Biography

Biography

A tough kid who spent his whole life on Army bases, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes proved himself strong enough to take on the role of Captain America's sidekick during World War II. The pair fought the Axis powers throughout the Big One until Bucky perished in a scheme orchestrated by the original Baron Zemo.

For years, Captain America believed his partner dead, but the Russians came upon Barnes' body in the ocean and turned the amnesiac into the perfect killing machine. Upon proving difficult to control, the Russians decided to put him in cryo-freeze between missions, giving birth to the legendary Winter Soldier. Eventually Captain America came into contact with this Winter Soldier, recognized his partner, and used a cracked Cosmic Cube to return his friend's memories.

Since then, Bucky has dedicated himself to making up for the atrocities he committed as the Winter Soldier. He even took up the mantle of Captain America for a time and also stepped in for Nick Fury as "the man on the wall," keeping an eye out for threats to Earth's existence.

Born in the Barracks

Bucky's mother died early in his life, but he grew up on Army bases with his dad and sister Rebecca, learning the ins and outs of this lifestyle at an early age. After his father died in a training accident, Bucky spent his days at Camp Lehigh in Virginia getting into trouble but also proving himself as a young man with great potential.

A fan of Captain America's exploits, Bucky jumped at the chance to train overseas with an S.A.S. unit before the U.S. officially entered the war and also took fighting lessons from the people who trained the Sentinel of Liberty. He was considered to be a perfect partner for Captain America, not only to get America's youth invested in the fight, but also to take care of dirty dealings that might not make the newsreel footage.

Apparently blown up by Baron Zemo, Bucky became a brainwashed weapon of the Russians until Captain America restored his memories with a Cosmic Cube. Since then, he has focused on making up for all the pain he caused as the Winter Soldier.

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS (1941) #

Suped-Up Soldier

A natural fighter from his earliest days, the Army started training Bucky with the same people who turn Captain America into a one-man army. Those skills are put to great use when Bucky fights in World War II. After the Russians find him, they build a robotic arm to replace the one he lost when the plane exploded and use mental implants to enhance his lethal abilities.

Bucky owes his youthful appearance to repeated cryo-freezes orchestrated by the Russians. He possesses no super powers and never received a form of the Super Soldier Serum as many assume, but continues to operate at peak human ability.

Winter Soldier also boasts a master knowledge of weapons and firearms. He has used a variety of guns and knives as well as Captain America's shield and even alien weaponry.

Rancorous Rebels

While fighting alongside Captain America during World War II, Bucky made plenty of enemies ranging from Hitler and the other Axis powers to the Red Skull and Master Man. Baron Heinrich Zemo launched the plane-bomb that Bucky tried to disarm and sent him into the icy ocean below at the cost of his left arm.

Russian Generals Vasily Karpov and Aleksander Lukin turned Barnes into the Winter Soldier. Later, Lukin winds up playing host to Bucky's long-time nemesis the Red Skull, who utilizes Crossbones, Sin, Doctor Faustus, Arnim Zola, and more of Captain America's enemies to continue tormenting anyone in the shield-slinger's uniform, including Bucky.

Over the years, Bucky takes on a few pretenders to Cap's legacy, including William Burnside, otherwise known as the 1950s Captain America, as well as the Kobik-created Hydra Captain America who kills Black Widow.

Bucky's Buds

Bucky and Steve Rogers become like brothers after they start fighting their way through the Axis powers. He also befriends and earns the respect of other soldiers, like Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos, as well as Super Heroes Namor, the Human Torch, and Toro. He also joins up with the Invaders and the Young Allies.

While under control of the Russians, Barnes meets and begins falling in love with Natasha Romanoff, who goes onto become the Black Widow. He reunites with her after regaining his senses in the modern era. She assists him as the Winter Solider and Captain America alongside Falcon and Sharon Carter, otherwise known as Agent 13.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #27, page 15

Barnes starts working with Nick Fury again upon recovering his memories, but also joins Super Hero teams like the Avengers, the New Avengers, and the Thunderbolts. He also teams up with Daisy Johnson for a time to defend Earth from extraterrestrial threats. His relationship with Clint Barton remains complicated as they both idolize the same man and love the same woman.

 

height

5'9"

weight

260 lbs.

gender

Male

eyes

Brown

hair

Brown

  • Universe
  • Other Aliases
  • Education
  • Place of Origin
  • Identity
  • Known Relatives
  • Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

Enlisted for Life

In 1941, Bucky stumbled upon Cap's secret identity and instantly became his sidekick. The government used that story to tell the world about his history, when in reality James Buchanan Barnes led a tough life living on Army bases, even after his dad died in an accident. A natural fighter, the higher-ups began grooming him to be a different kind of super solider, first by sending him to train with the S.A.S. and then assigning him to partner with Captain America.

Eventually, the two did begin working together. First, they defended the States from Axis terrorists before joining the fight overseas. While Captain America stood in the spotlight, Bucky used his smaller stature and more lethal skills to take care of some of the dirtier jobs behind the scenes. Along the way, Bucky and Steve became close confidants and brothers-in-arms. They would go on to join forces with the Howling Commandos and the Invaders in their efforts to stop the war.

Towards the end of the war, Baron Heinrich Zemo captured Captain America and Bucky. After torturing the young man in front of his senior partner, Zemo set up the duo to die before launching an experimental drone plane rigged with a bomb. Having broken free, the heroes drove off after the weapon and leaped into action. Rogers realized they didn't have time to stop the bomb and jumped away, but Bucky got stuck. The ensuing explosion sent Captain America into the icy depths where he would remain untouched until Namor accidentally rattled him free. Rogers assumed Bucky died in the incident and believed this for years.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #8, page 23

However, Bucky also managed to free himself just before the explosion. He lost his left arm in the process, but also landed, still alive, in the freezing waters. Unlike his partner, Barnes was fished out by General Vasily Karpov. After slowly bringing him back to life, the Russians came to realize that he had suffered a great deal of brain damage. He had no memories or true personality, just the reflex memories of how to fight.

The Russians fitted him with a robotic arm and utilized a program of mind implants and manipulation that turned him into the perfect, emotionless killer dubbed the Winter Soldier. Once they finished his programming, the Russians used him to train and test their Super Soldiers created in the Red Room for Department X. Once he started showing cracks in his programming, they decided to keep him in cryo-sleep between missions.

Between his relationship with Natasha Romanoff, which began with him as her trainer, and trips to the United States, the Winter Soldier started disobeying his orders. They placed him in cryo-freeze just before the Soviet Union fell apart, leaving him in storage until Karpov's second Aleksander Lukin thawed him out in the modern era to kill the Red Skull, steal his cobbled-together Cosmic Cube and use massive destruction to kickstart the reality-warping device.

During these exploits, which included the Winter Soldier blowing up part of downtown Philadelphia, Captain America, Nick Fury, Falcon, and Sharon Carter began to understand that this murderer was actually Bucky Barnes. The heroes stopped this mission, which led to a battle between former partners. Barnes claimed not to remember Captain America, but after Rogers got his hands on the Cube, he used it to make Bucky remember his entire life, the good and the bad.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #8, page 18

Almost immediately, Barnes began working for Nick Fury, who guided him to specific threats as the Super Heroes raced towards Civil War. During the event, Bucky kept to the shadows, still going on ops for Fury, but also realizing that this kind of mess diverted attention from where it truly should be. Then, just as Cap and his anti-registration side seemed to gain the upper hand, Rogers surrendered.

Barnes was nearby not long after Rogers was marched to the courthouse for his trial. Captain America never made it inside as Red Skull's plan took effect. Crossbones sniped him from the sky and a Dr. Faustus-controlled Sharon Carter shot him up close. Bucky and Falcon took out Crossbones, but with his brother gone and still considered a public menace, Bucky found himself mourning alone.

He continued his mission to stop Lukin, eventually discovering that the Red Skull had somehow taken up residence in the villain's mind. Making matters worse, Lukin revealed that part of the Winter Soldier programming included safe words that could knock him out. Faustus tried working his brain-bending mad science on Bucky, but it didn't work, and Agent 13 threw him out of a plane.

Not trusting how Tony Stark, then head of S.H.I.E.L.D., would honor Steve's memory, Barnes broke into the Helicarrier to steal Cap's shield. He thought about slinging it himself, but didn't take to the idea right away until he read a letter from Steve that requested he fill the position. Bucky made two things clear before taking up the mantle, though: he wanted S.H.I.E.L.D. to get the Winter Soldier programming out of his head, and also to be his own hero, answering to no one.

Bucky then donned a new costume to become Captain America. It took some time for him to fully understand what Steve did in that uniform beyond beating up bad guys and what it meant to the people who saw him. During his time as Cap, he started working with the New Avengers and also joined forces with Namor to reclaim Jim Hammond's body and give their fellow Invader a proper hero's burial. He also worked with Falcon, Black Widow, and Sharon Carter to finally put an end to the Red Skull's machinations.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #34, page 10

As those evil plans came to a head, Carter learned that instead of killing Steve Rogers, they'd actually unstuck him from time. The Skull managed to bring Rogers' body back so he could take control of it. Barnes fought Skull-Cap long enough for Steve to regain his own body. They then teamed up to stop a huge, rampaging Red Skull in a robot body with the help of the Avengers.

Back in the present, Steve felt concerned about taking over the role of Captain America again because he thought it might lead to Bucky's death. Still, he donned the chain mail to put a stop to Norman Osborn's Siege on Asgard, leading the heroes, including Bucky, against the Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts. Upon stopping Norman and everything he wrought, Rogers returned the shield to Bucky and went on to become the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D., making Barnes the solo Captain America for a time.

In addition to serving with the Avengers, Barnes continued cleaning up the messes left by the Red Skull, which included taking out the 1950s Cap William Burnside, who had been driven mad and started leading the white power group known as the Watchdogs. After killing the impostor, Bucky started acting like he had something of a death wish, which concerned Falcon and Rogers.

Baron Helmut Zemo took advantage of all this and put a plan into motion utilizing his old crony Fixer as well as his father's ally Iron Hand Hauptmann and a new Beetle to get Bucky exactly where he wanted him. Zemo demanded that Barnes earn his status as a hero instead of riding Cap's coattails, so he released proof of his past as the Winter Soldier to the media.

After getting away from Zemo, Bucky turned himself in and faced his charges with Steve's old friend, Bernie Rosenthal, representing him. During the trial, Sin and Master Man captured Falcon and Black Widow. She demanded that Bucky appear at the Statue of Liberty or else she'd blow it up along with his friends. Though advised not to, Bucky rushed into save his friends before turning himself back in. The judge allowed Barnes to switch his plea to guilty but commuted the 20-year sentence to time served in an effort to keep James out of jail.

CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #613, page 12

However, the Russians had other plans and extradited Bucky to a Siberian jail, having tried him in absentia and found him guilty of crimes against the state. While Barnes struggled to survive a whole mess of people with grudges from his days as the Winter Soldier, Rogers attempted diplomatic means of release while Black Widow and Sharon Carter went the spy route. They learned that the supposed innocents the Winter Soldier killed actually had ties back to the Red Room and Department X. Upon discovering that sleeper agent information had been hidden in his mind, Bucky decided to break out of jail at the same time that Black Widow arrived to spring him. As they got away, Barnes realized that he needed to dedicate himself to taking down the operatives he helped create back in his days under Russian control.

Before fully focusing on this new mission, Bucky and the rest of the super community got wrapped up in protecting the Earth from fear being spread by The Serpent, a more devious plan that had been kicked off by his old foe Sin. During the battle, Nick Fury and Black Widow made it look like the severely injured Bucky actually died, both to push Rogers back into the role of Captain America and also allow Barnes to restart his life.

In treating him, they injected him with Fury's last vial of Infinity Formula. Once up on his feet again, Bucky immediately told Steve what they'd done, noting that his work needed to be done in the shadows. He and Natasha started their new mission. While trying to track down the three U.S.-stationed sleeper agents, they ran into Lucia Von Bardas, the Crimson Ghost, and Doctor Doom. The last sleeper, Leo, managed to brainwash Black Widow into working for him, but the Winter Soldier teamed with Hawkeye, Captain America, and Wolverine to finally take him down and get her help from S.H.I.E.L.D. Ultimately, her memories of him were erased.

Bucky continued fighting the good fight as the Winter Soldier, but soon answered Fury's call to investigate the murder of the Watcher. Though he first began helping out alongside Gamora and Moon Knight, Barnes attacked Fury and declared there should be no more secrets. The old war horse then explained that he'd spent decades as "the man on the wall," doing whatever it took to keep Earth safe. Fury became the new Watcher and passed his secret defender responsibilities on to Bucky.

ORIGINAL SIN (2014) #8, page 19

With a new job description, Barnes recruited Daisy Johnson to help him. The pair got into pretty deep trouble on a mission during which Bucky fell in love, they encountered an alternate universe, and Loki pulled more strings than a puppeteer. During that time, Rogers returned to his role as Captain America, lost his Super Soldier Serum-granted youth, passed the mantle of Captain America on to Sam Wilson, and re-joined S.H.I.E.L.D.

Rogers didn't know that Maria Hill had started a program called Pleasant Hill that used a sentient Cosmic Cube called Kobik to rewrite the minds of Super Villains and give them new lives. So, he was pretty confused when the Winter Soldier started attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. outposts. Rogers was even more surprised when Bucky met up with him and said that Hill hadn't destroyed the Cube fragments like she originally claimed.

Hill gave Rogers a tour and everything seemed ship-shape, but then Baron Zemo broke out alongside Fixer, Moonstone, and others before causing a full-scale jail break. Winter Solder worked with Sam Wilson to find Kobik after she restored Steve to his proper age and implanted him with Hydra memories created by the Red Skull.

After the fracas, Bucky agreed to help Kobik, who also wanted to bring her four friends along: Fixer, Moonstone, Atlas, and Mach-X. Together they formed the new Thunderbolts and continued Barnes' work of watching out for high-level threats.

Bucky didn't learn that Kobik had re-written Steve Rogers' mind until it was too late, and Rogers took control of the country with his Secret Hydra Empire. As the faux Rogers' operation began, Baron Zemo attempted to kill Bucky the same way his father did, but the Winter Soldier escaped and splashed into the water. Namor's people found him, and he took on the disguise of a royal adviser, which gave the two old comrades time to make their own play.

Just as Hydra Cap leveled up in power, Barnes worked out a plan with Sam Wilson and Scott Lang to launch the last remaining piece of Kobik into Rogers. Jumping into the newly reformed Cube, Bucky saved Kobik as well as his old friend and escaped with them both. While Barnes was underwater, Hydra Cap murdered Black Widow in front of the world. When Kobik recreated everything, it seemed like she and the murdered Rick Jones had been brought back in some form or another.

SECRET EMPIRE (2017) #10, page 15

These days, Winter Soldier and Hawkeye have teamed up to find out if the Natasha still walks the planet and, if so, what she remembers of her old life.

 
4
durability
1
energy
6
fighting skills
2
intelligence
2
speed
4
strength