Winter Soldier
Bucky barnes
Name: Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes
Alias(es): Bucky
Winter Soldier
Portrayed by: Sebastian Stan
First appeared: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Last appeared: Captain America: Civil War
Appears in: 2 films

The Winter Soldier (real name James Buchanan Barnes, nicknamed Bucky) is a fictional character from Marvel Comics. He was the best friend of Steven Rogers, who would later become the famous superhero Captain America. Having been drafted into World War II, Bucky was captured by the terrorist organization HYDRA, and was experimented on by Swiss scientist Arnim Zola. Bucky had seemingly died after falling out of a moving train down into a trench, but survived his fall, albeit losing an arm. He was retrieved by H.Y.D.R.A., and was brainwashed and given a metal arm, becoming the assassin Winter Soldier.

He appeared as the tritagonist of Captain America: The First Avenger, the titular secondary antagonist of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and a supporting character in Captain America: Civil War. He is portrayed by Sebastian Stan.


Early Life

"Thank you Buck, but I can get by on my own."
"The thing is, you don't have to. I'm with you till the end of the line, pal."

James Buchanan Barnes was born on March 10, 1916, as the oldest child of four, growing up to become an excellent athlete who also excelled in the classroom.[1]

During his childhood, he met Steve Rogers at an early age. The two become best friends and stuck together for years.[3]

In 1940, Steve's mother, Sarah Rogers, died of tuberculosis. After her funeral, Bucky tried to help Steve, but he refused, saying he could get by on his own. He told him he didn't have to because he was with him "till the end of the line", something Steve would keep to heart for a long time.[1]

World War II

Training Steve

Years later, during an art class Bucky and Steve found out that America had joined the Second World War. Over the next two weeks he trained Steve at Goldie's Boxing Gym. They visited the US Recruiting and Induction Center in New York City where Steve was classified as 4F and rejected from service. Bucky was later drafted in the Army.[4]

Sergeant Barnes

"This isn't a back alley, Steve. It's war!"
―Bucky to Steve Rogers[src]

Eventually, Barnes rose to the rank of Sergeant. The day before his shipment out to England, Bucky defended his friend from being beat up by a bully. At first Rogers seemed upset as he was not shipping out to war with his best friend, but Bucky was determined to cheer his friend up.

Bucky and Rogers then went to the Stark Expo together, what Bucky did not tell Steve however was that it was in fact a double date with Connie and Bonnie, when Steve asked what Bucky had told her about him, Bucky simply replied "only the good stuff". While there the group watched Howard Stark demonstrate his prototype flying car, which greatly impressed Bucky, until it malfunctioned and fell to the ground.

Though Bucky was having fun, Rogers was interested in enlisting for the fifth time. Bucky found him trying to enlist and first tried to presade him to rejoin him on the double date, when that did not work he reminded him that he wasn't going to be fighting in a back alley but in awar. Despite Bucky's protests Steve went through with it but said a heartfelt goodbye to Bucky before doing so, Rogers told him not to win the war until he got there and Bucky left with Connie and Bonnie. Bucky and his unit the 107th then shipped to England the next day.[3]

Prisoner of War

"I thought you were dead."

"I thought you were smaller."

―Captain America and Bucky Barnes[src]

On the battlefields of Europe, Bucky and his men were ambushed by the Germans at Azzano[5] and captured by HYDRA. They were sent to work at the HYDRA weapons facility in the Austrian Alps, halfway between Kitzbühel and Klagenfurt.[3]

In October 1943, he met other Allied POWs: Jacques Dernier, Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, and James Montgomery Falsworth. During his stay in the facility, he was viciously beaten by the commander of the compound, Colonel Lohmer. However, other prisoners organized "an accident" which resulted in Lohmer's death.[6]

Bucky and his friends worked on parts of the Valkyrie, the giant super bomber. Bucky became too weak to continue and he was taken to an isolation clinic. In November 1943, Rogers (who had become Captain America) infiltrated the facility, freed the prisoners and Bucky too. During the escape Bucky and Rogers encountered Johann Schmidt and Arnim Zola. Rogers and Bucky were able to escape them and the facility before it blew and walked all the way back to Colonel Chester Phillips' base in Italy, 30 miles out.[3]

Howling Commandos

"Sergeant Barnes said that they were shipping to a facility not on this map."
―Captain Rogers to Chester Phillips[src]

After their escape from the HYDRA prison, Bucky, Dum Dum Dugan, Jacques Dernier, Gabe Jones, Jim Morita, and James Montgomery Falsworth were given a break from duty. Steve Rogers joined them in a pub and convinced them to join his crusade against the Nazis and HYDRA, forming an elite group of fighters known as the Howling Commandos.Bucky told Steve that he wouldn't follow Captain America, but he would follow his friend. When Peggy Carter also arrived at the pub, Bucky had to deal with the realization that Steve was now the one who gets flirted with, not him.

Eventually Bucky and the newly formed Howling Commandos, joined Captain America in on the battlefield once again Over the following months, Bucky, Rogers, and the Commandos progressively destroyed most major HYDRA operations, preventing Johann Schmidt and Arnim Zola any real ability to work on their scientific projects and plans. Bucky often worked as the sniper of the group, protecting his team of Commandos from the HYDRA enemy. [3]


In the winter of 1945, Bucky and Captain America boarded a HYDRA train carrying Arnim Zola. Bucky takes Captain America's shield and blocks him while he's down, but clearly not having the upper body strength to hold on to it when getting hit it shoots him out the side of the train. He was hanging on to a rail on the outside of the train, but it broke before Rogers was able to save him, which resulted in Bucky falling into an icy river below.[3]

Found by HYDRA

"Sergeant Barnes... the procedure has already started. You are to be the new fist of HYDRA!"
―Arnim Zola[src]

Surviving the fall from Arnim Zola's train, although missing his arm, Bucky was found by a Soviet soldier some time later. He eventually ended up in HYDRA custody. From experiments performed on him during his time as a HYDRA prisoner, Bucky had been given some form of the Super Soldier Serum which may have contributed to his survival.

In the care of the newly recreated HYDRA now working underneath S.H.I.E.L.D.'s nose, Barnes underwent further experimentation at the hands of Arnim Zola and various other doctors. Removing the remnants of his severed arm, the doctors replaced the missing limb with a prosthetic one. Bucky was also subjected to multiple mind control methods to keep him under their command. Over time Bucky would lose all memory of his former life and became nothing more than a weapon.

With the intention of using Barnes as their personal weapon, HYDRA had him frozen in suspended animation to prevent him from aging after every mission.[1]

HYDRA's Operative

The Winter Soldier

Receiving vast training from HYDRA, Barnes became a formidable fighter and an even more ruthless killer. His experiences with the KGB would earn him the name of the 'Winter Soldier.

The Winter Soldier would remain frozen for long periods of time until HYDRA saw fit to unfreeze him for certain missions. Over the next 50 years, the Winter Soldier would be responsible for countless assassinations including political parties. Due to his expertise on the field and the shadowy nature of his existence, the Winter Soldier became something of a Ghost Story with Intelligence Agencies doubting he even existed.[1]

Encounter with the Black Widow

In 2009, the Winter Soldier was sent to kill a nuclear scientist. He found his target being escorted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Natasha Romanoff. Without hesitation, he attacked his target, sending him and Romanoff over a cliff. Finding Romanoff saved the target from falling to his death, the Winter Soldier fired a single round through Romanoff's stomach. The bullet struck the scientist, effectively killing him. He then made his getaway without pursuit.[1]

Bucky's Legacy

"Best friends since childhood, Bucky Barnes and Steven Rogers were

inseparable on both schoolyard and battlefield. Barnes is the only Howling Commando to give his life in service of his country."

―A recording played in the Captain America Exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution[src]

Almost seventy years after the end of World War II, Steve Rogers, awakened in the 21st century, studied S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files about the Commandos. In Bucky's file, he was reported as "Missing in action", as his corpse was never found and therefore he was never officially classified as deceased.[7]

In the Smithsonian Institution, a part of the Captain America Exhibit is dedicated to Barnes' memory and shows a short biography of his life.[1]

Before 2014, "Bucky" Barnes' name was listed in the Wall of Valor of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy of Science and Technology.[8]

Attack on Nick Fury

In 2014, the Winter Soldier was activated to kill Nick Fury after he began to unravel HYDRA's secret existence. When Fury managed to escape death at the hands of over a dozen HYDRA agents in Washington, D.C., Barnes arrived and disabled Fury's car using a special grenade. However, when he made his way to the vehicle to finish Fury, he found his target had used a laser to escape his car and into the sewers.

He later located Fury at Steve Rogers' apartment and shot him multiple times through the wall from another building. While making his escape, Rogers gave chase and tried to subdue Barnes with his shield. However, Bucky simply caught the shield, throwing it back.[1]

Hunting Captain America

"Most of the intelligence community doesn't believe he exists. The ones that do call him the Winter Soldier. He's a ghost. You'll never find him."
―Black Widow[src]

Instead of being returned to cryo-sleep, the Winter Soldier was later sent to Alexander Pierce's house for his next orders. His next targets were Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff who were attempting to reveal HYDRA's plan to wipe out over a million targets using S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarriers.

The next day he attacked Rogers, Romanoff, and Sam Wilson on the freeway while they were kidnapping HYDRA sleeper agent, Jasper Sitwell. Throwing Sitwell from the car into an incoming truck, the Winter Soldier destroyed the car and forced it off the road. When he fired a grenade at his targets, Rogers deflected it and went flying off the bridge into a bus below. Instead of engaging Romanoff, Barnes began pursuing her through the streets of Washington, D.C., only to be ambushed. After shooting Romanoff through the shoulder, the Winter Soldier was attacked by Rogers before he could assassinate her.

The two engaged in a brutal one-on-one fight, both rivaling each other with every move. In the midst of the fight, Rogers ripped the Soldier's mask off and stared in disbelief. Recognizing him as Bucky Barnes, Rogers brought the Soldier to a stand still. Swiftly raising his gun to take a shot, the Winter Soldier was suddenly knocked to the ground by Sam Wilson. He was forced to flee while HYDRA agents captured Rogers, Romanoff and Wilson.[1]

Forgotten Memories

Back at Base,Barnes became erratic and violent towards the doctors. After they repaired his arm, he began to remember fragments from his past. These fragments included his fall from the train, as well as the operations performed on him by Arnim Zola.

Alexander Pierce arrived at the Base to obtain Barnes' mission report, only to find Barnes in a state of disarray. Claiming that he knew Steve Rogers somehow, Barnes was forced to undergo further mind alterations to force his cooperation.[1]

Battle at the Triskelion

The following day, before HYDRA could complete their goal and activate the Helicarriers, Rogers and company infiltrated the Triskelion and revealed HYDRA's presence to his fellow agents who actively engaged in battle with HYDRA's undercover agents.

In the ensuing chaos, Bucky slew a path through the open airfield, murdering pilots and destroying Quinjets. He flew a Quinjet to the third Helicarrier, where he ambushed Rogers and Sam Wilson. He shoved Rogers off the Helicarrier, destroyed Wilson's flight suit and threw him off the Helicarrier. Seeing Rogers survived his fall he ran ahead to meet him the Target System.

The Winter Soldier went to confront Rogers himself before he could reboot the Helicarrier's Target System. As the two stood opposite one another, Rogers pleaded with his former best friend for him to remember him. Ignoring these pleas, Barnes engaged Rogers once again.

Trying to obtain the Targeting Chip from Barnes, Rogers broke Barnes' arm, and injured his leg before subduing him. The Winter Soldier however, regained consciousness before Rogers could reach the System Override, shooting him multiple times. Despite this, Rogers managed to swap the Data Chips and had S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill have the three Helicarriers target each other, even with himself aboard one.[1]

As the Carrier began to fall apart in mid-air, the Winter Soldier became trapped under debris. A badly injured Rogers leaped to his friend's aid and freed him. Begging for Bucky to remember him, Rogers let his shield drop to the Earth, refusing to fight. Barnes refused to listen, violently beating Rogers to a pulp as their surroundings began to deteriorate.


"Your name is James Buchanan Barnes. I'm not going to fight you; you're my friend."
―Captain America[src]

As the Winter Soldier claimed Rogers to be his mission, Steve quoted something Bucky said to him more than 70 years prior after his mother's funeral. Memories flooded to the surface, as Bucky relented, unwilling to throw another punch. The surface beneath them fell away, and Rogers plummeted into the river below. Bucky quickly grabbed on to a metal beam, which allowed him to stay on the Hellicarrier. Realizing that Rogers truly was his friend, Bucky let go of the beam and leaped in after Steve and pulled him ashore, saving his old friend's life. After saving him, Bucky quickly checked to see if Rogers was still breathing. After he discovered he was, he began slowly walking off into the nearby woods, going on a mission to discover his true identity.[1]

Some time later, Barnes visited the Smithsonian Institution's Captain America Exhibit. As he stared intensely at his memorial, Barnes finally remembered who he was.[9]

Powers and Abilities

"He's fast. Strong. Had a metal arm."
―Captain America[src]

After Bucky fell into a trench in an ice mountain, he was saved and given a metal arm, along with some other enhanced abilities from a serum that had similar effect to the human body to the Super Soldier Serum given to Steve Rogers.


  • Enhanced Strength: The Winter Soldier has strength that is equal to Captain America's. Bucky's strength was greatly boosted by serum given to him by HYDRA scientists. The Winter Soldier's physical strength is enhanced to superhuman levels. He has used his legs and flesh arm to kick and punch others with a display of strength that far surpasses normal humans and closely resembles Captain America's own abilities.
    • Bionic Arm: HYDRA also removed the remnants of his severed left arm and replaced the missing limb with a cybernetic one. The bionic arm gives him enhanced strength superior to that of Captain America. The Winter Soldier was able to rip open a S.H.I.E.L.D. armor SUV, rip apart Falcon's EXO-7 suit, and smash concrete by punching it.
  • Enhanced Speed: The Winter Soldier's speed is comparable to Captain America's. It should be noted that Captain America can run at 26 miles per hour with relative ease, and still had trouble keeping up with the Winter Soldier in a chase sequence.
  • Enhanced Durability: The Winter Soldier's bones andmuscles are denser and harder than normal, to the highest human potential, which makes him very durable compared to a normal human. Zola's experiments fortified his form to the extent that he survived a high fall in the Eastern Alps that would have been fatal to an ordinary man. Also he was able to leap from the bridge to the top of a car and land without any apparent injury. The roof of the car was not as lucky, being cracked by his landing.
  • Enhanced Stamina: The Winter Soldier's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human.
  • Enhanced Reflexes & Agility: The Winter Soldier's reflexes and agility is superior of a ordinary human. When Steve throws his shield at him while he was chasing after him, he easily catches it with his cybernetic arm and throws it back at him.
  • Enhanced Healing: The Winter Soldier's healing speed and efficiency is at the highest limits of human potential, which means he can heal faster than most humans.
  • Slowed Aging Process: Extended periods of cryonic preservation dramatically slowed Bucky's overall aging process. Despite being in his late nineties, he continues to retain the physical condition and appearance of an average man in his twenties. He was in the same age group as Steve.


This section requires expansion

  • Master Martial Artist: The Winter Soldier is a highly trained martial artist and excels at improvisation and weapons handling. Receiving vast training from HYDRA, Barnes became a master

assassin that can slaughter dozens of enemies alone, take on highly skilled combatants such as Falcon and Black Widow with relative ease, and go toe to toe with Captain America. The two engaged in a brutal one-on-one fight, both rivaling each other with every move. The Winter Soldier also single-handedly killed up to a dozen well-armed Quinjet pilots in a single encounter and escaped uninjured.

  • Master Marksman: Bucky was a remarkably precise shot, even prior to being turned into the Winter Soldier. During World War II, he shot a HYDRA operative that Captain America did not see until he was down. As the Winter Soldier, he became an even more deadly marksman. The Winter Soldier fired a single round through Natasha Romanoff's stomach and into a nuclear scientist that she was protecting, killing him. The Winter Soldier is also capable of making long range shots without the use of a rifle, for example, shooting Nick Fury multiple times through the wall of Steve's apartment and from the top of another building.
  • Expert Pilot: The Winter Soldier was able to "hijack" a Quinjet after killing the pilot.
  • Multilingual: Barnes speaks both English and Russian fluently.


  • Uniform: HYDRA designed a lightweight tactical suit for Bucky, attempting to conceal his true identity from the world. The uniform is constructed from nomex thread and kevlar fiber. The lightweight suit provides resistance to small arms fire, and has advanced flexibility for close quarters combat.

"Three slugs, completely untraceable."
"Soviet made?"

―Natasha Romanoff and Maria Hill[src]
  • Weaponry: While working for HYDRA, the Winter Soldier carried a vast array of weapons for combat, adapting his uniform with customized holsters to carry them. He was also usually handed with extra weapons by his support henchmen.
    • Gerber Mark II Combat knife
    • SIG-Sauer P220: The Winter Soldier's weapon of choice, a semi-automatic pistol heavily used by armed forces and police of many countries.
    • Vz.61 Skorpion: A submachine gun carried on the back of his vest
    • Intratec TEC-38 and COP .357 Derringer: Two small guns carried in the right tigh custom holster.
    • Colt M4A1 with a M203 Grenade Launcher: A fully automatic carbine intended for special operations use, attached with a grenade launcher.
    • FN Mk 13: A grenade launcher customized to fire Magnetic Disk Grenades.
    • Milkor MGL: A six-shot revolver-type grenade launcher.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Films: Captain America: Civil War | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Avengers: Infinity War
Characters: Spider-Man | Captain America | Iron Man | Winter Soldier | Falcon | Happy Hogan | Pepper Potts | Aunt May | Ned Leeds | Liz Toomes | Flash Thompson | Aaron Davis
Enemies: Vulture | The Shocker | Jackson Brice | Tinkerer
Locations: Avengers Facility | Avengers Tower | Midtown School of Science and Technology
Video Games:

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