The Marvel Universe is home to some incredibly powerful and complex characters. Over the years, characters have been challenged in incredibly complex and unimaginable ways, making for some of the best comic book stories out there. One of the biggest twists in Marvel Comics in recent years has actually come from the Captain America title, in which he discovers that his longtime friend, Bucky Barnes, was actually alive. Since Bucky’s return from the grave, he has been on an incredible journey of self discovery, finding out who he is and stepping outside of Captain America’s shadow. However, his journey hasn’t always been easy, and Bucky has easily made some grave mistakes since his return. To take a closer look at the character, here is our list of the 5 most heroic things Bucky has done, as well as the 5 worst things.
10 Joined the Army (Best)
As many comic book fans already know, Buck Barnes was the original sidekick to Captain America. Even before becoming the Winter Soldier, Bucky was one of the bravest individuals at the time. While he was much younger than he is in the MCU, Bucky’s bravery still made him one of the most respected heroes of the time. Furthermore, his close relationship with Captain America made it all the more shocking when Bucky returned as Winter Soldier. Though Cap still did a lot of the heavy lifting himself, there’s no denying the Bucky played a huge role while fighting alongside him during WWII.
9 Fought Cap (Worst)
Before Captain America had discovered that the Winter Soldier was his former best friend, the two were actually intense rivals. While Bucky was under the influence of his Soviet mind-control, he had completely forgotten everything about his past. Likewise, his unique skills and abilities made him an ideal candidate for a superspy. Hence, Bucky became the Winter Soldier and began carrying out missions for the Russian government.
In the modern day, this eventually led him into an altercation with Captain America, who was eventually able to figure out who he was and helped Bucky return to his former self. Despite not being himself in any manner, going up against Captain America is never a good decision.
8 Sacrificed Himself (Best)
Like Captain America, Bucky also made the ultimate sacrifice towards the end of the war. Unlike in the movies, the two were together when the plane crashed into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. For years, Bucky and Captain America were both believed to be dead. Furthermore, Bucky remained missing far beyond Cap’s initial return as well.
While Bucky would return as a much different person from his former self, it doesn’t change the fact that he still died serving his country and upholding the beliefs that he always believed to be true. Thankfully, Bucky would once again return to his former ideals, rather than continually following his Soviet programming.
7 Murdered a Bunch of People (Worst)
Once again, though Bucky was under the influence of the Soviet doctors who had found him, his time as Winter Soldier was still an incredibly dark period. As one of the government’s most skilled assassins, Bucky murdered an incredible number of people. Though he didn’t realize what he was doing was so wrong, Bucky, at the time, still believed in what he was told to do, and genuinely thought he was helping. As a result, he became incredibly ashamed of himself once his former memories were restored to him.
6 Similar to Cap Himself (Best)
Despite being a slightly darker character, Bucky still has a lot of the same views as Captain America. Because of this, Bucky has proven himself worthy of the mantle on many occasions. Though he is certainly more willing to kill than Steve Rogers, Bucky still tries his best to fight for a better future. Even during his time as Captain America, Bucky continued to prove that he had what it takes to serve as one of the ultimate symbols of hope and good.
5 His Regression As a Character (Worst)
After returning the mantle of Captain America to Steve Rogers, Bucky actually regressed a little as a character. He was still himself, but embraced a bit more of his darker past. From there, Bucky would continue to serve his country, but mostly as an undercover agent. Likewise, he was also willing to kill so long as those were his orders, unlike Steve, who preserve life at all costs unless necessary.
Since returning to the role of Winter Soldier, Bucky has gone back and forth, typically depending on what the story needs at the time. However, considering how far Bucky had come since his return, it was still disheartening to see him revert back in some ways.
4 Helped Take Down A Pseudo Hydra (Best)
In the most recent Winter Soldier solo series, Bucky finds himself teaming up with a young boy who resembles Bucky during his WWII days. After the two meet, Bucky discovers that a group that is very similar to Hydra is training young boys to be killers, much like what was done to himself. Instead of walking away from the problem, bucky decides to team up with the boy in an attempt to take down the organization, proving that his heart and sense of morality are still there despite so many years.
3 Wrongfully Sought to Kill Tony Stark (Worst)
Shortly after Steve’s assassination, Bucky believed Tony Stark to be the orchestrator of the attack. As a result, Bucky set out to kill the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, Bucky discovers that Tony actually had nothing to do with Steve’s death, and Tony comes to offer Bucky the mantle of Captain America. Realizing that, despite their differences, Tony was still trying to do good, Bucky accepts and takes the shield from Tony. While things certainly could have gone worse between the two, such an impulsive attack against Iron Man himself still isn’t the wisest course of action.
2 Became Captain America (Best)
While Falcon has also held the title of Captain America before, Bucky was the first major replacement for the Sentinel of Liberty. After Steve Rogers was assassinated following the events of Marvel’s Civil War, Bucky picked up where he left off with an all-new costume. Wielding the same shield as his closest friend, Bucky set out on a path of redemption as the new Captain America. During this time, Bucky truly earned the mantle, proving time and again that he could measure up to the example that Steve had previously set. Though his time as Captain America was short-lived, Bucky was still able to redeem himself in more ways than one.
1 Replacing Nick Fury (Worst)
During the events of Original Sin, Bucky came to play a rather important role in uncovering the mystery of the Watcher’s death. In the end, Nick Fury was revealed to be the culprit and even took up the mantle of the Watcher by the end. In doing so though, Fury left a power vacuum behind that needed to be filled. Surprisingly, Bucky rose to the challenge and filled in for Fury now that he was occupied with many new responsibilities. Though Fury always had the best intentions in mind, he definitely conducted business in some sketchy ways. Therefore, seeing Bucky take this role, however fitting, was still a little disheartening to witness.