James Buchanan Barnes (Bucky)

Captain America: The First AvengerFor the main character of Captain America: The Winter Soldier we’ll spend two different pages, like we did with Chris Genovese/D’Amico for Kick-AssSebastian Stan will return in the movie as James “Bucky” BarnesSteve Rogers‘ best friend from the times of the war. In Captain America: The First Avenger Bucky acted as some sort of big brother to Steve, protecting him from bullies; he then became a hero during the war, was kidnapped by Nazis, and freed by his friend, who had become Captain America. He then apparently dies during a mission. His file is seen in The Avengers, but, oddly enough, he’s reported as “Missing In Action”, maybe implying that S.H.I.E.L.D. knows he’s still alive… Anyway, in the comics Bucky has never acted as Steve Rogers’ big brother, quite the opposite, considering that he appears much younger in his first issues, in a relationship similar to the Batman & Robin one. Let’s see together.

Surely James Buchanan Barnes was born in a patriotic family: named after the 15th President of the United States of America, he was the son of private George M. Barnes, soldier in the US Army, and his wife Winifred, nurse. Born in 1925 in ShelbybilleIndiana, he soon became an orphan: Winifred died of some illness when he was still a child, and George was killed in a parachuting incident in Camp Lehigh while training (thus starting in the boy a paralizing fear of heights). Rebecca, his younger sister, was sent to boarding school, but young James, already just as a patriot as his father was, managed to convince the officers of Camp Lehigh to let him stay there as a ward of the state. Only twelve years old, he soon buckycomics1became the mascot of the other soldiers, but, when he was sixteen, he had become some sort of a delinquent, often starting brawls in the camp. Major Samson decided to have some discipline taught to the boy, and sent him to Britain, where he was trained by William Essart Fairbairn and Colonel Rex Applegate to become a perfect, capable and reliable soldier. Back to the US, Barnes met a young and naive private, Steve Rogers, and he befriended him. One night, entering Rogers’ tent, James found him changing into his masked identity, Captain America, the hero the boy had been reading about on newspapers since his first appearance. Swearing to keep his secret, James accompanied Captain America in his first mission against the Red Skull, a Nazi mastermind, and freed many war prisoners with the hero. James decided to become Steve’s sidekick, and underwent an intensive training to be worthy of the position. When he was ready, he asked permission to the officers in charge, who saw in him the perfect American response to the Nazi Hitler Youth: James would have soon been known in the entire world as Bucky, Captain America’s brave sidekick.

Actually, it was later revealed that all the incidental stumbling upon Rogers and his secret identity was part of a plan conceived by Samson and some other officers to fool both the public opinion and Captain America with a friendly origin story for their agent. Bucky was meant to be Cap’s sidekick not only to present a true American boy to the Germans, but also to accomplish the missions too morally questionable to be assigned to a living symbol like Captain America. In a way or the other, Bucky and Cap became true friends while fighting the Nazis all over the world, and they faced many fearful villains, such as Master Man, the assassin Rathcone, scientist Arnim Zola and many others. The duo became part of the American super team known as The Invaders, and Bucky alone founded the Sentinels buckycomics2of Liberty, a fan club for endorsing patriotism and supporting the American policy during the war; the military saw potential in the Sentinels and turned them into the Young Allies, a group formed by the young sidekicks of the greatest American superheroes (the teenager team also succeeded where the adults failed, and beat the crap out of Adolf HitlerBenito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo while they were on a reunion all together). Fighting at the side of heroes such as the Human TorchSub-MarinerNick Fury and the Howling Commandos, Bucky grew up quite fast, and the secret missions he received from the high ranks accelerated the process. In the last days of the war, when Bucky was by now a war hero who dreamt about becoming rich and famous once peace came back, Baron Zemo launched a final attack to the Allies, during which his Humanoid defeated and abducted both Cap and Bucky. The two woke up on a secret island, with the Baron using an experimental drone he had stolen to attack America: the two heroes freed themselves, and got on a plane trying to stop the drone from reaching New York City. Despite his fear of heights, Bucky jumped on the drone, trying to disarm the bomb on it, and Cap followed him: time wasn’t on their side, and they only managed to change the bomb’s course. Bucky threw his friend and comrade off the drone, into the Arctic Sea below, but wasn’t unable to jump himself since his arm was trapped into the drone’s mechanism. The bomb exploded, and Bucky was believed to have died a hero’s death.

James Barnes is a teenager who’s been forced to grow up much sooner than normal, by personal tragedies, by war, by his superior officers’ schemes. He only found real friendship with Captain America, who’s become his mentor and the older brother he never had. An extremely proficient soldier despite his young age, Bucky is an expert marksman and martial artist, and he’s able to use virtually any weapon in the US Army’s arsenal; he’s also a master tactician and an intel expert. His bulletproof costume protects him in battle, while his skills make him a formidable ally and a fearsome enemy, despite being still a kid. With more violence kept inside than meets the eye, Bucky is a loyal friend to Cap, but also the pragmatical and ruthless soldier his mentor will never be.

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12 Comments

  1. […] wasn’t alone: with her there were also the two war heroes Captain America and his sidekick Bucky. The stars & stripes couple, however, was caught off-guard by the overwhelming strength of the […]

  2. […] that moment, Duffy developed a special dislike for Rogers and for his young friend, camp mascot James Barnes, and he made their lives even harder than they already were. Anytime the Sergeant became a target […]

  3. […] Zemo announced to the whole world that he had killed both Captain America and Bucky, many started to search for the body of the heroes. Among them, there was Russian Colonel Vasily […]

  4. […] in mission for the first time. As an opposite to Hitler Youth, Captain America was paired with Bucky Barnes, a kid who served as a mascotte in a military camp Cap had visited. Along with Bucky, Cap […]

  5. […] Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader Dugan, Dum-Dum for short, was born in Boston,  Massachussets, some time in the 1920s. When World War II was spreading through Europe, Dum-Dum was working as a strongman in a circus. It was in this period that, in Netherlands, he met two American soldiers who were trying to escape from the Nazi army during a rescue mission: Nick Fury and Sam “Happy” Sawyer. Using his great strength, Dum-Dum saved the two Americans and helped them bringing the scientist they were protecting in England, but his job in the circus was now compromised, since he had helped the enemies of the Reich. Unable to come back, and now determined to do his part in the war, Timothy joined the British Army, also gaining some accent that would have made him be often mistaken for a British guy from there on. In the meanwhile, Nick Fury had been appointed leader of a task force, and Happy Sawyer was the man in charge of forming it: remembering the help he and his fellow received while escaping the Nazis, Saywer tracked Dum-Dum Dugan back in the British Army, and offered him the role of second in command in Fury’s First Attack Squad  (nicknamed “Howling Commandos”). Dugan accepted the offer, starting with Fury and the others a friendship that would have lasted more than half a century. With his inseparable fedora, Dum-Dum became the terror of the Nazis, and his exceptional strength and his mastership over small weapons and unarmed combat were feared by all enemies. Dugan’s rival during the war was Siegfried, a bar brawler that Baron Zemo had chosen as a member of his Blitzkrieg Squad as a match for Dum-Dum. He also fought many other war enemies, such as the Red Skull, Colonel Klaue, the Agent of 1000 Faces and many others, also supernatural ones like the immortal Baron Blood. Dugan also led the team every time Fury was absent or wounded, proving to be quite a capable leader: that’s why Happy Sawyer ordered him to found and train another task force, the Deadly Dozen, which he also led in mission alongside his fellow Howlers Dino Manelli and Percival Pinkerton. He was reassigned to the Howling Commandos just in time for the end of the war, and he fought the decisive battle against Adolf Hitler along with the Howlers, the Deadly Dozen and also the heroic duo Captain America & Bucky. […]

  6. […] proved to be loyal and strong, and they resisted torture until they were freed by Captain America, Bucky and Nick Fury‘s Howling Commandos. When the War ended, Stark built yet another thing for […]

  7. […] Meanwhile, the war ended, but Captain America was reported dead in action along with his partner Bucky: Peggy was ultimately broken, and, refusing to speak or to react to anything, she was hospitalized. […]

  8. […] continued his nomadic life. During World War II, Logan teamed-up with Captain America and Bucky to rescue a young Russian girl, Natasha Romanova (later known as the Black Widow) and became a […]

  9. […] for a guy with two different incarnations, just as we did with Green Goblin/Iron Patriot or Bucky/Winter Soldier. In the movie, Ben Hardy will portray Warren Worthington III, a young winged […]

  10. […] men back in time, during World War II: there, they were involved by Captain America and Bucky in a mission to defeat Arnim Zola. The mission succeeded, but the two unwilling heroes were still […]

  11. […] find something useful in the American hero’s body. What he found, however, was the body of Bucky Barnes, the hero’s sidekick, preserved by the extreme cold of the ocean. Karpov and his men […]

  12. […] the United States join the conflict in Europe. Jeff joined the other heroes another time, when Bucky asked for his help after the Red Skull had brainwashed the Invaders, Captain America included: […]


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