YMMV: Bucky Barnes

  • Author's Saving Throw: According to Ed Brubaker, a lot of people were pissed at the way Bucky died in Fear Itself #3, especially since it wasted a lot of the character development he'd put in for a character he had recently brought back from the dead. Cue Issue 7.1 where Brubaker reveals that he survived and that he'll be returning to the Winter Soldier identity in his own ongoing series in 2012.
  • Broken Base: Not so much the character, but his actions at the end of Brubaker's run on Winter Soldier, where Bucky decides that no further effort should be make to restore Natasha's lost memories of him, without asking her what she wants. Fans are split between hating this and ignoring it, and not minding because he did it out of love.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Calling Bucky a villain in the movie fandom. Notable because every single interview with Sebastian Stan includes a question like "What was it like to play a villain?" and Stan has gotten to the point where the question is visibly frustrating to him.
  • Fan Nickname: BuckyCap or Captain Bucky when he's under identity of Captain America.
  • Genius Bonus: His codename. While the in-story explanation is that he was kept on ice between missions, it also references the "Summer Soldier" described by Thomas Paine as one who shrinks from service in the time of hardship. The Winter Soldier is thus one who endures.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Steve came back to life, Bucky assumed he would also return to being Captain America. We see him in his loft designing a new costume and identity, because he "doesn't want to go back to the whole Winter Soldier thing". Fast-forward to 2012, and sure enough, he's in a series literally titled Winter Soldier.
    • Harsher still, in All-New Invaders, he tells Namor and Jim that his name is Winter Soldier now, and "time we all got used to it."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Whenever an interviewer calls Winter Soldier a villain, Sebastian Stan disagrees. At first, he'd just give his own interpretation of Bucky as a victim of circumstance, albeit one who always had the potential, but as the Cap 2 press tours wore on, he's graduated to making exasperated faces. Then Avengers Assemble comes along, and Winter Soldier is a mostly-lucid, non-amnesiac, vengeful villain (albeit still willing to set his weapons on stun for Steve).
  • Iron Woobie: Bucky was orphaned at a young age, fought in one of the worst wars mankind has seen, lost limbs and his memory, was made to betray his country and act as an assassin for sixty years. When he began a relationship with a young Natalia Romanova, he got put in a jar. He eventually got his memories back and he saw his best friend killed. It got better after that, until he was hung out to die by his government, convicted for treason, extradited to Russia , and eventually faked his death.
  • Memetic Mutation: 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.
  • My Real Daddy: Ed Brubaker all the way.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Averted. Bucky's run as Captain America was so beloved that even after Steve's return, the fans still wanted a little bit more of him. It's somewhat notable that it seems expected he'll take over as Cap in the films, and pretty much all interviews with his actor, Sebastian Stan, tend to talk about the possibility of him doing so.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: He wasn't a Scrappy, but you'd be hard pressed to find Bucky fans ten years ago.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In Original Sin, it becomes apparent that Bucky wasn't very well-liked by anybody other than Steve and Natasha while he was a superhero. May be a case of Depending on the Writer, since this isn't shown anywhere else.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The art in Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier. Full Stop.