- This was old Bucky behavior. No plan. Just taking action. I'd grown up a lot since those days, but...that night, all I felt was rage. Rage and horror.
- -- Bucky
Appearing in "The Hell Of War"
Synopsis for "The Hell Of War"
It's late 1944 Europe, and Bucky and Toro have been benched on the President's orders with Cap and Torch on a mission. They then overhear some officers discussing the capture of an Allied spy, Martin Schiller, in Auschenberg and their fears that he'll expose his fellow spies in Axis. Bucky then convinces Toro to help rescue their man. They capture an enemy vehicle and uniforms. As they approach the prison camp, Bucky boots Toro out, advising he stay on the outside to assist his escape (also because he doesn't speak German).
Upon getting inside, Bucky deduces where they're torturing Schiller. Unfortunately, the guard at the door demands his papers, so he knocks him out. But as he frees Schiller, they are discovered. However, Bucky uses combustible tanks to create an exit. But as they make their way out of the building, they spot a crowd of prisoners, drained of vitality. He encourages them to escape with him but they don't budge. Toro then arrives, calling Bucky as the Nazis open fire, indiscriminately killing the prisoners. Bucky then finds a whole pile of corpses. Enraged, Bucky lashes out at the Nazis. Toro helps Schiller escape by melting a hole in the fence. Bucky throws a Nazi into the corpse pile, demanding to know why he let this happened. Toro shouts and reminds him that they need to go. Bucky grabs a hand grenade and takes out a watchtower. He turns to the surviving POWs, urging them to run, but Toro refuses to leave him behind, saying they can't help these people if they're dead. Bucky promises to come back for them.
Upon arriving back at camp, the General gives them an earful over disrespecting the chain of command but Bucky didn't listen. He later has a nightmare where where the dead POWs he failed to save advancing on him. He then finds Cap by his side and he asks if he knows about the enemy camp. Cap admits that he does and is sorry he wasn't there with him. Bucky asks that they go back. Cap says they will but they have new orders, for Schiller has intel they have to act on. Bucky remarks that he's not being court martialed, to which Cap reveals that he stopped it.
Sadly, they never got the chance to liberate those death camps, as they moved from one mission to another before that fateful day on Zemo's island, where Cap and Bucky were both frozen and the latter loses his left arm.
Behind enemy lines! Bucky and Cap have faced the horrors of war on many fronts, but this issue, they go further into the depths of evil than our young heroes realized possible. And what is the secret that connects the Cap and Bucky series to the modern day stories - the clues begin to add up this issue, as Brubaker, Andreyko, and Samnee keep the pedal to the medal.
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