In the Post Credits scene of Black Panther, fans were given a glimpse of everyone’s beloved Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier. After having been literally chased to the ends of the Earth for something he did not ‘voluntarily’ do, Bucky Barnes ends up in Wakanda at the end of the Civil War. There, Wakanda and her King T’Challa promise the Avengers that they will try to fix Bucky so that no one else could take advantage of his vulnerable psyche like the way Zemo did. Bucky wakes up in Wakanda sometime later in Black Panther and is now called the White Wolf among the children of Wakanda. He is no more the Winter Soldier. He is the White Wolf. But does Bucky becoming White Wolf fundamentally change the MCU??
The answer is a soft yes.
The Avengers: Infinity War movie will see the fall of the Winter Soldier and the rise of a new superhero – the White Wolf of Wakanda. In the comic books, White Wolf is actually a Wakandan soldier who crash landed into the tiny African nation and was orphaned. King T’Chaka took the young boy under his wing and he was given Wakandan Citizenship to become the White Wolf, the leader of Hatut Zeraze – Wakandan Secret Police. He is not the White Wolf in the comic books. But he is in the MCU. Does it mean Bucky will also take part in the upcoming Black Panther sequel? What will becoming White Wolf hold for Bucky and Cap’s brotherly relationship??
In Captain America: Civil War, Bucky’s past actions as a mercenary become the prime focus of the movie when they find out that the Winter Soldier has been a participant in many of illegal covert ops operations of Hydra, including killing Tony Stark’s Parents. Zemo finds the right trigger words for his brainwashing and sends him on a rampage. After much chagrin, Bucky and Team Cap escape to Wakanda where T’Challa promises to restore Bucky’s mind using superior technology. He is put in cryogenic stasis and not seen again until the Post Credits scene of Black Panther roll up. It looks like Bucky has been cured of his psychological ailment by T’Challa’s super genius sister Shuri. As he gets out of his hut and walks to Shuri, Children running around him refer to him as ‘The White Wolf’. But it was only confirmed to be the new official code name for Bucky Barnes after Entertainment Weekly’s special cover release for Avengers: Infinity War.
How will becoming White Wolf help Bucky Barnes fit into the future MCU?
Bucky has been a fugitive for all his life. In The Winter Soldier, he was a wanted mercenary. In Civil War, he became one of the most wanted Fugitives in the whole wide world. He can never return back to his home country. But if he becomes White Wolf and takes charge of Wakanda’s affairs like his comic book counterpart does, that would mean Bucky could get a new lease at life.
How does it affect Infinity War?
We already know Bucky will be fighting alongside Cap and the Secret Avengers as well as the Wakandans to fend off Thanos’ alien army. While doing so, he could find himself being more and more drawn to Wakanda and its culture. He could finally find a kinship amongst the Wakandan people and help develop a purpose for him. After the end of Infinity War, if T’Challa could realize Bucky’s potential, he could hire him as the leader of the Wakandan Secret Police. He is a very good soldier and he is being hunted down. The only way to save him and make use of him at the same time is by giving him diplomatic immunity.
Will Bucky be the ‘New Captain America’?
It is most likely not going to happen. Marvel’s end of Phase 3 movies will see a lot of superhero deaths. Steve Rogers is speculated to be amongst them. But the assignment of the White Wolf moniker means that Bucky no longer could be the new Super Soldier. That honor will most likely go to Falcon or an as of yet to be introduced MCU character (maybe in Phase 4?).
Will the White Wolf return in Black Panther 2 after Infinity War?
We have to say there is a strong possibility. Bucky and T’Challa got off to a not so nice start in Civil War. Bucky was not seen in Black Panther. The Sequel could very well showcase the relationship dynamic between the two as Infinity War, which is jam-packed with Superheroes, would not be able to give the duo much screen space. Maybe Bucky will also get a White Wolf costume like the one in the comics as well?!?! You never know. Maybe one day, Bucky will indeed scream – ‘WAKANDA FOREVER!!’