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Bucky Barnes Is Still Coping in the New Winter Soldier Comic

Okay but I'm obsessed with PJ-wearing Bucky Barnes.

**This post contains spoilers for the third issue of Winter Soldier by Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis.**

The first issue of Winter Soldier brought to life a Bucky Barnes who is a reformed agent of Hydra, going around the country to help others get out of the evil organization and into hiding. Then, the second issue brought him RJ. A boy who was taken in by Hydra and programmed to be the new Winter Soldier, RJ had one job: kill Bucky.

So now, with issue three, we can see that Bucky isn’t exactly living the “perfect” life that RJ thinks he is. When one of Bucky’s clients needs his help, he decides to take RJ with him to try to show him that Bucky, Sharon, Tony, and the rest of the crew all trust him and believe in him.

In the beginning, RJ doesn’t see the point in going to therapy. He doesn’t know what he wants or where to go, and he’s angry about the situation he’s found himself in. So, when he overhears that Bucky keeps a journal to document his progress, RJ breaks into Bucky’s room to read it.

The problem is that RJ is just a kid, and his understanding of what Bucky is trying to do for him versus the reality of the situation is very different. RJ thinks that Bucky is promising him happiness, a perfect life. All that Bucky is giving him is a way out of the life that Hydra threw him into.

So, throughout issue #3, Bucky tries to teach RJ the importance of choosing the life you want to lead, and by the end, when RJ confronts him and calls him a liar because he isn’t happy, Bucky points out that it isn’t about being happy, but rather that doing this gives Bucky the hope that he’ll start to be okay with the idea of him “redeeming” himself for his past crimes.

It isn’t all perfect, though, because a strange figure appears at Bucky’s home when he and RJ return from helping Seth out when a Hydra agent comes for him. The figure? None other than RJ’s dad, who Tony and Sharon couldn’t even find any information on in the beginning of the issue.

Something doesn’t seem right about him, and it seems as if we’re going to see a lot of Bucky dealing with his appearance in issue #4. To be quite honest, I like the idea of Bucky being a father figure to RJ, because it gives him something else to fight for other than just his “redemption.” While Bucky is the kind of character who would focus his energy on feeling okay with people accepting him, there has to be more than just Bucky Barnes running around and saving everyone else.

His life in Hydra wasn’t his choice, and maybe RJ can start to show Bucky that there’s more for him to fight for.

(image: Marvel Comics/Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!