Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Who is the Winter Soldier?
So those that have read the comics or done even the most cursory internet examination may already know the answer to this question, but as a bit of warning for those that haven’t: this write-up contains MAJOR SPOILERS from the comics and likely the upcoming film. If this bothers you, stop scrolling now.
Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow has already appeared in Iron Man 2 and the Avengers; and while there has been rumors of her getting a solo movie sometime in the future, little has been made of her character on film. In the comics, the Black Widow is a former soviet spy who eventually turned against her former comrades to join the Avengers. Natasha received the Soviet equivalent of the Super Soldier Serum, and is highly skilled in martial arts, military tactics and the use of a wide variety of weapons.
The Falcon was the first African American superhero in mainstream comics, and has partnered with Captain America numerous times since his debut. His wings – part of a high-powered flight harness – can also be used in combat to attack or ensnare foes. It seems his appearance in the movie is more close to his Ultimate Comics counterpart rather than his original red and white costume.
In the comics, Bucky Barnes was Captain America’s young sidekick during World War II; a fresh-faced 18 year-old just old enough to enlist. Years later, it was revealed that Bucky’s innocent exterior was a cover for his true purpose: while Captain America was the stars and stripes, Bucky had secretly been trained to act as a Black Ops assassin, killing high priority targets during the war. In the comics, Bucky was killed in the same accident that would put Captain America on ice; on film, he was killed in a separate incident, falling from a train.
Winter Soldier (Spoilers Imminent)
Years later, it was revealed that Bucky had survived the explosion depicted above, at the cost of his left arm. He landed in Soviet territories, where he was resuscitated. Suffering from amnesia, he was given a cybernetic arm and reprogrammed to act as a Soviet operative throughout the cold war – codename Winter Soldier. During this time, he would form a relationship with a fellow Soviet operative – the Black Widow. When not out on a mission, Bucky was kept in a cryostasis that preserved his body over the decades. It wouldn’t be until the 21st century that the Winter Soldier would come into conflict with his former partner, Captain America.
Bucky Barnes-Winter Soldier-Captain America
We are unlikely to see this storyline develop anytime soon, but after the ‘Death of Captain America’ several years back, Bucky Barnes donned the stars and stripes to become the new Captain America. Steve Rogers has since returned and reclaimed his own title, with Bucky Barnes working to atone for the wrongs he did while operating as the Winter Soldier.
Captain America: Winter Soldier (The Ultimate Collection). Really, I could recommend the entirety of Ed Brubaker’s run of Captain America, but this storyline is probably the most relevant for the upcoming film.
Captain America: The Death of Captain America (The Complete CollectIon). From the latter portion of Brubaker’s run on Captain America. This collection will likely not be as representative of the events in the movie, but is a great read for those that care to learn more about all of the characters above.
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