!!Warning: This page contain unmarked spoilers for the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse. Read at your own risk.[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/WinterSoldier1_final__low__6571.jpg]]
->'''The Winter Soldier''': ''Who the hell is Bucky?''

Excellent question!

James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes is a Creator/MarvelComics character. He first appeared in ''Captain America Comics'' #1 (March, 1941), created by Joe Simon and Creator/JackKirby. Bucky was originally the camp mascot at the base where Steve Rogers, the first CaptainAmerica was stationed, and when he stumbled upon Steve changing out of the costume, Steve was forced to take him on as a sidekick. Bucky's wartime adventures would come to an end when he and Captain America tried to sabotage a drone bomb bound for the US. While Captain America survived and plunged into the icy waters of the Arctic to [[HumanPopsicle be discovered decades later]] by ComicBook/TheAvengers, Bucky was thought dead when the drone bomb exploded with him on board. His death continued to haunt Captain America after the latter's revival in the present.

In 2004, Creator/EdBrubaker started writing a new volume of Captain America, and the way the world saw Bucky was changed forever. While once viewed as a joke of a character, he was retconned to be a 17 year-old highly-trained commando assigned by the Army to be CaptainAmerica's sidekick to counter the Hitler Youth, but also to serve as a covert assassin, performing operations that Captain America himself could never be seen doing; what was initially believed to be his origin was simply a cover story cooked up by the Army press. Instead of dying due to the drone, he instead lost his left arm and a fair chunk of his memory. He survived submersion in the Atlantic Ocean only to be later picked up by a Russian submarine hoping to rescue Cap for the Allies. While he'd lost memories of his life experiences, [[LaserGuidedAmnesia he retained skills honed through instinct, including his combat training]], and was thus [[BrainwashedAndCrazy molded]] into a Soviet assassin as sort of a sick joke by a humiliated Russian officer. As The Winter Soldier, he went on to become a [[ShroudedInMyth legend of]] the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, performing acts of terrorism and sabotage on US soil under Soviet orders.

Bucky eventually [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone regained his memories]], and has since spent his days trying to [[TheAtoner atone for his sins]] as the Winter Soldier; working for NickFury, and following [[DeathIsCheap Steve's death]], serving as CaptainAmerica himself and as a member of Comicbook/TheAvengers.

For a long time, it was fondly accepted among comic book fans that Bucky was one of the few [[DeathIsCheap comic book characters that actually stayed dead]], along with [[{{Franchise/Batman}} Jason Todd]] and [[{{Franchise/Spider-Man}} Uncle Ben]].


!!Media
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''CaptainAmerica''
* ''ComicBook/TheInvaders''
* ''Young Allies''
* ''Winter Soldier: Winter Kills''
* ''Winter Soldier''
* ''Winter Soldier: The Bitter March''
* ''Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse''
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' (as Bucky Barnes, portrayed by Sebastian Stan)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' (as the Winter Soldier, portrayed by Sebastian Stan)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelSuperHeroes (as Bucky, portrayed by Caral Banas)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperheroSquadShow'' (as Bucky, portrayed by Rod Keller)
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' (Bucky portrayed by Creator/ScottMenville, Winter Soldier by Jon Curry)

Over at DCComics, compare and contrast the first two Robins, {{Nightwing}} and [[RedHoodAndTheOutlaws Red Hood]].
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!!Exhibits examples of:

* AffirmativeActionLegacy: Mark Gruenwald introduced an African American Bucky named Lemar Hoskins, who quickly changed his name to Battlestar after learning that [[UnfortunateImplications "Buck" used to be]] a [[ValuesDissonance derogatory term for black men]]. The female Rikki Barnes also used the Bucky identity before taking on the alias of Nomad. The future Bucky seen in ''[[YoungAvengers The Children's Crusade]]'' is a black teen named Steve Wilson-Bradley, the grandson of TheFalcon.
* AgentsDating: They become this in Bucky's new ''Winter Soldier'' ongoing. Offering a deeper look into their relationship, the book contrasts Bucky's [[ClassicalAntiHero guilt and self-doubt]] with Natasha's [[LadyOfWar confidence and pragmatic demeanor]].
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Played with. Women will once in a while express attraction to Bucky due to his reputation as the Winter Soldier, but he is decidedly not a bad boy.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: He began life as Marvel's version of {{Robin}} -- specifically of [[ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} Dick Grayson]] as the KidSidekick, but he was a DeadSidekick by 1964, while [[RedHoodAndTheOutlaws Jason Todd]] didn't follow suit until 1988. Since then, this has become a ZigZaggedTrope, with Bucky having parallel story beats to both Jason (comes back to life, fights mentor, becomes brooding bad boy rogue) and Dick (takes over mentor's mantle after his death, keeps mantle with his blessing when he comes back from the dead due to overwhelming fan support, returns it later anyway) at different points. Whether or not one is copying the other is a matter of debate, but ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'s'' cancellation in favor of ''Grayson,'' a series where Dick becomes a spy and is teamed up with a beautiful woman who has a spider web tattoo has been seen as [=DC=]'s attempt to replicate the Bucky and BlackWidow dynamic.
* ArtificialLimbs: The Soviets replaced the arm he lost in UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 with a cybernetic one, which has a lot of handy abilities, such as an {{EMP}}. It also allows him to handle and throw Captain America's shield properly.
* AntiHeroSubstitute: Bucky as CaptainAmerica subverts this, sort of. He's a ClassicAntiHero, so he doesn't carry the same connotations this trope usually does.
* TheArtifact: Bucky as Captain America's KidSidekick in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII effectively made him a ChildSoldier with the implied knowledge of the US Miilitary, which required increasing justification from the writers over the decades.
* TheAtoner: What he decides to be after coming to terms with what he's done under Soviet brainwashing.
* BackFromTheDead: After a fashion. [[spoiler: Again after Fear Itself.]]
* BadassBoast: When Clint Barton tried to [[ComicBook/DarkReign justify killing Norman Osborn]] by pulling out the "[[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct If you could go back in time & kill Hitler]]" argument, Bucky simply chimes in that he ''[[SubvertedTrope did]]'' [[BeenThereShapedHistory kill Hitler]].
* BashBrothers: Captain America and Bucky. The original and the best.
** Bucky also becomes this with TheFalcon, Sam Wilson.
* BattleCouple: Bucky and Comicbook/BlackWidow. And by god, it is glorious.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Of the three versions of the Winter Soldier storyline (the Ed Brubaker comics run, ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''), [=EMH=] couldn't use the iconic "Who the hell is Bucky?" line as-written.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: As the Winter Soldier.
* BreakoutCharacter: In a complete reversal of the typical ReplacementScrappy / LegacyHero reactions, fans absolutely '''loved''' Bucky as CaptainAmerica, to the point where some were even hoping that it'd stay that way even after Steve Roger's inevitable [[DeathIsCheap resurrection]].
* ChildSoldier: Bucky was the camp mascot, but he effectively became this when he entered combat as Cap's sidekick. Later justified in modern comics with him being considered a really young looking 15 year old at the beginning in 1941 (The US military occasionally ignored such borderline age cases then) with it becoming a non-issue by the end of the war with him being 19.
* ClassicAntiHero: Despite being a good person at heart and genuinely wanting to do right by his country, he is plagued by his desire to [[TheAtoner make up for the wrongs he did as the Winter Soldier]] and by doubts as to whether or not he can actually do the mantle justice.
* CombatPragmatist: Bucky is far quicker to resort to less dignified forms of fighting. Playing possum and then unloading a full clip in someone's face, pulling a woman's hair, whatever.
** {{Kneecapping}} seems to be his preferred method of dealing with enemy {{Mooks}}.
* DarkIsNotEvil: For a time, after being released from his Soviet brainwashing, he continued to wear the same black leather costume he did as the Winter Soldier while working for NickFury and helping Cap from the shadows. Even [[http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/36/buckycaptainamerica.jpg/ his costume]] as Captain America contains more black than red-white-and-blue, but he's every bit as nice as Steve is.
* DeadSidekick: They used to say; "No one stays dead in comics except for Jason Todd, Uncle Ben and Bucky." Now it's down to just Uncle Ben, as DC brought back Jason Todd at almost the exact same time Marvel brought back Bucky.
* DependingOnTheArtist: Is his gun a .45 or a Luger?
** His mask. Are the eyes whited out or not? The majority of artists draw it as not whiting out his eyes, but a few don't.
** And if you can see his eyes, what color are they-- blue or brown? ''All-New Invaders'' is particularly inconsistent, he'll have blue eyes on one page and brown on the next.
* DeepCoverAgent: The Winter Soldier often served this role during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar; he could easily pass for an American, because he actually was one. Bouts of BecomingTheMask, or rather, FightingFromTheInside, in his case, while on mission, led to his superiors' decision to place him in [[SealedBadassInACan suspended animation between missions]].
* NeuroVault: In his last appearance as CaptainAmerica [[spoiler: before his supposed second death]] it was revealed that the reason why he was extradited to Russia was because he had information on how to locate and activate a team of {{Deep Cover Agent}}s much like the Winter Soldier subconsciously sealed in his mind, and [[RenegadeRussian the warden]] of his gulag had plans for this information.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Just like his partner and the original Cap, he's no slouch in defeating foes way more powerful than himself. Of particular note is his takedown of ComicBook/{{Ares}}, Greek God of War in the pages of NewAvengers.
* DirtyCommunists: Who he worked for as the Winter Soldier during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. In modern times, he was awakened from cryonic storage and commissioned by RenegadeRussian [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Aleksander Lukin]], which led to the discovery of his existence by Captain America.
* DominoMask: A dark blue one as Cap's sidekick and a black one as the Winter Soldier. (in the movie, it's GuyLiner instead of a mask)
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler: In Comicbook/FearItself. He'd be a SacrificialLion if not for the shortage of attention given by other characters who aren't Steve, Nick Fury, or Black Widow.]]
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: While he is only an extremely well-trained soldier, his bionic arm plus unaging Infinity Formula allow for being able to hold his own against anyone up to Type 3 in SuperWeight. In the movies, he was experimented on by Dr. Zola, giving him a similar skill set to Steve.
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Only [[CaptainAmerica Steve Rogers]], ComicBook/BlackWidow, and NickFury know of his survival, because if word got out that he's still alive, it's back to the gulag for him.]]
* FanNickname: Bucky Cap. Has since become an ascended nickname courtesy of the ComicBook/NewAvengers.
--> '''To {{Spider-Man}}''': Stop calling me Bucky Cap!
* HeroWithBadPublicity: He was reviled by the public at large early in his stint as [[LegacyCharacter Captain America]], but understandably so, considering Steve Rogers [[ComicBook/CivilWar was assassinated]] not [[TooSoon too long ago]]. And again after he was discovered by the public to have been a cold war assassin for the Soviets.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Bucky and Natasha.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Captain America and Bucky. The original and the best.
* IndyPloy: As Captain America, his tactical ability was often displayed through his prodigious reliance on these.
* InternalHomage: When Cap first confronts the Winter Soldier, the Soldier says "Who the hell is Bucky?" Later, after [[spoiler:Natasha's memories of Bucky have been wiped out and he tries to speak with her, she repeats the line]].
* KidSidekick: Originally, but eventually subverted by the Creator/EdBrubaker {{Retcon}}, which revealed him to be handpicked by the Army to accompany Cap and perform wetworks missions. Due to the Marvel Universe's lack of kid sidekicks (Creator/StanLee has expressed his dislike for the trope), it's led to the interpretation that Bucky was a deconstruction of them by showing that it'd only put a minor in mortal danger. The deconstruction angle went further with Brubaker's retconning him to have been more of a child assassin.
* LegacyCharacter: After the "death" of the original during the Golden Age, the Bucky identity was briefly used by Fred Davis, Jack Monroe, Rick Jones, Lemar Hoskins, and Bucky's own AlternateUniverse granddaughter Rikki Barnes.
* MemeticMutation: Bucky Bear, baby Captain America's closest companion in A-Babies vs X-Babies. Fans started making their own Bucky Bears and there's more than one photograph of Sebastian Stan posing with one.
* MilitaryBrat: Bucky's father was a career soldier, and he grew up on base. After his father died in a routine training exercise, Bucky's sister was sent to boarding school, but Bucky stayed.
* MilitarySuperhero: Just like Cap.
* MultiRangedMaster: As CaptainAmerica, but only because [[ThrowingYourShieldAlwaysWorks the shield]] is a PrecisionGuidedBoomerang. He often uses it in conjunction with his pistol, which [[DependingOnTheArtist may or may not be]] a heavily modified P08 Luger.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: His reaction upon getting his memories back.
* MyGreatestFailure: Steve regarded Bucky's supposed death at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 as this for a long time after his revival in the modern day.
* MyGreatestSecondChance: After finding out of Bucky's survival and freeing the guy from Soviet brainwashing, Steve felt that he should do everything in his power to keep Bucky alive and a good man. This apparently meant persuading [[SidekickGraduationsStick Bucky to keep the]] Captain America mantle even after his own [[BackFromTheDead return from the dead]].
* NamedAfterSomeoneFamous: UsefulNotes/JamesBuchanan, 15th President of the U.S. A strange choice, given he's considered one of the absolute worst.
* NinetiesAntiHero: Subverted. Bucky had the look, some of the attitude, but was a good guy through and through.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackUp: Disregarding how unlikely it is to chance upon an amnesiac soldier well-versed in infiltration, sabotage, and assassination, the sheer amount of money put into enhancing Bucky ensured that creating more than one Winter Soldier wasn't a viable option.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: Getting stabbed with Sin's hammer left him OnlyMostlyDead, and he was later revived through intensive medical care and the use of Nick Fury's Infinity Formula. His death [[FakingTheDead was faked]] by Black Widow who planted an [[ActuallyADoombot LMD with injuries identical to his]], and left it to be buried as a hero in Arlington, absolving him of the charges set against him during his time in prison]].
* NeuroVault: In his last appearance as Captain America [[spoiler: before his supposed second death]] it was revealed that the reason why he was extradited to Russia was because he had information on how to locate and activate a team of {{Deep Cover Agent}}s much like the Winter Soldier subconsciously sealed in his mind, and [[RenegadeRussian the warden]] of his gulag had plans for this information.
* NotWearingTights: Averted when he started out as Cap's sidekick, and during his stint as CaptainAmerica, but played straight (sort of, he wore a DominoMask with his jumpsuit) during his time as the Winter Soldier. As the page picture shows, he's back to playing the trope straight again.
* OlderThanTheyLook: He looks barely a day over 25, but he's actually 80-plus years old.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: He's come down in history as "Bucky," which is half-nickname, half-superhero legacy. Originally, his girlfriend, Black Widow, was the only person who regularly called him "James," but more recent writers are having him known as such because they feel "Bucky" isn't a particularly dignified name for an adult hero. More rarely, someone will call him Jim, such as the team in ''Captain America Corps'' or Bucky Cap himself, addressing his time-traveling teenage counterpart in ''AvengersInvaders''.
* PosthumousNarration: [[spoiler: This is what his monologues in his new series ''Captain America and Bucky'' are shaping up to be, until Marvel gives sufficient explanation as to how and why he's recounting his experiences in UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 after dying in ''ComicBook/FearItself'']] This was finally explained[[spoiler: , sort of, in Fear Itself 7.1, where it's revealed that he's NotQuiteDead, and will be returning to his Winter Soldier identity. As the ''Captain America and Bucky'' story eventually revealed, he was doing some catching up with his now-aged sister.]]
* RedBaron: Nobody knew him by name when he was operating as the Winter Soldier, not even his own Soviet superiors.
* RedemptionDemotion: When Bucky was reintroduced as the Winter Soldier, he was presented as a cold, unerring, and efficient assassin who could eliminate the Red Skull without even batting an eyelash. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone After regaining his memories]] and subsequently taking on the Captain America mantle, while he did fairly well, he showed an over-reliance on {{Indy Ploy}}s and a [[DistressedDude tendency to end up being saved by his buddies from harm]].
* ReimaginingTheArtifact: The EdBrubaker retcon basically amounts to this, turning Bucky from a KidSidekick to a teenage assassin, bumping his age slightly (he's still too young to be a soldier, but in an era where the military needed bodies enough to overlook that), and saying that Bucky's original origin story -- camp mascot who found out Cap's secret identity and ''had'' to become his partner -- was an official story put out by the military who didn't want to let on to the fact that he was highly-trained in covert ops.
* RenegadeRussian: Aleksander Lukin, CEO of [[MegaCorp Kronas]]. The discovery of the Winter Soldier's existence was due to Lukin recommissioning the Soldier after decades of SuspendedAnimation since the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar to acquire the Cosmic Cube and enact a plan to use the Cube and Kronas to destroy the American economy from within. He is a protege of the Soviet officer who had Bucky brainwashed in the first place.
* {{Retcon}}: Creator/EdBrubaker's retooling of the Bucky character into a teen assassin, [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] into becoming a Soviet agent after secretly surviving UsefulNotes/WorldWar2, paving the way for his reintroduction into modern day comics is often hailed as one of the most well done Retcons in recent history. His original death in TheSixties was a retcon as well, saying that the Captain America and Bucky from TheFifties were actually impostors. According to Brubaker, it was when he learned that this oft-flashbacked-to death was just a retcon that he determined that, if he ever got to write Captain America comics, he'd undo it.
* SealedBadassInACan: The reason [[OlderThanTheyLook why he's so youthful]] is because the Soviets kept him in suspended animation while he wasn't out on missions.
* ShroudedInMyth: The Winter Soldier.
* SidekickGraduationsStick / LegacyCharacter: Despite Steve coming BackFromTheDead again, Bucky continued to serve as Captain America, with the approval of the man himself. [[spoiler: Not anymore though, Steve's Cap again.]]
* SpyFiction: Bucky's new ''Winter Soldier'' ongoing has shaped up to be this. Creator/EdBrubaker has played with EspionageTropes before, especially during Bucky's stint as CaptainAmerica, but he goes all out here. One could say the book is SpyFiction masquerading as a [[NotWearingTights Superhero story]]. It's primarily [[TuxedoAndMartini Martini-flavored]]; aside from Bucky's usual [[ActionHero hands-on approach]], he dons [[BadassInANiceSuit nice suits]] as disguises and uses some snazzy [[CloakAndDagger SHIELD]]-issue gadgets. There is a bit of [[TrenchcoatBrigade Stale Beer]] in there as well, considering the main conflict is a plot to depose a political leader (granted, said leader is DrDoom, but still). And then this plot is to be executed with the [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs liberal use of]] [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot machinegun-wielding fascist gorillas]].
* StatusQuoIsGod:
** [[spoiler: Pretty much the reason why he has faked his death and gone back to the Winter Soldier codename. It's all for Steve to return to his original role as CaptainAmerica to coincide with the [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger 2011 movie]].]]
** [[spoiler:Also the reason why his relationship with Black Widow ended with it being wiped from her memory since she had gotten a bigger public profile as a Avenger. ]]
* SuperheroPackingHeat: Justified as he's a thoroughly unpowered -though in good shape and well trained- hero going against Cap's still-powered rogues gallery.
* ThatManIsDead: Reluctantly:
---> '''Jim Hammond''': "Bucky!"
---> '''Namor''': "James!"
---> '''Bucky''': "Name's ''Winter Soldier'' now, guys, like it or not. Time we all got used to it."
* TheTeamNormal: He was this during his time in The Invaders; on a team with [[SuperSerum Captain]] [[CaptainAmerica America]], [[FlyingBrick Namor the]] SubMariner, and [[PlayingWithFire The Human Torch and Toro]], he only had his black-ops training to his credit.
* TookALevelInBadass: Thanks to Creator/EdBrubaker, he's gone a long way from being one of the most laughable examples of a KidSidekick ever. How long? He became Captain America.
* WeakButSkilled: Aside from his cybernetic arm, Bucky doesn't have much in the way of superhuman abilities, but he still manages to hold his own quite well against powered opponents, owing to his CombatPragmatist tendencies.
* WhamLine: Used both in the comics and in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse to reveal his memory loss as the Winter Soldier:
-->'''Captain America''': ...Bucky?\\
'''The Winter Soldier''': ...Who the hell is Bucky?!