James "Bucky" Barnes aka Winter Soldier is an American Soldier turned Soviet spy and assassin. He was recruited to the U.S. Army during World War II after being a ward of the state. He fought alongside his best friend Captain America the "Sentinel of Liberty" and the Invaders, together they helped the allies win the war. Bucky was believed to be dead near the end of the war only to have been found and brainwashed by the Soviets led by Vasily Karpov, who made him the Winter Soldier. He was sent on clandestine missions and committed some of the worst assassinations over the next 50 years. His memory was returned to him decades later and he became the new Captain America after Steve Rogers was seemingly murdered and also joined the Avengers. When Steve returned, he took up the identity of the Winter Soldier once again.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early life
- 2.2 As Bucky
- 2.3 As the Winter Soldier
- 2.4 Reunion
- 2.5 Death of Captain America
- 2.6 As Captain America
- 2.7 Fear Itself
- 2.8 Winter Soldier again
- 2.9 Original Sin
- 2.10 As The Man on the Wall
- 2.11 Pleasant Hill
- 2.12 The love story continues
- 2.13 Thunderbolts
- 3 Personality
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Paraphernalia
- 6 Notes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Recommended Reading
- 9 Links and References
James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes was born in 1925. In 1935, he tragically lost both of his parents early in his life; his mother, Winnifred Barnes had died when he was a child and his father, George Barnes had died in an accident while in basic training at Camp Lehigh. Barnes was separated from his younger sister, Rebecca Barnes, who was sent to boarding school while he persuaded officials into letting him remain at Camp Lehigh as a ward of the state due to sharing his father's love of the armed forces. He was eventually considered the camp mascot. During World War II, Barnes set up a profitable endeavor providing soldiers with various non-requisition supplies in 1940. He traveled to England, and soon began to receive select assignments as a special military operative, having received hand to hand combat training with British Commandos under the tutelage of William Essart Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate. After his training with military combat instructors, Barnes met and befriended Steve Rogers, who had recently become the US government operative, Captain America. He was assigned to accompany Rogers, but was initially unaware of the true nature of his work. One night, Barnes happened into Rogers' tent just as he was changing to his masked identity. Sworn to secrecy, Barnes joined Captain America on his first mission against the Red Skull, freeing many Nazi prisoners. For several months afterward, Barnes underwent an intensive training program under Captain America's tutelage. When he finished, Barnes received his own costumed identity as Bucky and was designated as a counter-example to Hitler Youth. Although he was able to work with his mentor for most of his missions, James was trained to carry out missions the government officials did not want Captain America to be openly involved in. He was cynical and slightly dubious of the idealistic Steve Rogers, but they soon became the closest of friends.
When America entered World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Captain America and Bucky abandoned their military identities for most of the war to devote their full energies to serving as costumed freedom fighters. They soon found themselves allied with the Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch, and his young mutant partner, Toro, in a team that Winston Churchill dubbed the Invaders. Bucky served Captain America and the Invaders capably and faithfully, leaving the team only temporarily in 1942 to organize and lead his own team of teenage soldiers, the Kid Commandos. Once, to rescue the Invaders from the Red Skull, Bucky assembled a team of costumed super-humans who operated on the home front, a group that would remain together until the end of the war and was known as the Liberty Legion. He also worked with another group of teenagers, the Young Allies.
In late 1945, toward the end of the war, Captain America and Bucky were in London, England, on the trail of Nazi scientist Baron Heinrich Zemo. They discovered Zemo in the process of stealing an experimental drone plane built by the Allies. In the ensuing battle with Zemo's powerful humanoid robot, both Captain America and Bucky were rendered unconscious and strapped to the drone plane to be delivered to Hitler in Berlin. Unable to stand the sight of their patriotic costumes, Zemo dressed them in U.S. Army uniforms. Managing to escape before Zemo activated the plane, the two American champions saw the drone plane begin to move just as they jumped off. Quickly, Captain America and Bucky grabbed a motorcycle and tried to catch up with it. Just before it flew out of reach, the two leaped for the plane. Bucky leaped first and managed to get a grip on the plane's wing. Captain America missed, and shouted to his partner to let go in case the plane was booby-trapped. Bucky was unable to comply with his partner's commands because his uniform sleeved snagged onto the cockpit of the plane. The plane exploded, seemingly killing Bucky instantly. Captain America plunged into the English Channel to undergo the process of suspended animation, but Bucky's remains were never recovered strengthening the belief that he was killed in action.
As the Winter Soldier
Bucky however was very much alive. When he had failed to disarm the plane in time he had leaped off of the plane but did not escape completely unscratched. The explosion had claimed his entire left arm. He then plunged into the icy waters only to undergo the same process his mentor had. After the war had ended, a Russian submarine hoping to recover and capture the missing "Captain America" instead found the preserved body of Bucky. After being retrieved and examined for any traces of the Super-Soldier Serum, his body was placed in cryostasis.
Winter Soldier was used to conduct many strategic assassinations across the world and would sometimes stay in one nation for extended periods. One of his targets was Itsu, the pregnant wife of his wartime ally Logan who he killed in 1946 under orders from an unknown source.
In 1954, he was revived and outfitted with a replacement bionic arm, which had been made after a Soviet spy had recovered schematics for cybernetic appendage. The arm was to be replaced by a newer and more advanced one every time there was an improvement in their technology. While he had no memory of his past, Barnes still had considerable physical skill. He was indoctrinated to hate the West and was provided with mental implants during sensory deprivation, molding him into the perfect assassin.
It was during this period that he met Natasha Romanoff, who was part of the Black Widow Ops Program. He helped train her in combat while she was undergoing espionage training at the Red Room Academy, where he also handled the unsuccessful Wolf Spider Ops Program. They fell in love and James often snuck into her sleeping quarters to be with her. Although Natasha was promised to Alexi Shostakov, she loved James more. This relationship did not last, however. After an incident during an assassination operation, Barnes was deemed unstable and put in cryostasis whenever he wasn't needed for a mission.
In 1966, he was designated to catch two Nazi scientists, Peter and Mila Hitzig, creators of the Alchemy Formula, but he remembered his own identity during a fight against Drain, a Hydra agent also engaged in their recovery. With the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Ran Shen, he tried to help Mila escape before Nick Fury accidentally killed her. Recovered by the Russians, the Winter Soldier received additional brainwashing in order to avoid similar incidents. However, after one missions in 1973, Barnes did not report back on time. He was tracked to a flophouse in New York City, where coincidentally his former teammate Namor was also sleeping. As both men had amnesia, neither man recognized the other.
In 1983, he was assigned to accompany Vasily Karpov, an elderly general that had served in WWII, as a bodyguard. He maintained the position until the general's death five years later, in 1988. Barnes had demonstrated mental instability in some of his later missions and was placed into stasis at one of Karpov's storage facilities which had been inherited by his protégé, General Aleksander Lukin. Following the USSR's collapse, Lukin went rogue and established the Kronas Oil Corporation.
In order to seize the Red Skull's new Cosmic Cube, General Lukin reactivated Barnes to assassinate Red Skull, although neither of them realized the Red Skull had simultaneously transferred his consciousness into Lukin's body. After assassinating the adventurer, Nomad and framing him for Red Skull's assassination, Barnes detonated a firebomb in Philadelphia which claimed many victims. Their deaths helped power the Cosmic Cube, but Lukin who had been disturbed by the Cube's effect gave it to Barnes to store in a nuclear-safe vault in West Virginia. During the investigations by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America discovered the true identity of the Lukin's assassin, Winter Soldier and confronted him at the vault. The two engaged in combat until Rogers gained possession of the Cube and used its powers to restore Barnes' lost memories. Overcome with remorse, Bucky destroyed the Cosmic Cube to teleport away and went underground to search for Lukin and the Red Skull. But was still unaware that they were now one and the same.
After a confrontation with the now X-Man Wolverine in Serbia, Bucky managed to track Lukin to England where the Skull unleashed a sleeper robot, salvaged from the Eisendorf excavation. Barnes abandoned his initial intentions to seek and eliminate Lukin to aid Rogers in destroying the robot. This was the first time in over half a century that they worked together, but he fled afterwards unable to face his mentor. He was revealed to be an undercover operative working for Nick Fury, who had gone underground after leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. Barnes encountered the Young Avengers Patriot, Hawkeye, and Vision on one of his assignments and learned how his and Cap's adventures had inspired contemporary heroes. He also reconciled with his former Invaders teammate Namor, assisted Wolverine with incapacitating his son Daken, and comforted a cynical Patriot.
Death of Captain America
Following Captain America's assassination, Barnes resolved to kill the two men he held responsible: the Red Skull and current S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Tony Stark. He acquired Cap's indestructible shield after defeating Black Widow, his former lover and student, in combat when she was assigned to move it to another location. Barnes then tracked Lukin and eventually confronted him only to discover his quarry was not a lead, but the Red Skull himself. Eventually captured by the Skull's forces, he resisted brainwashing by Dr. Faustus and was rescued by Falcon with the help of Sharon Carter, who was pretending to still be under Faustus' control. Barnes was then placed into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but escaped and confronted Stark. He disabled his armor and fought him to a standstill only to learn his mentor's final requests of Stark: to rescue Barnes from his descent into violence and insanity and to pass the Captain America identity to a successor. Stark felt the best way to honor both his friend's requests was for Barnes to become Captain America. Barnes agreed on the provision that his mind be cleansed of any remaining mental implants, and that he would answer to no one, not even Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D.
As Captain America
Now residing in Steve Rogers S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house, he outfitted himself with an alternate version of Cap's costume built by Tony Stark and, carrying his indestructible shield along with other weapons, Barnes quickly reacted against the efforts by the Red Skull and his accomplices to spread panic. Although effective in battle, he had yet to win the support or respect of either the US government or the general public. A number of civilians and costumed adventurers also disapproved of his current wardrobe; especially Clint Barton. Despite the negative attention Barnes received, he continued to fight terrorism as Captain America and was often aided by Falcon, despite his initial disapproval of him. Together the two fought an A.I.M. cell headed by Arnim Zola. The Red Skull did not remain quiet for long. He responded to Barnes' meddling by sending the Grand Director, whose mind had been molded by Doctor Faustus to believe he was Steve Rogers, after him; James barely survived the confrontation, and was forced by Falcon to retreat. The two investigated the Grand Director's next course of actions after he escaped from the Skull's grasp and was becoming mentally unstable; most of it was hiding and running from detection by A.I.M. and the Red Skull.
James was finally recognized by the United States government and the public as a hero after foiling an assassination attempt on both Republican and Democratic candidates for political debates by Sin, daughter of the Red Skull. At this time, he also revisited his relationship with the Black Widow, one of his few remaining friends who was consistently faithful to him. It was not long before he became involved in major conflicts such as an Invasion by extraterrestrial Skrulls alongside many other superheroes in New York. Wanting to continue to living his predecessor's legacy, James invited Clint Barton and the New Avengers to his safe-house, offering it as their base of operations as well as his own allegiance to their cause. And, at the end of a battle that involved the Avengers, the New Avengers and the Invaders, Toro, the former Invader, was revived by James: the Cosmic Cube satisfied his wish to have his friend alive once again.
Although he was reformed, there were still a few officials from both America and other foreign nations who had not all forgotten his past as the Winter Soldier. Soon, he had to face one of the crimes committed as the Winter Soldier, when he had tried to kill chinese scientist Zhang Chin in 1968, after the Invaders had already saved him from Japanese in 1942. This one wanted to use the Original Human Torch DNA as a virus to spread worldwide, but Bucky and Namor defeated the The Man with No Face and prevented his project. The Human Torch was buried honorably.
Captain America: Reborn
Bucky found out from Sharon that she had not really killed the original Captain America. As explained by Doctor Zola to Osborn, Rogers was trapped in a fixed position of time and space. But since Sharon ruined the machine that was suppose to bring him back, Steve was reliving his own past. Bucky and Black Widow attempted to steal the device from H.A.M.M.E.R., but they were captured. Osborn sent Widow back to Sharon with an ultimatum: either she would turn herself in, as Osborn had implicated her as Rogers' second shooter, or he would kill Bucky. Bucky was then sent into the custody of the Thunderbolts, who told him that he would be inducted into their group once Rogers was brought back. However, Bucky was secretly freed by Ant-Man and then rescued by Falcon.
After a period of reflection, Barnes decided to give up the Captain America identity in favor of the revived Rogers. Before giving up the Captain America mantle, however, Bucky and the Black Widow chose to fight and throw the shield one last time. Coincidentally, Rogers was suited up and ready to fight crime that night as well until he witnessed Bucky and the Black Widow depart. Rogers decided to pursue the dynamic duo and upon doing so realized that Bucky would be well off as Captain America. A quick battle ensued when Bucky and the Black Widow encountered Mr. Hyde and his henchman. After the two heroes dispensed with the henchman, Mr. Hyde attempted to escape, until Rogers joined the battle and defeated him. Quickly after, Rogers officially and respectfully handed the Captain America mantle over to Bucky and gave him his blessing.
Siege and the Heroic Age
When Osborn attacked Asgard, the heroes fought against his attempt of establishing an absolute power. For the first time, two Captains America took part to the battle: James and Steve contributed to defeat Osborn's forces. At the end of the war, the Superhuman Registration Act was abolished and Steve Rogers designated James Barnes as member of the new Avengers, whose first mission brought them to the future, fighting Ultron.
James again confronted the Grand Director, who had become the leader of the Watchdogs, as he couldn't stand how America had changed to the worse. Infiltrated in their troops, Barnes was recognized and kidnapped to pose as Bucky in the video that would have shown the explosion of the Hoover Dam. But Falcon firstly prevented the massacre of a train charged with explosives, then helped Bucky defeat the Grand Director, whose body wasn't found in the river where he had fallen.
The Trial and Gulag
Baron Helmut Zemo accused Bucky of not being worthy to bear Cap's Shield and achieved the aim to discredit him as the new Captain America in the public eye by revealing his past as the Winter Soldier, thanks to the secret revelations of Sinthea Shmidt. Bucky was evasive to save his friends from the new Red Skull girl and was condemned, even though the punishment resulted already extinguished. A Russian ambassador demanded James' extradition to Russia, where he had been found guilty for a double homicide of their citizens. In the Gulag, Bucky was forced to fight the villains imprisoned there, most who wanted him dead, and received the help of some of them, like Niko Constantin, part of the Wolf Spider project. When Colonel Rostov recovered the Zephyr codes, the plan was revealed to be a trap and Bucky decided to escape during his third public battle. He succeeded and was rescued by the Black Widow, aware of Russians' strategy: in fact, the two citizens killed in 1982 had been Rostov's KGB agents.
When Skadi led her attack on Washington, D.C. Bucky was there to oppose her; however, her power proved too great and he was beat to with-in an inch of his life. Before passing out, Bucky told Black Widow to warn people about the Serpent. Barnes was rushed to Fury, who gave him the Infinity Formula, which saved his life and restored him. Bucky decided to stay underground and returned to his Winter Soldier identity. Bucky's LMD was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
Winter Soldier again
Believed dead and seeking personal redemption, James went underground and along with Black Widow decided to provide protection to Cold War sleeper Zephyr agents. He killed two of the three super soldiers that Madame Von Bardas, to which Colonel Rostov sold the agents, had used to attempt to destroy Doctor Doom. The third, Leo Novokov, had woken up from hibernation twelve years before. Considering the Winter Soldier a betrayer of his homeland, he firstly sent him a message by killing the second Bucky, then kidnapped the Black Widow as he wanted to hit James in his personal affairs. Bucky, intending to save his lover, accepted the mission that Leo prepared and attacked Daredevil; then, at the Arlington Cemetery, he defeated the soldier. However, he achieved his revenge: Natasha's memories were all recovered, except for what concerned Bucky.
Later, James confronted Tesla Tarasova, the daughter of Linus Tarasova, victim of the Winter Soldier in 1983. Tesla had killed Father Hammer, the leader of an island where orphans grew as weapons to sale, like she had been, and seemed to want to change her past thanks to the cosmic rays that her father invented. Reached at the space base, the girl faced James, who explained how he grew better by accepting his difficult past. The base was attacked by the S.H.I.E.L.D., James and Tesla survived and the girl eventually escaped.
Eventually, the Winter Soldier reappeared as a member of the reassembled All-New Invaders, fighting the Kree Tanalth and freeing Toro, now an Inhuman, from Kurt Dagmar, which gave him the possibility to investigate about Martians attacks during the history and their link with Killraven.
Bucky was one of the heroes secretly gathered by Nick Fury to supposedly investigate the death of Uatu the Watcher, when those heroes were actually meant to find a trail of Fury's activities as "the Man on the Wall" (the secret first line of defense against space invaders) in order to become his replacement.
When Bucky realized he had been lied to, he attacked the LMD of Nick Fury left in the Avengers Tower, and used it to find the location of the real Nick. The other selected heroes made their own way to said location, a secret satellite. There, the aged Nick Fury confronted the heroes and told them what he wanted with them. When Fury got an alert that the body of the LMD left with the Avengers had self-destructed because someone was trying to investigate it, he took one of the Watcher's eyes from Bucky and enclosed himself in a secure room, as he tried to activate the second eye he had all this time. When the Avengers arrived to the satellite, as Iron Man tracked down the signal from the LMD, Fury confronted the heroes, equipped with an armor while holding the two eyes of the Watcher, claiming that his eyes had been opened.
Fury managed to repel the heroes and get back to the Watcher's Citadel, where Doctor Midas was trying to acquire more power than he had when he attacked the citadel. Fury fought Midas' Mindless Ones, during which fight one of the Watcher's eyes was taken from him by the Orb, and was almost defeated, until the Winter Soldier and the other heroes chosen by Fury got to him, and also managed to get the confession from him that he was the one who had killed Uatu. After Fury's apparent death in the explosion which killed Doctor Midas, the Winter Soldier took his place as the Man on the Wall.
As The Man on the Wall
Bucky recruited Daisy Johnson for the space mission as "the Man on the Wall". After killing the king of Syro and stealing the sacred beast Reznor, James started to investigate about the illum, an empathogen drug that led him to Loki. Bucky reached Loki in Asgardia, even though Old Bucky had hurt him shooting an illum bullet. Loki eventually revealed that illum came from the planet Mer-Z-Bow, governed by Princess Ventolin, a new space threat according to Fury. Meanwhile, the Old Bucky secretly explained to Daisy his attempt to save James's future, as he had already done with his pasts in the other realities. James and Daisy come to Mer-Z-Bow, where they were received pacifically by the Pao'Ree. James fell in love with Ventolin, when, suddenly, a man who wore Crossbones's mask introduced in the royal palace and stabbed Daisy, then tried to kill the couple destroying the place with a bomb. The villain was a Nick Fury Jr. coming from Old Bucky's reality and intended to explain what hate meant to the Winter Soldier, an ally of his father, whose absence in the childhood left a mark on his life. As he could destroy Mer-Z-Bow, Loki intervened, ordering Ventolin to consign the planet, as he wanted to control illum trade. In exchange for that, he stopped stop Crossbones but, sending Daisy to his Gun-Moon Planetoid "Venter" by a trick, he gave to the the villain the possibility to face the two Winter Soldiers. Daisy had already hurt Crossbones, who was escaping through a White Hole. The Old Bucky chased him and crashed in his space shuttle, grounding to his original universe, where he found Crossbones died and could meet again his Ventolin on the reborn planet Syro. On Earth-616, a dumb Loki was put in prison by Ventolin, and the girl could finally share her love with Bucky in the Polarity Paradox Engine, the two aware of the strength of their feeling.
The Winter Soldier became involved in the search of a clandestine S.H.I.E.L.D. operation involving the manipulation of Cosmic Cube fragments that was called the Kobik Initiative. Since he had attacked several S.H.I.E.L.D. outposts on his search for clues, Bucky was trailed by Steve. Bucky met up with Rogers and informed him about the project's existence, and escaped before S.H.I.E.L.D. agents could capture him. Bucky later infiltrated Pleasant Hill, a super-villain prison where at its core was the sentient Cosmic Cube Kobik. Shortly before Bucky's arrival, a massive break-out had been orchestrated by Baron Zemo. Bucky stumbled upon Sam Wilson, who had taken the mantle of Captain America from Steve after he had been stripped of the Super-Soldier Serum, and went looking for Rogers. By the time the two of them found him, Kobik had restored Steve to his prime.
The trio made their way through Pleasant Hill and joined forces with the Avengers and the Avengers Unity Division to put an end to Baron Zemo's reign of terror. During the final assault, Kobik became disillusioned by how Baron Zemo had tried to use her. Bucky prepared to shoot her, deeming her too much of a threat, but she tossed him out a window and out of town. As the crisis came to an end, Kobik appeared to Bucky, distraught and begging to prove she can do good. Bucky agreed to take her in, to which Kobik replied that she also wanted to bring in some "friends" of hers. This led to Bucky creating another incarnation of the Thunderbolts, having as main objective to be the guardian of Kobik and Earth's last line of defense against alien threats, continuing his job as "the Man on the Wall."
The love story continues
Even with the Thunderbolts, Bucky would occasionally go on missions by himself and, despite trying to forget about Natasha, she'd often be on his mind and he was still protecting her from the shadows. One time, Bucky was captured by Recluse, who sought revenge on Natasha for killing their teacher and abandoning her. When Natasha got to the scene, she managed to free Barnes and the two fought together to defeat her. In the end, he revealed Fury wanted to speak with her.
Natasha agreed to pay Fury a visit on the Moon and the two were accompanied by Lion, who, unbeknownst to them, had brought a stowaway with him and was planning to leave Bucky and Natasha stranded on the Moon. When they finally got there, Lion tried to take all the knowledge from Fury, but was overloaded by the information and died. In the meantime, the stowaway was preparing to lift off and Natasha and Bucky were both running out of oxygen, so Natasha transferred her entire supply to Bucky so that he could stop their ship from leaving and so that she could repay him for all the times he'd protected her in the previous year.
Once Bucky took control of the situation, he went back for Nat as fast as possible and tried to revive her. After almost giving up, Nat let out a grunt and the two kissed. As they let go, Bucky asked if she remembered everything, but Nat cleverly avoided the question.
After several adventures with the Thunderbolts, Bucky was ambushed by a reformed Masters of Evil led by Baron Zemo. A battered Bucky was brought before Kobik so she would be forced to do Zemo's bidding. Instead, Kobik and transported herself and Bucky away after agreeing to let Kobik "fix everything" in order to save himself. However, to prevent Bucky from being killed by Zemo, Kobik attempted to turn him into a follower of Hydra by letting him relive his past during World War II. She first prevented him from being caught on the drone plane that led to him ending up on the bottom of the English Channel by having Heinrich Zemo get caught on the drone plane instead, leading to Heinrich's death, though Bucky didn't know he did this at the time.
She then had him become captured by Helmut Zemo and strapped to another drone plane. Zemo planned to launch the plane with Bucky on it and blow it up as revenge for his father's death. Suddenly, Steve Rogers appears and told Zemo that he disapproved of this. Zemo insisted that keeping Bucky alive was a liability and wanted to avenge his father. To save Bucky's life, Steve tried to have Bucky join Hydra. Bucky refused, forcing Steve to allow Zemo to launch the drone plane with Bucky on it. The drone plane eventually landed into an Allies base camp killing many of the soldiers stationed there. Before Bucky died, Kobik saved him and told him that wasn't supposed to happen. That was when Bucky learned of Kobik's fascination with Hydra and how she had secretly turned Steve Rogers into a Hydra agent. Bucky argued with Kobik over what she had done causing Kobik to become very upset and throw a tantrum.
Kobik's tantrum, unfortunately, caused her powers to rage out of control threatening not only the Masters of Evil and the Thunderbolts but all of existence. Fixer managed to prevent this by zapping Kobik with laser beams, but he also unintentionally shattered her into Cosmic Cube fragments, which were then scattered throughout the Arctic. Bucky tried fighting off Zemo, but he was betrayed by his fellow Thunderbolt Moonstone. After Bucky was captured, Zemo and his Masters of Evil left.
Zemo decided to get rid of Bucky by strapping him to a replica of the drone plane that killed his father and launching it before having it explode. Before launching the drone, Zemo showed Bucky a holographic message left for him by Steve Rogers. In the message, Rogers apologized for what was about to happen to him but was left with no choice, fearing that Bucky would interfere with his plan to conquer the United States of America. The message left Bucky emotionally devastated and proclaimed that wasn't Steve. Zemo then launched the drone, which later exploded over the ocean, seemingly killing Bucky.
It was later revealed that he actually survived the blast and that Namor had saved him from drowning, keeping him as his advisor. Namor later presented Bucky to the contingent of American superheroes that had assembled to fight Hydra and return the country to normal. When Sam Wilson gave the alternate Steve Rogers the last fragment of the Cosmic Cube that he was reassembling, Ant-Man shrunk Bucky to a subatomic level inside the Cosmic Cube, reaching Kobik's mindscape to bring her and the real Steve Rogers back to existence. The fascist Steve Rogers was subsequently defeated by the real one.
Ever since his youth, Bucky willingly in his heart wanted to save the lives of innocent people and defend his country, though he remembers many terrible things he had done when he first became the Winter Soldier. As a brainwashed assassin, he showed no regretful thoughts or feelings when he committed assassinations. Recently, Bucky's mind was restored and he regained his humanity. Bucky began to risk his life to protect the weak and led a team called the Thunderbolts, always using the determination of his character to support the good of mankind. He also has slight sense of humor.
Enhanced Physical Conditioning: James Barnes has been injected with the Infinity Formula by Nick Fury in order to save his life. As a result, Barnes' body was enhanced to the peak of human potential of strength, agility, stamina, speed, etc. The formula is definite such that if Barnes decided to live an unhealthy lifestyle, none of his powers would be weakened by any conventional means.
- Peak Human Strength: Barnes' strength is enhanced to the peak of human potential. He is strong enough to break a solid wall with a single punch, as well as effortlessly lifting a full grown man over his head with one arm and throwing him. He easily used a large sofa as a weapon against Viper; furthermore, this strength extends to his legs, enabling him to leap several times high eight out in a single bound, and smaller heights into the air without a running start.
- Peak Human Speed: Barnes is capable of running and moving at speeds faster than any Olympic-class runner, enabling him to run at speeds of 32-36 mph. He was able to move fast enough to exit a building as it was exploding.
- Enhanced Stamina: Barnes' musculature produces considerably less fatigue-toxins, allowing him to physically exert himself for several hours before showing any sign of fatigue or tiring. He can also hold his breath underwater for longer periods of time,
- Peak Human Agility: Barnes' equilibrium, coordination, dexterity, and flexibility is enhanced to levels that are beyond the physical limits of any Olympic gold medalist. He was able to leap at longer distance from one building to another building, swing on a large flag or pole with great performance, and also evade several missile explosions that targeted him in mid-air; furthermore, he utilized his shield to deflect a bullet from Sinthea Shmidt with perfect timing. Barnes had used both of his legs to strike the guards at the same time while strained. He also evaded a speeding car at close range.
- Enhanced Durability: Barnes' physical body is much harder and more resistant to physical injury than the body of a human being. He withstood very strong blows from superhuman foes like Ursa Major, Hyperion, and Spider-Man. He also withstood electrocution, several gunshots and puncture wounds, as well as a fall from several stories, with little to no injury.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Barnes' reflexes are similarly enhanced and rival those of Captain America or Spider-Man. His reaction speed is superhumanly fast which makes it possible for him to easily dodge multiple gunshots at point-blank range simultaneously. He even dodged bullets from multiple gunmen while underwater.
- Enhanced Endurance: Barnes exhibits extreme pain tolerance. He was able to endure temperatures below -40 degrees when he climbed mountains without aid supplies.
- Regenerative Healing: Barnes' rate of healing is much faster than normal humans. He is able to heal broken bones, torn muscles, several gunshots, knife wounds, and various other injuries within several days, like regenerating damaged cells from his heart. Most lesser injuries -- like cuts, bruises, scrapes, or burns -- heal within a few hours.
- Enhanced Balance: Barnes' balance and dexterity are in levels superior to that of the world's most highly trained humans. The perfect example of his balance was shown during his evasion movements on one occasion when he used just two fingers to stand on the very edge of a building without any slip nor hesitation.
- Enhanced Longevity: The Infinity Formula in Barnes' blood has completely stopped him from aging. Unlike Nick Fury, the formula extends Barnes' lifespan and youth which resulting his appearance of a man in his early 30's despite being born in 1925.
Cybernetic Enhanced Physiology: Whether or not additional capabilities are from unknown enhancements or the sustained effects of the Infinity Formula injection, but some of Barnes' abilities are shown to be at a greater level than peak human, such as his durability, reflexes, balance, and endurance. The implants associated with his cybernetic arm are known to have given him certain powers beyond typical human limitations, despite the fact that he is classified as peak human.
- Bionic Arm: An implanted cybernetic arm is known to give Barnes powers beyond that of the limitations of peak human classification.
- Superhuman Strength: Barnes has some degree of superhuman strength in his bionic arm. The cybernetic arm has been shown to destroy the undercarriage of a S.H.I.E.L.D. Flying Car, as well as effortlessly murder dozens of men with a single blow. He also destroyed a Cosmic Cube. He has been shown to break hardened steel chains with relatively no effort.
- Stabilization Sensors: Barnes can detect the balance of objects via his bionic arm, such as Captain America's shield, and thereby throw the items with pinpoint accuracy, even causing them to properly ricochet to return to him.
- Tactical Reload: Thanks to Fixer's upgrade, the arm can also reload weapons automatically.
- Palm Sensors: The weapons that Barnes use have palm print sensors, which means if someone else attempts to use the scanned weapons, the weapons will self-destruct.
- Sensory Array: The arm houses different sensors which allow him to map out his surroundings and identify targets, such as locating Miles Morales despite of his Spider-Camouflage. The arm can project holograms to appear and feel like a normal human arm, as well as pass through security such as metal detectors without setting them off. It can also shield other metallic objects from detection such as firearms and knives.
- Extended Reach: Barnes can apparently either control his bionic arm even if it has been removed from his body, possibly via additional cybernetic implants, or his arm can be programmed to perform certain actions on its own while removed from his body.
- Electrical Discharge: Barnes can discharge bolts of electrical energy from his arm's palm, as was done to the Man With No Face, The Spot, and one of the Cape-Killer soldiers. Thanks to Fixer's upgrade, he can emit a stream of flame burst from his arm. He can generate enough heat from his bionic arm to damage a huge robot, causing it to self-destruct.
- Electromagnetic Pulse: Barnes can discharge an EMP, rendering electronic devices useless, though he failed to use it on a prepared Iron Man.
- Cybernetic Defense: Barnes' bionic arm is resistant to bladed weapons, such as when Sinthea Shmidt tried to stab him with a knife, and the blade broke, or when it managed to withstand an attack from Black Panther's Vibranium claws with no visible damage. It is also highly resistant to explosions, withstanding Molotov cocktails with no signs of damage, and can even withstand impact from multiple high-caliber rounds simultaneously. For example, Barnes was able to use his arm to block several shots fired by Black Widow during their fight. Also, during a rough landing, his bionic arm took the brunt of the force but sustained no damage.
- Retractable Blade: The cybernetic arm possesses a retractable blade that can be used for close combat.
Master Martial Artist: Barnes is a dangerously skilled martial artist and an extremely formidable unarmed combatant, as well as a proficient armed fighter. He received training from World War Two hand-to-hand combat luminaries William E. Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate, the same instructors who taught Steve Rogers, in multiple martial arts and acrobatics as a teenager, and was trained in more of them while being molded into an assassin by the Soviet Union. As a teen, he defeated some of the highest skilled adult soldiers in just seventeen seconds. He has single-handedly beaten Crossbones, a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Wolverine, and the Black Widow, as well as defeated a regiment of Hydra agents alongside the Young Avengers, and fought both Captain America and Iron Man to a standstill. He fought against Daredevil, and defeated Punisher, and Gamora in a brief fight. During his training, he simply defeated Hawkeye, and Falcon in just a few moves. He fought against Ares by simply using his tactical prowess to surprisingly stimulate him. His combatant skills were also able to overpower foes like Ursa Major, Boris Bullski, Unicorn, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and Batroc the Leaper. Barnes defeated Erlking with just one punch, and fought against William Burnside two times, dominating both encounters. He even fought Taskmaster and surprised him with armed combat.
Master Marksman: Barnes is an extremely accurate marksman and very skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing. His perfect accuracy was shown when he shot twelve men at different locations at the same time. As a teenager, he was the best sniper in his division.
Expert Shield Fighter: Barnes became rapidly proficient with his former partner's shield. He is able to throw it with near perfect aim, striking multiple targets in a single throw, and achieving a ricochet return after throwing it at a person or object.
Accelerated Development Process: Barnes' accelerated learning process are in levels greater than what is naturally possible. Due to his training from World War II instructors as a teen, General Phillips classified him as the best natural fighter in history, even before his special training. During his special training with S.A.S, he rapidly studied every combat move of Steve Rogers; furthermore, he was also gifted enough to learn and complete the utmost fighting skills training from the Soviet Union in a week.
Master of Stealth: Barnes can appear from place to place without being detected.
Master Advanced Scout: Barnes is a very gifted scout and adept at stealth and concealment.
Master Spy: Barnes is an expert in the field of espionage thanks largely to World War Two hand-to-hand combat luminaries William Essart Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate, his former partner, Steve Rogers, the United States military, British SAS regiment, and the Russian Government. He is skilled in stealth, demolitions, survival, deducing other persons ways of thinking and other fields.
Advanced Military Operator: Over the years of studying Captain America, Barnes is excellent skilled in all Armed force disciplines including intellect gathering, escape arts, assassination, demolition, survival tactics, hunting, swimming, mountaineering, interrogation, map making and reading, disguising, communication systems, explosions, computers, reading and making wood craft signs, and other secret code languages.
Master Assassin: Barnes is an adept of his generation as Matthew Murdock and Elektra Natchios is of theirs, possibly the most lethal assassin in the Marvel Universe rivaling others such as Bullseye or Elektra. During an operation on the Russian Front with the Invaders, Barnes has from concealment thrown a 60 centimetres-long knife to penetrate the winter uniform outer garment of a German soldier with such accuracy as to pierce his heart in high arctic winds several meters. Barnes has mastered and implemented several methods to silently eliminate sentries with bladed weapons, garrotes or his bare hands, making him as lethal in his own way as his former Invader teammates, the Torches, Union Jack or Namor. He is a master at stealth and tracking and is very intelligent. He was able to render Wolverine's superhumanly acute senses such as smell completely useless by luring him to an abandoned warehouse that was completely soaked on the inside with oil and even soaking himself to make it so that Wolverine could not detect him. Barnes has made a habit out of constantly studying his surroundings and depicting what he can and cannot do in whatever situation he should fall in much like his former partner, Captain America before his death. During Barnes' visit to the Captain America exhibit that had been made to honor him after his death, he was constantly detecting potential ways to sneak in and out of the museum and the room without being detected and only taking out a small number of security to do so. The Black Widow stated to Tony Stark that he was one of the most dangerous men she knew.
Superhuman Strength: With the bionic arm, Barnes possessed some level of superhuman strength. Aside from his bionic arm, his strength is at the peak of human potential, which makes him stronger than normal humans. He can physically exert his strength for an over-head lift of up to 800 lbs. (363 kg) if necessary.
Transportation Device: Barnes had at times used a teleportation device to travel to different locations.
Motorcycle: An Indian motorcycle.
A modified handgun capable of penetrating even fabric of the thickness and composition of A.I.M. Uniforms, a combat knife, sniper rifles, various other automatic weapons, as well as mission-specific equipment.
- Bucky Barnes was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- Bucky was ranked as 53rd on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes in 2011.
- Bucky was also ranked as 8th in "The Top 50 Avengers."
- Bucky used to be notable as one of the few comic book deaths that stuck. A frequent aphorism among comic book fans, known as the Bucky Clause, was that "No one in comics stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben". Ironically, both Bucky and Todd have been brought back to life in their respective universes.
- Bucky's death has also been used to explain why the Marvel Universe has very few kid sidekicks, as no responsible hero wanted to endanger a minor in similar fashion. Stan Lee also harbored a well-known dislike for young sidekicks in general.
- Roger Stern and John Byrne also considered bringing Bucky back, before deciding against it.
- During Incredible Hulk, there was a group of immortals called the Pantheon. Their leader, Agamemnon, was rumored by the readers to be Bucky, due to his appearance and his stories about his adventures during the World War II.
- In Dark Reign: The List - Avengers #1, Bucky stated he assassinated Hitler, although it is known that it was the original Human Torch from What If? #4 (in continuity) and Secret Avengers #23. Tom Brevoort confirmed many times it was in fact a joke from Bucky.
- It was revealed in Wolverine (Vol. 3) #38 that Bucky had a hand in helping Wolverine escape from the Weapon X program.
- The name Winter Soldier derives from the writing of Thomas Paine, the American revolutionary: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman" (The American Crisis, a pamphlet published in 1776).
- Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) - First Appearance
- Avengers #4 (March 1964) - Seemingly killed in explosion over the English Channel (Flashback)
- Captain America (Vol. 5) #1 (January 2005) - Return as The Winter Soldier
- Captain America (Vol. 5) #14 (April 2006) - Memory Restored
- Captain America (Vol. 5) #34 (March 2008) - First appearance as Captain America
- Fear Itself #3 (June 1, 2011) - Second apparent death
- Fear Itself #7.1 (November 2, 2011) - Returns as Winter Soldier
- Original Sin #8 (September 3, 2014) - Becomes the Man On The Wall
- Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1 (2014-2015) - Acts as the Man On The Wall
- Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Omega #1 (April 27, 2016) - Begins to lead the Thunderbolts
- Thunderbolts (Vol. 3) #9 (January 25, 2017) - Receives new bionic arm
- 749 Appearances of James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616)
- 111 Minor Appearances of James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616)
- Media James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 842 Images featuring James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616)
- 66 Quotations by or about James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616)
- Winter Soldier at Marvel Directory
- Bucky at internationalhero.co.uk
- Newsarama: Bucky Barnes
- Newsarama: "Did He, or Didn't He? Ed Brubaker on Captain America #6"
- Newsarama: "SPOILER SPORT: Ed Brubaker on the Winter Solider" and Captain America #14
- Pretty Fakes: "The Trouble With Bucky" - Article on what some perceive as problems with the Winter Soldier plot-line
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- IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes. IGN.com. Retrieved on 26 February 2019.
- Bucky as the 8th top Avenger at IGN's official site
- Byrne Robotics FAQ; "Did JB ever consider bringing Bucky back?"
- Tom Brevoort's statement
- Learn the History of the Term "Winter Soldier" and Why Ed Brubaker Used the Name in Captain America. themarysue.com. Retrieved on 21 March 2014.
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