In case you didn’t notice from the movie’s title, the Winter Soldier is a really important player in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Therefore, we thought you should know as much about him as possible. Beware of spoilers.

Bucky Barnes’ transformation into the Winter Soldier is a long and interesting story, in the comics as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In both versions of his story, Bucky is a loyal friend-turned brainwashed enemy who embarks on a journey to reclaim his identity. It’s also the tale of a sidekick that’s elevated from his subordinate position and forced into the role of the anti-hero.

By studying the events and circumstances surrounding the Winter Soldier in the comics, we can try to predict where his story could go and how it could develop in future installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without further ado, here’s a brief version of everything you need to know about Captain America‘s Winter Soldier.

Bucky’s origins

In Marvel comics

Young Bucky

Bucky Barnes, born James Buchanan Barnes (after the 15th President of the United States), made his debut in Captain America Comics #1 in 1941. He was the son of a soldier killed in training at U.S. Army Camp Lehigh in Virginia. As a kid, he became a sort of mascot for the camp and quickly befriended the awkward pre-injection Steve Rogers.

Bucky developed a deep admiration for Captain America and was floored when he caught his close friend Steve Rogers changing into his star-spangled uniform. Bucky underwent extensive physical training and was accepted as Captain America’s partner. The boy was used as a rallying agent for America’s youth.

Bucky went into the trenches with Captain America, fighting everyone from Nazis to the Red Skull. He also joined a group of sidekicks called the Young Allies and was retconned as the organizer of the World War II supergroup, the Liberty Legion.

The story of Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s sidekick, seemingly came to an end when the two of them squared off against Baron Zemo. The villain had intended to destroy an experimental drone by launching it with an armed explosive on board. Bucky and Captain America reached the drone as it was taking off, but Bucky was unsuccessful in disarming it. The bomb exploded in mid-air, seemingly killing Bucky instantaneously and propelling Captain America into the North Atlantic where he was frozen for decades before being found by The Avengers.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Bucky Captain America: The First Avenger
James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes is just another kid from Brooklyn. When he was young, he met Steve Rogers, the boy who would soon become his best friend, after saving the boy from getting beaten up by bullies. Bucky stayed by Rogers’ side through thick and thin (including the death of Rogers’ parents), vowing “I’m with you ’til the end of the line.”

After the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance into World War II, Bucky enlisted in the army and was given the title Sergeant Barnes. A year after enlisting, Bucky’s unit went up against HYDRA. Of the 200 that entered battle, only 50 were able to escape. A few days later, Steve (in his first outing as Captain America) infiltrated HYDRA’s base and freed the survivors of the unit, bringing them back to their U.S. camp.

Later, when on a mission with Captain America and the rest of their commando unit (called the Howling Commandos), Bucky and Captain America are caught in the crossfire on a train speeding through mountains. Bucky blocks Rogers from HYDRA operatives with Rogers’ shield but is blasted out of the train on impact. Rogers tries to save Bucky but fails and Bucky fell into a freezing cold river below.

How Bucky became the Winter Soldier

In Marvel comics

Winter Soldier comic

Soon after the drone’s explosion, Russian General Vasily Karpov found a one-armed, frozen Bucky. The boy was revived in Moscow but suffered greatly from amnesia as a result of the explosion. General Karpov took advantage of Bucky’s amnesia, reprogramming him to become a Soviet assassin called the “Winter Soldier.” Karpov replaced his missing arm with a metal bionic arm that’s constantly updated with the newest technology.

Over the years, the Winter Soldier has ruthlessly committed political assassinations that greatly impacted the Cold War. According to Marvel’s profile on the Winter Soldier, he’s an Olympic-level athlete and talented acrobat. He’s also highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat, whether he’s armed or not, and is an incredible marksman. In addition to these physical talents and abilities, he’s also proficient in Russian and German.

Karpov’s exploitation of Bucky’s amnesia was not without its complications. The amnesia makes him mentally unstable, so he is kept in a cryogenic stasis in between missions (which also explains why he looks like he hasn’t aged much since the 1940’s).

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Winter Soldier electric chair

Bucky survived the icy plummet off of the speeding HYDRA train. How? Well, when Rogers found him during that first extraction mission, Bucky was strapped to a table in some sort of lab. Considering that the Red Skull was hell-bent on reproducing Dr. Erskine’s formula, it’s easy to infer that the experiments that Bucky was subjected to somehow helped him survive the fall from the train.

HYDRA operatives found Bucky frozen in the river and revived him before bringing him back to one of their bases. As shown in one of the Winter Soldier’s memories in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, HYDRA scientists and Arnim Zola (presumably after Zola was granted clemency by SHIELD) amputated what was left of Bucky’s left arm and attached a bionic one in its place. HYDRA completely brainwashed and reprogrammed Bucky to make him into the Winter Soldier, a highly-trained and dangerous assassin who would work on their behalf. As in the comics, the Winter Soldier was cryogenically frozen in between missions, which accounts for his youthful appearance.

Continue on to the next page to finish our history lesson and read a few of our predictions for the Winter Soldier’s future.

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Newt’s brother was assigned to search for Grindelwald, new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prop letter reveals

This likely has major implications for future Fantastic Beasts movies.

1:06 pm EST, December 9, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

fantastic-beasts-theseus-newt-grindelwald

The letter reveals that Theseus was tasked with searching for Grindelwald himself — a very interesting development for this film series. Though some words on the letter can’t be seen due to another prop covering them up, the note to Newt appears to suggest that Theseus was honored to be assigned the role. Here’s what it says, again courtesy Snitch Seeker:

Well, little brother,

I don’t know how much you have heard wherever you are about what’s going on in jolly old Europe but this chap Grindelwald has been making a lot of noise since you have been away.

Charismatic blighter, but the Ministry doesn’t like him and nor does the International Confederation.

He has upset a few of the big wheels and he’s gone underground. I have been chosen to go away and ferret him out. _______ at the chance to be picked, actually, because the whole _______ want to be on this case and it’s taken some _______ hard work to reach this status.

_______ wishing you well – wherever you are. _______ whatever beastly quests you are undertaking!

Best regards,

Theseus

The fact that this letter was made for the movie is very interesting. It suggests that Theseus at one point may’ve had a larger role in the movie — or at least, he could’ve been referenced more than once.

Further, this letter could mean that Theseus’ll have an on-screen role in future movies. In fact, Theseus’ role as Grindelwald Hunter could be J.K. Rowling’s ticket to getting Newt deeply involved with the search for Grindelwald.

johnny-depp-grindelwald

Theseus will surely be pleased to hear that his brother helped capture Grindelwald. Theory time: What if Theseus dies in a future Fantastic Beasts movie as the fight against Grindelwald (inevitably) continues? What if this leads Newt to avenge his brother’s death?

What else do we know about the character? Not much, but Snitch Seeker says that during an interview with Colin Farrell the actor revealed Theseus “was a British Auror with whom his character, Percival Graves, corresponded.”

How do you think Theseus will play into future ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies?

Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

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Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother — his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah

‘Born a Crime’ book review

Trevor Noah is best known for his current hosting gig on The Daily Show where he had huge shoes to fill following Jon Stewart’s departure — shoes that he has, by the way, filled with grace, humor, and a sharp wit.

Noah has been candid about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid and the troubling parallels he sees developing in the United States, especially since Donald Trump’s rise to power, but Born a Crime puts a spotlight on his childhood adventures in a way that his segments on The Daily Show cannot.

Born a Crime is an interesting mix of heartbreak and humor. There is no denying that Noah’s childhood was not easy. He talks extensively about trying to find a place for himself at school and in life. He was too White for the Black kids and too Black for the White kids. As a child, what do you do when you have nowhere to belong?

You adapt.

Unless it wasn’t abundantly clear already, Trevor Noah is an intelligent man. Born a Crime documents the way he viewed the world and used his situation to his advantage while living in South Africa. He learned dozens of languages, either in part or in full, in order to survive the endless dangers of his hometown. He found a way to make money and build himself a tiny empire using only a computer and his wits. He took what was given to him, which was, honestly, next to nothing, and found a way to make his life fulfilling.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah feature

Noah’s mother has a huge impact on the stories presented in this memoir because she had a huge impact on her son. Strong, independent, stubborn, reliable, hardworking, clever, pious, strict, and loving, Trevor makes it explicitly clear that his mother is the reason he turned out the way he did. We should all give thanks to her.

Her story is tragic, as is growing up under Apartheid, but despite their circumstances, both led vibrant lives in which they became partners in an us-against-the-world kind of way. Hearing Noah speak about his mother infuses you with a warmth and respect for a woman you have never met, and yet that feeling is as genuine as they come.

For his part, Noah was a handful as a child and a teenager, though it’s that spunk and comedy that we so look forward to seeing now. He got into trouble — he even broke the law — but he experienced life and all the ups and downs that comes with it. He is a wealth of knowledge because he has gone far and wide to gather that knowledge himself.

Born a Crime will certainly make you laugh far more than it’ll make you cry, but don’t be so bold as to put the tissues away before the final chapter of the book. This memoir is a lesson in humility, love, faith, and perseverance. Hopefully it will affect you as strongly as it has affected me, especially if you are so lucky as to be able to listen to Noah narrate the book himself on Audible.

Add ‘Born a Crime’ to your Goodreads list or purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound

The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

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The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

The main theme of Homecoming certainly seems to be Peter’s desire to prove that he’s a capable member of the Avengers team. If you remember in Civil War, Tony wouldn’t let him get too deep into the fight, for fear that he wasn’t ready. But Peter doesn’t want to be treated liked a kid.

Except he definitely is a kid, and it’s a nice break from the other Spider-Man movies we’ve seen so far, which depicted an older Peter Parker that never quite fit the high school vibe.

Tom Holland’s Peter is undoubted an awkward teenager, and the younger character lends itself to a lighter, more humorous tone for the movie. Marvel has always been good at balancing action and comedy in their movies, and Homecoming is already promising to be a fun romp.

We get a lot of great looks at other characters in this trailer, too, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Donald Glover and Zendaya. Michael Keaton will be playing Vulture, and of course we also get Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

How cool was it to see Spidey swinging along next to Iron Man like an equal?

As is often the case for Marvel movies, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel debuted the trailer for Homecoming following pretty high expectations from fans. Did it live up to your hype?

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ hits theaters on July 7, 2017