The new Marvel show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has fans trying to remember important plot points from Captain America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War just to keep up. One of the biggest plot points revolves around the Winter Soldier himself, James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, and whether or not he has the Super Soldier Serum like Captain America.
So, does Bucky have the Super Soldier Serum?
Marvel fans will recall their first introduction to Bucky Barnes as Steve's army pal who was lost during Captain America after falling out of a train car into the icy unknown. It was later revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Bucky had survived the fall, losing only an arm, and that villainous organization Hydra had taken him prisoner to turn him into their assassin.
Scenes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier imply that Bucky was imbued with the same Super Soldier Serum that Steve had been in Captain America, effectively making them well-matched as either friends or foes. Early in the film, audiences watch Bucky steal samples of Steve's blood from Howard Stark, presumably to make more Super Soldier Serum.
Ultimately, the answer is yes: Bucky is very much the Super Soldier that Steve was. Bucky's replacement arm is made of Vibranium, which also made Cap's shield. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it appears Bucky isn't the only one with a Super Soldier upgrade, and the mysterious enemies, the Flag-Smashers, have gotten one too.
Is there anyone else who has the Super Soldier Serum?
[Spoilers for Episode 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier]
As it turns out, Bucky and Steve aren't the only ones who are Super Soldiers. Not only have the Flag-Smashers been revealed to have Super Soldier serum in their blood, a few potential new allies do as well.
In the episode "The Star-Spangled Man," Bucky and Sam visit an "old friend" of Bucky's, a soldier he met during the Korean War. The soldier's name is Isaiah, and he is an elderly Black man who was given the Super Soldier Serum and experimented upon by Hydra. Bucky attempts to convince him to help them uncover who might have given the Flag-Smashers the serum, but Isaiah is unwilling to help.
Also in the episode is Isaiah's mysterious grandson, who is rumored to be Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson), a member of the Young Avengers who genetically inherited the Super Soldier Serum from his grandfather. This would be a continuation of the Young Avengers Phase 4 theory that's been going around the internet, and fans cannot wait to see where the storyline goes!
It sounds like Bucky and Sam have a host of new problems thrown their way, and while they have allegedly agreed to part ways when the mission is done, fans are hoping that won't be the case.
You can watch all new episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Fridays, exclusively on Disney Plus.