In Secret Invasion episode 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Bucky Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, is still referred to by his old superhero name despite his growth and development as a character. This undermines the progress he has made in unlearning his Hydra programming and working to make amends for his past actions. The MCU’s insistence on calling him the Winter Soldier disregards his journey and potential for a new superhero name.
Bucky Barnes was introduced in the MCU as the childhood best friend of Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. After being resurrected as the Hydra assassin in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he went on a journey of redemption, working to free himself from Hydra’s brainwashing and make amends for his past. He fought alongside the Avengers in Infinity War and Endgame, and his healing journey was showcased in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
However, in Secret Invasion episode 6, Bucky is still referred to as the Winter Soldier when his DNA is listed among other superheroes and villains. This continues the trend of the MCU disregarding his character development. Despite the title change to Captain America and the Winter Soldier at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it seems that only Sam Wilson adopts a new mantle, while Bucky is still labeled as the Winter Soldier.
It is unclear why Bucky’s superhero title hasn’t changed, even though he has developed beyond the Winter Soldier over the past nine years. In the Black Panther post-credits scene, Bucky was given the name of White Wolf while in Wakanda, which was referenced again in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. However, Marvel continues to call him the Winter Soldier, possibly to maintain continuity. This minimizes Bucky’s character development and keeps him limited to the role of a villain or sidekick to Captain America.
Fortunately, Bucky’s story is not over in the MCU. He is set to appear in Marvel’s Thunderbolts movie, leading a team of villains-turned-anti-heroes under Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s supervision. This presents an opportunity for the MCU to finally give Bucky a new superhero name, whether it’s White Wolf or something else. It’s time for the MCU to move on from the Winter Soldier moniker and fully embrace the character Bucky has evolved into.
However, there is a concern that the MCU may continue to call Bucky the Winter Soldier in upcoming projects like Captain America: Brave New World and potential references in Captain America 4. Despite this, fans hope that the MCU will eventually move on from the Winter Soldier and give Bucky a title that matches his character’s growth and development.