'Captain America' Sequel: Who Is The Winter Soldier?

Winter Soldier

by Ryan Rigley

Marvel Studios announced some pretty huge things at Comic Con this past weekend, but it was the title reveal for the "Captain America" sequel that really stole the show. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which is slated for an early 2014 release, will undoubtedly be very different from its predecessor in several key ways. First of all, it'll be taking place Post-"Avengers" with a modern day Captain America as opposed to the World War II hero that we met in the first film.

But the main thing to take away from "The Winter Soldier" is the fact that it implies that Cap will more than likely reunite with a certain sidekick by the film's end. The Winter Soldier, while not directly referring to Cap himself, is definitely someone you met in the first movie.

We know what you're thinking; didn't Bucky Barnes fall off of that train and die in "The First Avenger"? Well, yes and no — assuming the movie's Winter Soldier is based on the Ed Brubaker comics, which feels like a safe assumption.

In the comics, Bucky's cold, seemingly lifeless body, preserved by the icy waters into which he fell, is recovered by a Russian patrol submarine. Missing his left arm, Bucky is revived in Moscow with little to no memory of who he is or where he comes from.

After Russian scientists give him a bionic arm and program him to be a Soviet assassin, Bucky is sent out on a series of covert wetworks missions becoming more ruthless and efficient with every kill. The Winter Soldier (Bucky's codename) is kept in cryogenic stasis while not on missions, which would explain how Bucky would be able to survive so many years without aging all that much.

Clearly, a brain-washed Bucky will be one of the main antagonists of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." In the comics, The Winter Soldier is responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in Philadelphia, killing hundreds of innocent people, and stealing the Cosmic Cube. It isn't until The Winter Soldier captures Sharon Carter, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and former lover of Steve Rogers (and the niece of Peggy Carter, also Steve's former lover — yeah, sorta gross), that Captain America takes it upon himself to confront Bucky and make him remember who he really is.

Speaking of S.H.I.E.L.D., hopefully "The Winter Soldier" will also be featuring Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. The Black Widow. While Bucky is a Soviet assassin in the comics, him and Natasha have a brief relationship which could potentially explain some of that red on her ledger. Plus, Kevin Feige has confirmed that Cap will still be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the events of "The Avengers," so wouldn't it make sense that we'd be seeing as much of S.H.I.E.L.D. as possible?

Whatever the case may be, we're really looking forward to seeing what Marvel Studios does with "The Winter Soldier." In the comics, Bucky Barnes eventually takes up the mantle of Captain America in Steve Rogers' stead. Imagine how crazy "The Avengers 2" would be with not one, but two Captain Americas!

Are you looking forward to the Winter Soldier's arrival? Tell us in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!