Summary

  • Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes will not be featured in Captain America: Brave New World.
  • Some believe that Bucky should have been given the shield and mantle of Captain America instead of Sam Wilson, as he was just as deserving.
  • Bucky’s absence from Captain America 4 adds insult to injury after his arc of redemption was largely overshadowed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, generating disappointment and frustration for a character who deserves more.
  • While he shouldn’t be Captain America after Sam Wilson definitively earned the shield, Bucky should be allowed to grow beyond the “Winter Soldier” name.


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It doesn’t seem Captain America: Brave New World will be doing anything to make up for a four-year-old Steve Rogers controversy. When it comes to Bucky Barnes, the character has effectively been sidelined from what could have been a truly compelling story of redemption from his dark past as the Winter Soldier. While said story could still happen in the MCU’s future, it doesn’t look like Captain America 4 will be part of that potential.

With Steve Rogers having given his shield and mantle to Sam Wilson at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Wilson became the MCU’s new Captain America following the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. However, it’s been argued that becoming the next Captain America would have suited Bucky, providing him with a chance to work and prove himself after being a brainwashed Hydra assassin for decades. Now, Captain America: Brave World is arguably making things worse, seeing as how Sebastian Stan’s Bucky reportedly won’t be featured in the new movie set to release in 2025.

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Steve Rogers’ Captain America Decision Was A Disappointment To Some

Bucky Deserved The Shield Just As Much As Sam

In Avengers: Endgame, both Sam and Bucky made sense as potential recipients of the Captain America mantle. Not only were they both dedicated and loyal allies and friends to Steve Rogers in the MCU, but each of them had taken on the Captain America mantle at different times in the original comics as well. Either decision made by Rogers was inevitably going to disappoint fans of the other. To that end, there are still some who believe Bucky should have been given the shield instead.

This belief was further cemented by the fact that Sam Wilson initially didn’t want the shield, while Bucky understood from the very beginning what the shield represented and what it meant to wield it, though he genuinely respected Steve’s decision. To Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s credit, the show did a good job establishing that Bucky still needed to work on himself and reconcile with his dark past, establishing that he wasn’t in a place to become a full-fledged hero. However, one would expect Bucky would at least continue supporting Sam Wilson’s Captain America going forward, especially now that the two have become friends in the MCU show’s aftermath.

Bucky Barnes Not Appearing In Captain America 4 Adds Insult To Injury

Where The Hell Is Bucky?

Sam Wilson as Captain America and Bucky

It’s since been confirmed that Bucky will not be returning in Captain America: Brave New World. This confirmation is as surprising as it is disappointing, especially considering that the Captain America movies are essentially Bucky’s “home” franchise. As such, this certainly adds insult to injury after the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Bucky effectively being sidelined in comparison to Sam Wilson.

While Bucky had some dynamic growth, much of the finale’s spotlight was kept on Wilson and his transformation into Captain America, so much so that the show’s title change became Captain America and the Winter Soldier for the final episode. Not only did Bucky not get the shield, but there was an evident lack of respect towards his arc of redemption as he was still tied to the “Winter Soldier” name, one he’d been working quite hard to put in the rearview. As such, the fact that he’s not even going to be featured in the next Captain America movie is understandably frustrating for fans of the longtime MCU character.

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How The MCU Can Finally Do Bucky Barnes Justice

A New Direction That Leaves Winter Soldier Behind

bucky barnes played by sebastian stan in mcu secret invasion

Currently, Bucky’s next appearance will be in Marvel’s Thunderbolts, set to release in 2025 after Captain America: Brave New World. However, the movie is about a team of darker MCU characters going on missions for the CIA and US Government, going places and doing things the Avengers presumably can’t. As such, it does run the risk of maintaining Bucky’s “Winter Soldier” identity when he’s long since earned the right to be someone and something else. He deserves to move on via his established redemption in the MCU.

Bucky Barnes doesn’t need to be Captain America at this point, nor should he after Sam Wilson has definitively earned and deserves his new role wielding the iconic shield in the MCU. However, one can hope that Bucky will eventually be allowed to either go without a superhero name altogether or at least get one that isn’t a highly brainwashed Hydra name. After all, the nation Wakanda already considers him to be the “White Wolf”, a name that’s just as cool as the Winter Soldier without all the baggage. In any event, Bucky clearly deserves more, especially after the confirmation that he’ll be absent from Captain America: Brave New World.

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