What's the Backstory? - The Winter Soldier ~ What'cha Reading?

What’s the Backstory? – The Winter Soldier


What's the Backstory - The Winter Soldier

So by now, you’ve probably seen the movie (if not, go right now! The internet will still be here when you get back!) and enjoyed the hell out of the titular antagonist in Captain America: Winter Soldier. If this is so, and you left the theater wondering: what the hell Bucky??? Then this is the place for you!

If you never read the Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting run that inspired Marvel’s latest cinema blockbuster and now you think Sebastian Stan is the man, and want to catch up on the all the great comics that made this movie possible, here is the chronological list of story arcs that either directly inspired the film or had key elements that were worked into the plot.

I implore you to read the whole Ed Brubaker- Captain America run, as all the arcs run together into one monumental story. But for the sake of your wallets and your sanity, I’m only listing arcs that are central to the film, and in trade paper-back form. There are plenty of giant unwieldy very expensive omnibuses that collect the arcs, but if you’re like me, and don’t have a $100 buck to spare, nor feeling like working out your forearms when your reading, this is the way to go:

CAWSVOL1Captain America: Winter Soldier  Vol 1
Reprints Cap #1-7
w. Brubaker
a. Epting

Key Concepts/Events:
– Death of a former partner leads Cap on the trail of a near-mythological assassin
– Establishes, through flashbacks, Bucky Barnes was more than just a teen sidekick, with scenes showing his intense training, and black ops missions he did, so Captain America’s reputation can stay untarnished.
– Return of an old foe, and rise of new deadlier one, with ties to Captain America’s WWII days
– Sharon Carter, Agent of SHIELD joins Captain America in investigation.


Captain America: Winter Soldier  Vol 2CAWSV2
Reprints Cap #8-9,11-14  (#10 was a House of M tie-in)

Key Concept/Events:
– Origin of the Winter Soldier
– Falcon joins the mission
– Nick Fury’s ties to the Winter Soldier revealed
– Cosmic Cube falls into the hands of Cap’s newest adversary
– Crossbones on the hunt for the daughter of the Red Skull



Civil WarCivil War Tpb
w. Mark Millar
a. Steve McNiven

Key Concepts/Events
– Superhuman Registration Act made law, Superheroes must reveal identities to the government
– Captain America refuses to support SHRA, made a fugitive and hunted by SHIELD
– SHIELD gains more autonomy over Superhumans and monitoring of civilians, mirroring the Post 9/11 Patriot Act
– Captain America leads resistance team of Secret Avengers, including Falcon, Luke Cage, & Iron Fist
– Superhero vs. Superhero as Iron Man, Mister Fantastic and other recruited pro registration heroes hunt down Captain America’s group and other non-registered super humans.
That above covers just about all the influences for the Captain America Winter Soldier, but with the Winter Soldier being such a breakout character, and the sheer awesomeness of the stories,  I’ve listed future trades for key arcs in his ongoing career.


WARNING! Possible Spoilers for future Cap and Avengers movies!
(but with the Marvel Cinema Universe being different from its 616 Counterpart, I doubt these will really spoil anything!!! )

Civil War: Captain America TPB  CWCA
Reprints Cap# 22 – 24, Winter Soldier: Winter Kills 1-shot

Key Concepts/Events
– Captain America makes a fateful choice
– Agent 13, Sharon Carter must deal with the ramifications of the Civil War
– The Winter Soldier’s past haunts him as he deals with his new-found memories




DOCAvol1Death of Captain America: Vol 1 Death of The Dream
Reprints Cap #25-30
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Steve Epting & Mike Perkins

Key Concepts/Events
– Captain America assassinated!
– Long time villains, Doctor Faustus,Crossbones and Arnim Zola guess star, what do they have to do with Cap’s death
– The Red Skull has his final victory against Cap, but it is only the beginning of his plan
– Agent 13′ revelation about the assassination shatters her world


Captain America: Fallen Son TPBFallen
Reprints 1-Shots Fallen Son: Captain America, Spider-man, Iron Man, Wolverine, Avengers
w. Jeph Loeb
a. Lenil Francis Yu, Ed McGuiness, John Romita Jr., John Cassady & David Finch

Key Concepts/Events
– Wolverine starts his own investigation into Cap’s Death, with a little help from Daredevil and Doctor Strange.
– Stark has Cap’s SHIELD, and ponders a replacement
– The Young Avengers, New Avengers and even Osborn’s Dark Avengers deal with the political and social impact of Cap’s death
– Clint Barton (Hawkeye) confronts Tony Stark on his possible involvement in Cap’s death. Stark offers him the Shield.
– Spider-man reminisces about Cap, and his death takes a toll on the wall-crawler
– Captain America’s funeral and his final resting place revealed

DOCAV2Death Of Captain America: Vol 2 Burden of Dreams
Reprints Cap #31-36
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Steve Epting, Butch Guice & Mike Perkins

Key Concepts/Events
– The Red Skull’s plan in full effect
– Dr. Faustus’ control over Agent 13 reaches a new level
– A beaten and bloodied Winter Soldier confronts Tony Stark on the SHIELD heli-carrier
– Steve Roger’s will is read, and a new Captain America rises!


There are 5 more trades that cover the new Captain America’s run, by Ed Brubaker, if you just want to skip to the next event then:

Captain America RebornCARB
Captain America Reborn #1-6
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Bryan Hitch

KEY Concepts/Events
– Falcon, Agent 13, the Vision and Hank Pym investigate Doom’s role in Cap’s death
– The truth behind the weapon that killed Cap is revealed
– The Red Skull’s diabolical plan for a new body
– Steve Rogers reliving key moments in his life
– Cap battles for his very soul
– Guest starring: Black Widow,Winter soldier, Red Skull, Crossbones, Sin, & many, many more

CASRSSCaptain America: Steve Rogers: Super Soldier
Reprints CA:SR:Super Soldier #1-4
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Dale Eaglesham

Key Concepts/Events
– Steve Rogers Takes on his new role as a SHIELD Agent
– Secrets from his past return to haunt him, when someone re-discovers the original super soldier formula
– Steve tries to make repairs to the Superhero Community and establish trust within SHIELD
– Leads into Secret Avengers ongoing series

There are plenty of trade paperbacks on sale that cover the time of Bucky Barnes tenure as Captain America post CA:Reborn. They are worth checking out; like Fear Itself, the Marvel Event that led to Bucky’s end as Cap and Steve Rogers taking up the mantle once again.


Winter Soldier Vol 1 Longest WinterWS Vol1
Reprints Winter Soldier #1-5, Fear Itself 7.1 Captain America
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Butch Guice

Key Concepts/Events:
– Cap is dead- and the Winter Soldier is back
– Now working with Black Widow for SHIELD, their mission involves other Winter Soldiers, trained by Bucky himself.
– Guest stars Nick Fury, Doctor Doom and the Red Ghost
– High flying Super-spy action


wsvol2Winter Soldier Vol 2 Broken Arrow
Reprints Winter Soldier #6-9
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Michael Lark

Key Concepts/Events
– The final Sleeper Agent is active and on the run
– Agent Jasper Sitwell joins the hunt
– Black Widow and the Winter Soldier realize the final Sleeper is toying with them
– The Sleeper Agent make his move, and his plan hits close to home

Winter Soldier Vol3 Black Widow Huntwsvol3
Reprints Winter Soldier 10-14
w. Ed Brubaker
a. Butch Guice

Key Concept/Events
– Black Widow is kidnapped and brain-washed
– Winter Soldier enlist help in likes of Daredevil, Wolverine & Hawkeye in his hunt to find Natasha
– The Sleeper agent seems to always be one step ahead
– Bucky makes one final sacrifice to save the Widow’s mind.


Well that’s all folks, hope this helped you out some way! Want to pick up some (or all!) of the books mentioned? Get to your local comic shop! Don’t know where it is? Comic Shop Locator!

Stay tuned for: What’s the Backstory? – The Falcon!:

FalconOpen ultimate falcon



About Author

Trained by the Four-Color wizard, Hagan, in all things comic-booky, young Robert took to the streets of New York, dragging his large bespectacled head from comic shop to comic shop, absorbing, learning… knowing…. Until a very delayed pubescent spurt in his early thirties when the tumescent lump of comic knowledge burst forth, rupturing into nonsensical rants about Jack Kirby, superhero related tattoos, questionable cosplay activities, worshiping Jim Starlin as a prophet, and courting the young lady working in his local comic shop. Now he is just mad…roaming the streets late at night while walking his dog, plotting and preparing to unleash more comic-booky goodness on an unsuspecting world. He likes bread. The food. He thinks the band is crap. *Hey wanna freak Bob out? Come follow him on twitter (@dyrewolf1218), he's totally new to it and suspects it may be black magic...* - Chuck the editor monkey

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