Bucky Barnes in Winter Soldier issue #4

The Fourth Issue of Winter Soldier Brings Trouble to Bucky Barnes

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I have beenactively reviewing the Kyle Higgins’ comic Winter Soldier because, with each new issue, I find myself falling even more in love with this version of Bucky Barnes. In the first issue, we found Bucky working to help free Hydra agents and give them a new life, but by the end of the comic, Bucky came face to face with RJ.

As we learned in the second issue, RJ was trained to be the next Winter Soldier but couldn’t fight against Bucky himself. That situation turned into Bucky looking out for RJ and taking him in. Issue 3 showed us the struggle RJ had with opening up, trusting Bucky and learning how to exist outside of his Hydra training.

So, what did the fourth issue have for us? RJ’s father. Richie Boyle, who came back into RJ’s life once he was released from prison, started to build a bond with his son, one that made Bucky question everything. Maybe it’s because Bucky saw RJ as his own son, or some other kind of intuition, but Bucky continued to follow Richie and RJ every time they were together. In doing so, Bucky and RJ realize that Richie is already in over his head.

Richie Boyle went to jail for bank robbery. He wanted to make a better life for his wife and son, and in doing so, got himself imprisoned when RJ was just one-year-old. RJ didn’t know his father, and so when he knew his dad was in trouble, he wanted Bucky to help Richie get out of debt.

Bucky does, setting Richie up with a job and a new apartment, but that apparently isn’t enough for Richie. He wants back in the game, and when Bucky discovers a video of Richie meeting with Hydra, Bucky confronts him, telling Richie that he has to leave town and never come back for RJ.

In a fatherly battle (really, it’s sweet how much Bucky cares about RJ, and now I want a Dad!Bucky comic series, please and thank you), Richie tries to fight Bucky, which … why would you openly try to fight the Winter Soldier? Even Tony Stark struggled to take Bucky down, and that’s Tony Stark.

But in their battle, Bucky pushes Richie away from him and, in doing so, accidentally smashes Richie’s head into a garbage can and effectively kills him. So, what does this mean for RJ and Bucky? We’ll have to see in the last issue of Kyle Higgins’ Winter Soldier.

Personally, I want the Marvel Winter Soldier/Falcon show to use this comic as its inspiration, because I think it’s a beautiful imagining of Bucky Barnes, and I hope that Kyle Higgins continues to write Bucky!

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.