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The upcoming conflict between the Marvel superheroes looks like it’s going to be especially rough on Bucky Barnes. Earlier today, actor Sebastian Stan posted an image of how he’ll look in Captain America: Civil War, and the man looks like he’s ready to kill someone! See for yourself.
Man, these Marvel movies have not been not been kind to Bucky. Stan started out in Captain America: The First Avenger relatively clean-cut. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he grew his hair out and got more intense for his Winter Soldier persona - which is understandable given the character’s brainwashing. Now we can see in his Instagram picture that he’s grown out facial hair and still looks pretty damn unkempt.
What you may not notice right away with this Instagram embed is who Sebastian Stan has himself tagged as: Robert Downey Jr. (click on the image to see what I mean) On the surface, this may just be a bit of fun Stan is having with his co-star, but then there’s also the hashtag #pickaside (he probably meant to say "Choose a side," the tagline from the 2006 story). This might be reaching, but could this mean that Bucky will side with Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War, i.e. be in favor of the world governments registering superhumans? This may seem odd considering his long friendship with Steve Rogers, but because Bucky was one of the few heroes who didn’t participate directly in the original Civil War, so there’s no source material to adhere in terms of his allegiances during the conflict. In the MCU, anything goes.
By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier concluded, Bucky’s HYDRA programming had seemingly been erased, but he still didn’t seem to be in a good frame of mind. The film’s post-credits scene showed him at the memorial in his honor at the Smithsonian’s Captain America exhibit, presumably to learn about his past. Sam Wilson’s comment to Steve in Avengers: Age of Ultron about their "missing persons case" suggests that they haven’t had any luck finding Bucky, and the two will still be searching for Steve’s old friend when Captain America: Civil War starts. It would certainly be an emotional blow to Steve if Bucky were to side with Tony and the pro-registration movement. The only problem with this idea is that Tony won’t want to work with Bucky if he discovers that he was the one that killed his parents while he was HYDRA’s mind-controlled assassin. Whoever Bucky ends up siding with, it’s said he’ll have one of the more significant roles in the story, so his presence will certainly be felt on both sides.
You can see Bucky alongside the rest of Captain America: Civil War’s gigantic cast when the film hits theaters on May 6, 2016.