Marvel Needs To Stop Treating Bucky As A Villain

  • Marvel needs to stop treating Bucky Barnes as a villain in the MCU and acknowledge his journey of healing and redemption from being the Winter Soldier.
  • Bucky hasn't been a true villain in the past nine years, and even when he was the Winter Soldier, he was forced to commit evil acts due to Hydra brainwashing.
  • Putting Bucky on the Thunderbolts team alongside actual villains risks negating his character growth and repeating the same redemption story, which Marvel should avoid.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bucky Barnes has proved himself to be a hero, not a villain, so when the character returns in the Thunderbolts movie, Marvel needs to stop treating him as such. Bucky Barnes has had a fascinating character arc in the MCU, first being introduced as the best friend of Steve Rogers before becoming the brainwashed Hydra assassin known as the Winter Soldier. After he was freed from Hydra's influence, he embarked on a journey to heal and deprogram himself from Hydra's brainwashing. He also worked to make amends for what he was forced to do as the Winter Soldier.
However, Marvel still treats Bucky as if he's a villain in the MCU, one who needs to work on redeeming himself before he can be considered a hero. This is most clearly shown in Marvel's upcoming plans for Bucky, which sees him joining a team of anti-heroes and villains in Thunderbolts. It's not yet clear why Bucky joins the team - which also includes John Walker, Yelena Belova, Red Guardian, Ghost and Taskmaster - but Marvel positioning him as akin to John Walker especially is an affront to Bucky's story in the MCU. Certainly, Bucky Barnes may have been a villain at one point the MCU, but Marvel needs to stop treating him like one, or they risk negating his character development.


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