The past of Bucky Barnes in the MCU is very significant, and crucial. Here, we shall take a stroll down his past as a rewind.
Bucky Barnes AKA The Winter Soldier gained a lot of prominence after his introduction in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The changes of his psychological state that resulted in his actions make him a character that has a lot of depth worth looking into. Here, we shall have a recap of his actions and experiences both as Bucky and the Winter Soldier that will lead to the upcoming series.
Watch: THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER | Teaser-Trailer Mashup
Sergeant Bucky Barnes with the First Avenger
We first see Sergeant James Barnes AKA Bucky when he “saves” Steve from a random guy beating him to a pulp. And the whole movie was no less than a tribute to their friendship. From Cap searching for and saving Bucky to Bucky refusing to leave him in the Hydra compound, both proved their trust and love for each other that was nothing less than that between two brothers. There is a scene, just a few moments before Bucky presumably dies, which is put strategically. We see him carry Captain’s shield while firing at the Hydra soldier that brings him, in a way, at par with Captain America’s character. And we do agree that as far as bravery goes, both are equals.
Later on however, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we come to know that Hydra had retrieved Bucky and used him as the first subject to test their Winter Soldier program. His strength was enhanced to superhuman levels and his amputated arm was replaced with a cybernetic one. After each mission, they would wipe his memory and store him in cryogenic stasis for the next 70 years. His next sighting would be in the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier
This movie is where Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson come face to face with Captain America as the thread. Captain America finds out that the Winter Soldier is none other than his oldest friend Bucky who is in some sort of amnesiac state. After a whole movie of tracking and face-offs, towards the end we find Winter Soldier unable to kill Steve Rogers and saves him from drowning. This proved that somewhere deep within the Winter Soldier, the old Bucky was still there. The movie ends with Captain deciding to track down Bucky via the Hydra files that Natasha gave her. And Sam joins him on the mission, thereby proving his loyalty to Captain America.
Bucky Barnes and the Civil War
One of the two major causes that led to the events of Captain America: Civil War was Bucky Barnes. Bucky was hiding in Romania when he was framed for the bombing at UN signing of the Sokovia Accords in Berlin, strategically planned by Baron Zemo, who is also one of the main villains in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Captain America came to his aid accompanied by Sam, and a chain of events it eventually led to Sam and Bucky becoming sort of frenemies and fighting alongside Captain (and others) against Team Iron Man in the “civil war.”
Later, we, along with Tony, find out that it was Bucky Barnes who killed his parents (although not responsible for the bombing). But we know that Bucky was not in his senses and that the Hydra programming of his brain made him do so. Eventually, after defeating Tony, Cap brings Bucky to Wakanda where he decides to go under the ice (cryo-sleep).
A New Bucky in Black Panther
The only time we see Bucky Barnes in Black Panther is in the post-credits scene. He re-emerges mentally-healed by Shuri and the Wakandans refer to him as the White Wolf.
The Winter Soldier in Avengers: Infinity War
When the Avengers bought Vision to Wakanda to retrieve the Mind Stone from his head without killing him, Captain reunited with Bucky. Before the war with Thanos’ forces, Bucky receives a new arm made of Vibranium in place of the one that Tony’s Iron Man destroyed in Captain America: Civil War. Thanos’ snap however turned him to dust and he remained dead for the next 5 years.
The Winter Soldier Returns in Avengers: Endgame
Hulk’s snap brought back Bucky Barnes along with Sam Wilson and all others who had dusted away 5 years ago. The legion of superheroes fought against Thanos and his army and defeated them but it cost Tony’s life. The end of the movie showed Bucky Barnes present alongside Sam Wilson and Bruce banner as Captain Steve Rogers went back in time to restore the stones. After returning, an aged Steve passes on his shield to Sam Wilson as Bucky nods at him with a smile. This is the last we see of both Bucky and Sam before they reprise their roles in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Bucky’s Chemistry with Sam Wilson in the MCU
Both of them have Captain Steve Roger as a mutual friend. While they’ve had their differences in the beginning, they became no less than team-mates towards the end of MCU Phase 3. Bucky “Buchanan” Barnes knows that Sam has Steve’s trust and by being “worthy” of the shield, Sam put the nail on the coffin of trust from Buck. But we do know that they have their own mocking moments and wait to see more of their mismatched chemistry in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier streaming From March 19 on Disney+.