June 27, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Bucky Barnes

More articles by »
Written by: Billy
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to another week here in Marvel Snapshot! This week is another great character spotlight with the new Captain America – Bucky Barnes! He’s one of my favorite characters from the more recent years, and he just keeps getting better. Let’s take a deeper look into the life and times of the one-time sidekick and merciless killer!

OK, so I think it’s safe to assume that by now, everyone knows about how Bucky was Cap’s sidekick in WWII. He fought alongside Cap in dangerous missions all across Europe to help stop the Nazi threat. He and Cap became part of a group called The Invaders, teamed up with Namor, Human Torch, and Toro. There are some great Invaders stories by the way, so don’t just dismiss it if you don’t like “war stories.” One thing that’s come to light in recent years is the fact that the government sent Bucky to assist Cap, but also to do the dirty work they knew Cap wouldn’t do. It has been shown that some of these activities may have been part of a bigger scheme by the man known as Romulus.

During WWII, there came a time when Bucky and Cap were in London following the deranged Baron Zemo. The costumed heroes found his secret base in a castle in the mountains, and tried to stop him from unleashing an experimental drone plane he had stolen from the Allies. Once inside the castle though, both heroes were rendered unconscious by Zemo’s android. Zemo then, after a little bit of torture, strapped both of them onto the plane and launched it into the air. They escaped, but in trying to stop the plane, Bucky’s uniform got caught on the plane and he was airborne, and then the plane exploded and he was believed dead. Cap on the other hand fell into the English channel and was found years later frozen in ice.

Bucky wasn’t dead though; he was actually alive, but lost his left arm in the explosion. He was found by a Russian submarine years later, and then was kept in cryo-stasis¬†to stop his aging and keep him under their control. He was brainwashed into hating America, and sent on several assassination missions. He was also used to help train a young Russian assassin named Natasha Romanoff. The two quickly fell in love, but the relationship didn’t last because Natasha was promised to another man. The most notable mission of Barnes’s past is the one where he was sent to kill Wolverine’s wife, Itsu. Unbeknownst to Wolverine, his pregnant wife’s baby was taken out of her womb and nurtured by the mysterious Romulus.

Bucky’s whereabouts and actions didn’t really surface again for years until he was seen frozen by Alexander Lukin. Lukin decided that he wanted the Cosmic Cube that the Red Skull had acquired, so he sent Barnes to assassinate him. In the meantime, Bucky killed Nomad (Jack Monroe), and then framed him for the Skull’s assassination. With the help of Nick Fury and Shield, Captain America found out that Bucky was still alive and that he was the assassin. The two fought and in the end, Cap used the Cosmic Cube to give Bucky his memories back. Ashamed at what he had done, Bucky fled and did some covert work for Nick Fury, who had gone underground. After Cap’s death, Bucky blamed Tony Stark and went on a mission to stop him. In the process, he beat down Black Widow, his former student and lover, then took Cap’s shield for his own. He then fought Iron Man to a standstill, but eventually found out that Cap’s last request was for Bucky to take up the mantle of Captain America.

Bucky put on a uniform similar to Cap’s, most notably though, he carried a gun unlike Cap. He was part of the Secret Invasion story line, and everything in between. The most notable thing though, was when he discovered that Sharon Carter had not actually killed Steve Rogers, but that he was displaced in time (Captain America: Reborn). After Cap’s return to this time line, he and Bucky talked extensively about being a hero, and especially who would carry on as Captain America. After a fight with Mister Hyde, Steve handed the shield over to Bucky and told him he decided that he was the best option for the spirit of Captain America to move forward.

Right now, in Wolverine: Weapon X, Bucky is part of an ongoing story of a corporation in the future that has taken over the world and is sending Deathloks into the past to murder superheroes, before they¬†were even born in some cases. In the future of this story, there is a resistance movement, and it’s been hinted that Bucky is the mysterious leader.

Well, that about brings us up to speed on this character, and I must say that I didn’t really think Bucky was all that great in the WWII days, but I do like what Marvel has done with him since his return. Check below for some pics and a reading list. See you next week!

Suggested Reading
Essential Captain America vol. 1 Tpb
Invaders Classic vol.’s 1-3 -Tpb
Winter Soldier vol. 1 & 2 -Tpb’s
Captain America vol. 5 (Civil War) -Tpb

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Kristin

    He’s the only reason I started reading Captain America, and the reason I’m still reading it. I have really enjoyed what they’ve done with Bucky in the comic.

  2. Billy

    @Kris- I have to admit that being a big Steve Rogers fan, I had my doubts about Bucky becoming the new Cap. Honestly though, I love the way Marvel is heading with Bucky and Steve. I hope it lasts a long time.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Mulder. John Mulder said: RT @ComicAttack: Character Spotlight: BUCKY BARNES aka Captain America! #comics #marvel […]

  4. BringtheWintersoldierBACK

    Haha i love Bucky, he needs his own series! He was also the reason i started reading captain america and Ed’s writing of course. Thing is, i hate him becoming cap, i just LOVED his winter soldier look and the casual “packing heat” look. I would love it if they go back to that, him killing that hydra terrorist was so badass..Steve is “ok”, but i’m all for BUCKY!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *