Did Bucky Barnes kill Tony Stark’s father? It’s a question some fans have been asking themselves ever since it was discovered in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Hydra had him killed. Since Bucky was Hydra’s lapdog assassin for so many years, it’s possible Howard Stark represents some of the red on his ledger. While on the set of Captain America: Civil War, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also wrote The Winter Soldier) weighed in on the mystery.
According to McFeely,
It is in play that Hydra killed Howard Stark. I think we can say that. I think that’s all we know for sure, and Bucky killed a lot of people. I mean, that’s perhaps more important, is like, when Bucky wakes up, or gets some semblance of his humanity back -- if he were to get some semblance of his humanity back -- how does he feel about the long list of kills on his record, you know?
Actor Sebastian Stan was a bit more cryptic. When asked if the implication behind Howard’s death played into the conflict between The Winter Soldier and Tony, he said, "I feel like it’s pretty given if you know the comics." This presumably refers to Howard’s death in the comics by way of a car crash seemingly arranged by business competitors. The actor continued, "[Bucky’s] in a place where he’s not very stable or [in a] healthy environment in his head. So he could easily go either way."
Markus further described the inner turmoil Bucky is facing now that he’s no longer The Winter Soldier.
It was bad enough when Cap woke up after 70 years in the ice, having done nothing. [Bucky] woke up after 70 years having murdered 100 of the best people of the last century. Do you want to go on? Do you want to be free? Do you want to put a bullet in your head? What is it?
"And that’s the fun stuff," McFeely laughed. "That’s the rich stuff we’re trying to dick around in, and Sebastian is crushing it."
While we still try to figure out if The Winter Soldier was the one who killed Howard Stark, we do know his presence in Captain America: Civil War will exacerbate the growing conflict. The film sees the introduction of the Sokovia Accords, which seek to impose harsher restrictions on superhuman activity and a system of accountability on the Avengers in light of past actions. Two factions of heroes form — one around Iron Man, the other around Captain America — as a war among allies brews.
Marvel dropped the latest Civil War trailer online, revealing more tantalizing footage of the face-off, but also of new heroes Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), both of which, it would seem, are on Team Iron Man.
Captain America: Civil War will hit theaters on May 6.