%28James_Barnes%29

3.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucky#Powers_and_abilities

4.http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/James_Buchanan_Barnes_%28Earth-616%29