MCU Has Failed Bucky Barnes, Making Every Hero Like Him

Though Bucky Barnes’ tenth year in the MCU is marked by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the fan’s favorite character’s story looks to be degrading in Phase 4 instead of making it stronger. As we go through the initial three phases of the MCU, Barnes’ dark past and a complex virtue made him a unique character. But the recent developments have started to take away the uniqueness of Barnes’ character.

Black Widow, Hawkeye, Loki, and WandaVision, for example, have all gone through similar storyline about redemption, grief and guilt. Bucky’s journey is treated as relatable to these other heroes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but that is only degrading the uniqueness of his abuse and trauma. Bucky never had control when he hurt people, unlike the other heroes. After what all has happened to Bucky Barnes, he deserves to be seen as an individual, not as a part of a group of similar superheroes.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Ending Of Phase 4 Was Badly Done For Bucky

Even though there is still a lot left in Phase 4, MCU pretty much ended Bucky’s role at this stage with his Disney+ series. After doing the whole series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale failed Barnes in many ways. The main storyline was centralized on Sam Wilson as the new Captain America, but evidently, Bucky Barnes deserved more time in the story.

All the storyline related to Bucky was shortchanged at every possible turn, including his therapy, his relationship with Yori, and his personal life. Though finally Bucky seems to find acceptance by Sam and his family, his relationship with Captain America is what defines his worth. Bucky Barnes has not once gotten a character arc of his own, which unfortunately does him a huge disservice.

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes
Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

The Uniqueness Of Bucky Is What Made Him Perfect

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, released in 2014, left Bucky at a position where he was a promising character returning within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It gave him an immense potential as a character story that has never been explored to the fullest. It would have felt very emotional and important to watch Bucky get out from his brainwashing or reuniting with the society, even maybe becoming one of the Avengers. These likely future scenarios were denied by  Captain America: Civil War, along with the many facets worth pursuing. The timeline of The Winter Soldier has left so many opportunities for more storytelling and character’s psychological exploration, and it is very unfortunate and shameful that all these opportunities have been completely missed.

The Winter Soldier and Civil War both put Bucky in a novel ethical and existential position that distinguished him thoroughly from any of the other characters in the MCU. His struggles with identity and morality were once unique, as he made the unwilling transition from hero to villain and back again with the whole world turned against him. However, recent projects like Hawkeye and WandaVision have coopted the themes that initially made Bucky so remarkable and intriguing.

Adhish Saxena
Adhish Saxena

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