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Winter Soldier

Falcon and the Winter Soldier
by yo go re

If any character should be well-armed, it's this guy.

Thrust back into the real world, Bucky is forced to figure out how to become James Barnes again, all while facing demons from his past.

Well, barely. We said last week that The Falcon and the Winter the Soldier (The) was a muddled mess, and part of that was Bucky's redemption arc. Like, we saw him have trouble with his past exactly once, then it was never brought up again until the end of the season. If it's meant to be a recurring issue, then it kinda needs to, you know, "recur." We know the series was shot half before the pandemic and half after, so some plans needed to change due to the big hiatus (more speculation on that front in a different review), but it still feels like a lot of material that was intended to be included never even made it to the shooting stage.

This is the fourth MCU Winter Soldier Marvel Legend, after solo figures from Captain America 2 and 3, and a two-pack with Falcon from Infinity War. But I didn't get that last one, so this is the first "Photo Real" Bucky face in my collection. They really captured Sebastian Stan's "why isn't this guy playing Middle-Aged Luke Skywalker" face here, and his short hair spikes up slightly in the front - something a guy born in 1917 is probably much more comfortable with than the long hair he used to have.

Here's a question for you: do you think Bucky buys all his jackets specifically tailored, or does he just get normal ones and then cut one sleeve off just so he can show off his fancy Wakandan robot arm? This is a new mold, with sleeker lines and different placement of the seams than the one he'd been using for the three previous releases. It's a very dark gunmetal grey, with gold lining in the seams between the plates, which looks totally badass. And no more red star painted on the shoulder!

His costume is really cool. Sure, it's just boots, pants, a one-sleeved jacket, etc, but making the coat a dark navy blue with some red piping ties him in with #TeamCap, as opposed to the browns and greys he wore before. There's a bit of padding on the left shoulder that helps carry over the pattern started by his mechanical arm, so the limb is less obtrusive. There's a strap running from the right shoulder to the left armpit that doesn't seem to serve any purpose, and a zipper down the right side of the chest. He looks patriotic yet dark, which is exactly what they were going for.

Weirdly, The Winter Bucky doesn't have any accessories. You get your choice of fists or open hands for both arms, but not a single gun or knife to be found. It's been a few weeks since I watched the show, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't just bare-knuckle boxing his way through all six weeks of danger. Why wouldn't they arm him? At the very least, make his left arm removable. Just pop it out at the shoulder for comedic good times. But no, nothin'. At least the articulation is as good as we expect.

Bucky comes with one BAF piece: a bit of Falcon's right wing.

In a series that was basically Captain America 4, Winter Soldier was the most purely American character there was: he was tricked into doing horrible things by someone who knew just the right words to say, but now that he's realized what went on he's doing what he can to make amends, to get back on the side of right. Which already makes him better than any member of the Republican party in the year 2021. You don't see Bucky doubling down on defending his old assassinations in a misguided attempt to prove he was never wrong, do you? No, you don't. Because he's a hero, not a coward or a traitor. This is the best MCU Bucky there's been yet, with the big exception that he needs some dang weaponry, guys!

-- 07/05/21

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