One of the more upsetting things about the Marvel world is the idea that Tony Stark was just supposed to forgive Bucky Barnes for killing his parents as the Winter Soldier. While Tony did attempt to kill Bucky in Siberia and that wasn’t a good thing either, the two of them never had a moment to come together and actually talk about what happened.
Bucky did a lot of things as the Winter Soldier that he then had to come to terms with throughout his time in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He had a list of people he needed to “make amends” with, and while he couldn’t make said amends with him any longer, I can assume that Tony Stark would have been high up on his list. The last Bucky saw of Tony was in Captain America: Civil War. Baron Zemo used Bucky and Tony’s shared history, one that Steve knew about, against them and revealed to Tony that Bucky is the reason that Howard and Maria Stark were dead. Not only did Bucky make their car crash, but he also shot them.
Tony Stark then tried to kill Bucky, and it ended with Bucky sans his bionic arm, leaving with Steve after Steve speared Tony Stark with the shield that Howard Stark made him. It’s a lot, and emotional, and something that has stuck with us as fans since 2016. So knowing that Tony and Bucky had absolutely no closure or any conversation about it? Hard. Especially given that Tony had growth in those five years when everyone was gone and came to terms with his own relationship with his father as well as forgiving Steve. But where did that leave Bucky?
According to a Reddit leak—one that, as always, we should take with a grain of salt, but was published with details about Endgame that ended up being true—there was a scene where Bucky and Tony had a brief moment. While it would have been a bit fan-servicey, it would have given the two some sort of closure instead of having Bucky Barnes at Tony Stark’s funeral when the last time they saw each other, Tony was trying to kill him, and then Steve left Tony in Siberia for dead.
The final fight of Endgame used to be a lot longer, and the majority was not just cut for time, but also cut out of order for pacing reasons (which is why Antman pops in and out of the van). The sequence where the gauntlet is thrown from hero to hero used to be far longer, and included a few extra fan service movements, and moments of character closure. For example, Tony was being overwhelmed by outriders at one point, to the point of his almost death, but is saved by Bucky. Tony gives a silent nod of approval, and goes back to the fight (this is the first time they would have seen each other since Civil War). There’s a few other sweet moments like that, but cut for time/pacing.
In the context of the MCU, that moment holds a lot more gravitas than if the two had an actual conversation. We love our boys and their inability to talk about things. It’s all about tension or wordless exchanges, and having Tony and Bucky nod to each other after everything? I think I would have really liked it.
Tony’s forgiveness of Steve didn’t come in the form of an apology or even telling him that he forgave him. It came from a collective loss and an understanding that they’d move past what happened and try to understand each other better. Getting to see that same sort of moment for Bucky and Tony would have been nice, and I think it would have been a nice lead into Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a show where Bucky is struggling to let himself move past what happened while he was the Winter Soldier.
Bucky Barnes wasn’t in control of himself when he killed Maria and Howard Stark, something that I truly think Tony recognized but was upset over the loss of his mother that was just fresh in his mind. But I don’t think Tony held it against Bucky after a while. I think he recognized that it wasn’t his doing, and I wish we could have seen the two have a moment together.
(via BGR, image: Marvel Entertainment)
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