Winter Soldier (History) – Comic Basics

Winter Soldier

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Winter Soldier

Real Name: James “Bucky” Buchannan Barnes

First Appearance (As Bucky): Captain America #1 (March, 1941)

First Appearance (As Winter Soldier): Captain America Vol. 5, #1 (January, 2005)

Powers: Acrobat, Highly skilled in Armed and Unarmed Combat, Accurate Marksman, Fluent in Four Languages. Left Arm is a Cybernetic Prosthetic with Superhuman Strength and Enhanced Reaction. Can Mentally Control Arm. Discharges Electricity and an AMP to Make Electronics Useless.

Affiliation: Avengers, Liberty Legion, Invaders, Thunderbolts

Enemies: The Entire World

Love Interests: Black Widow

Did You Know? Stan Lee has gone on record stating that he hates boy sidekicks. Bucky was named after the star of a high school basketball team (Bucky Pierson).

A Little History

James Barnes was created by Joe Simon as a young sidekick to Captain America way back in 1941.

Throughout his wartime existence, Bucky was considered to be a valuable asset to both the military and to Captain America. Both agreed that he was the best pure fighter that they had ever seen. This led him to join the Wartime supergroup, the Invaders.

It was believed that Bucky died at the same time that Captain America was frozen in a block of ice. In the mid-2000’s Ed Brubaker changed this.

After the plane explosion, a nearby Russian Military ship found Bucky in the waters, flash frozen, still alive, and missing an arm.  When brought to life, Bucky awoke without any memory of whom he was, could speak multiple languages, and had retained all his fighting abilities.

The Russians fit him with a Cybernetic Arm, reprogrammed him as the Winter Soldier, and sent him to carry out assassinations for the enemies of the Cold War.

All was well for the Russians and the Winter Soldier until he was sent to kidnap Captain America’s girlfriend, Sharon Carter. After her release, she told Steve that he looked exactly like Bucky.

With this information in hand, Steve sought out his friend, eventually finding and confronting him. This sent Bucky into a tailspin, as he now was able to remember exactly what he had done as the Winter Soldier.

Looking to atone for what he had done, during the death of Captain America Storyline, Bucky took on the mantle as Captain America until it was revealed that Cap wasn’t dead.

Title Image © Marvel

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