Will Bucky Ever Get Over It?

Winter Soldier #1 came out last week, a continuation of the story Ed Brubaker has been telling ever since his first issue of Captain America, years and years ago. In it, Bucky Barnes – once Bucky and then the Winter Soldier and then Captain America and now the Winter Soldier again – had to face demons from his past, as cryogenically-frozen super-assassins were shipped to undisclosed locations around the World and he had to begin a race to stop them all before they hurt somebody. In the process, he stirred up several memories from his time as the brainwashed “Winter Soldier” super-assassin, which made him grumpy and sad until Black Widow threw him one.

Now, Winter Soldier #1 was a decent comic – a little straightforward, but very professionally produced by Brubaker and artist Butch Guice. But it also shows, once more, the short character-arc that Bucky always experiences within comics. First he is filled with doubt, remorse, and self-loathing, then he mans up and gets the job done (or not, as Fear Itself proved). Time and again, Bucky starts off a new storyline with no self-confidence and a head of bad memories, before standing up and fighting the good fight.

Bucky isn’t the only one who suffers from this, though. There are certain characters who seem doomed to repeat themselves time and time again. Let’s take a look at a few of them, and where they currently stand in their cyclical lives.

1: The Human Torch/Iceman

Why doesn’t anybody take these two seriously? Possibly because every story they ever appear in starts with them cracking jokes and acting like hormonal teenagers before suddenly being forced to grow-up, abandon the one-liners, and take their place as competent leaders. Johnny Storm is currently serving as a grown-up leader for the Fantastic Four, having come back from the dead and defeated Annihilus in the process. Meanwhile, Iceman has just been told by Wolverine that it’s time for him to stop playing around and start taking charge. And so it kicks off again!

2: Hank Pym

You swat your wife ONCE and somehow you get this reputation as an abusive husband! Luckily, Hank Pym has a lot of fans amongst the Marvel staff, all of whom wish to rebuild his shattered career and bring him back to prominence. But every time he starts regaining his confidence, he has an emotional break and lashes out again! Poor Jocasta.

3: Black Panther

He rules over a country, is one of the smartest men on Earth, and is one of the best hand-to-hand fighters around. Maybe that’s why BP finds himself weakened so often by writers, in order to rebuild his strength and give him new abilities afterwards. Panther has decided to go back to basics repeatedly over the past few decades, each time eventually realising that it’s best he use all his money, power, strength and gadgets to save the day instead. Use what you’ve got, Panther! Don’t worry what other people think about you!

4: Mary-Jane Watson

How many times can you see your career crumble before you eventually just give up and decide to get a new one? Because MJ is really starting to push it with this whole “modelling” business. She may be the hottest thing in New York, but she’s also past-it, according to various people over the years. She is simultaneously in-demand and over-the-hill. Currently? Over the hill, so she’s moved into a new industry: critiquing the models who want to fill the role she used to have. Yes, it’s confusing.


Is she dead? Is she alive? Is she neither?!?! ANSWER US, MARVEL!!


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