Marvel’s The Wakanda Files brings in the possibilities of MCU showing Bucky reawakening as the notorious Winter Soldier.
Having seen Bucky Barnes turn from a “worthy” friend to the infamous HYDRA killer to again a sober soldier, we do over-think his character. And with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on the verge of release, we can barely wait to see how things turn out.
This expectation gets stressed even more by the newly released book The Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers and Beyond (By Troy Benjamin) that sheds a lot of light on various occurrences in the MCU timeline. And one of these is Bucky and his mental state. We never get to see how Shuri helped him after Winter Soldier, come Infinity War he was battle-ready! Is Bucky HYDRA free now?
Watch: THE FALCON and THE WINTER SOLDIER | 2019 Marvel Comic Con Panel
What Happened to James Buchanan Barnes?
We do know, how, in the MCU, HYDRA turned James Buchanan Barnes, AKA Bucky, into one of its “personal flying monkeys.” We found this out in Captain America: Civil War. However, the Winter Solider revealed himself back in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This was Bucky’s first appearance since falling off the train in Captain America: The First Avenger. But for someone who knows the character, it was natural to see what was coming. Sebastian Stan would eventually be signing a multi-picture deal with Marvel. His next up being the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
After falling from the train in Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky was captured by HYDRA. He was cryogenically frozen and brought out of the ice whenever he was required for a mission. In the history of MCU, Bucky has been responsible for many high-profile deaths. These include the assassination of Howard Stark and his wife Maria Stark as well as that of US President John F. Kennedy.
How did Bucky Become the Winter Soldier?
At the end of Civil War, we see Steve Rogers take Bucky to Wakanda, where Bucky goes into ice again. When Steve asks if he is sure about it, Bucky says that he can’t trust his mind. So until the stuff in his head is cleaned out, “going back under is the best thing…for everybody.” The book The Wakanda Files: A Technological Exploration of the Avengers and Beyond shows anecdotes by T’Challa’s genius younger sister Shuri about Bucky’s mental state. She elaborates,
“An EEG on Barnes revealed just how murky and extensive his brain damage was. HYDRA’s Winter Soldier program subjected Barnes to electroconvulsive therapy followed by suggestive keywords and phrases to activate a brain soup knot that could take years to unravel.” According to her, HYDRA exposed Barnes to gamma radiation (using the Tesseract’s energy) to enhance his physique.
However, all this got blocked momentarily when he met his best friend, Steve Rogers. According to Shuri, ‘their shared memories fired memory centres, bringing in pieces of his past life.’ However, this emotional stimulus is the only way to keep Bucky’s mental conditioning at bay. But Captain is not here anymore. And the ripples have chances of forming again.
Shuri does not declare that the Winter Soldier is gone from Bucky’s mind.
So if indeed Bucky isn’t HYDRA free, then The Falcon and The Winter Soldier shall show us some eventful things in Zemo’s presence!