Bucky Barnes is one of the most fascinating characters to develop in the modern Marvel Universe, growing from oft-referenced Golden Age relic to an all-new Winter Soldier.
Bucky’s growth into the Winter Soldier both rejunivated the Captain America comics (with Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting at the creative helm) and Marvel Cinematic Universe’s served as the source material for some of the best films.
Below you’ll find a guide to all eras of Bucky comics, from his golden age turn as Marvel’s first sidekick through his many modern paths as Winter Soldier.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out in the comments below. As always, enjoy the comics!
Winter Soldier Comics Reading Order
Golden Age Bucky Barnes Comics
Collects: Captain America Comics 1-12
The 1941 origins of Captain America and Bucky.
Collects: All-Winners Comics #1 To #4
Bucky’s golden age appearances alternate outside of the main Cap title in All-Winners Comics, and the more teen focused Young Allies. As always, these Golden Age comics are more for readers invested in the historical growth of comics. You don’t need all these 40’s issues to understand the more modern Winter Soldier aspects of the characters, other than understanding that Bucky and Cap were totally in World War II together.
Collects: Young Allies #1 To #4
Collects: All-Winners Comics (1941) 5-8
Collects: Young Allies #5 To #8
Collects: All-Winners Comics #9 To #14
Collects: All-Winners Comics (1941) #15-19 And #21, And All-Winners Comics (1948) #1
Bucky Barnes and the Invaders
Collects: Avengers (1963) 1-20
In actuality, the first Avengers comics from Jack Kirby and Stan Lee are 100% Bucky free, but his memory lingers in the thoughts and flashbacks of the reanimated Captain America. Starting with Avengers #4, when Cap is rescued by The Avengers!
Collects: Tales Of Supsense #59 To #81
The issues Tales of Suspense #63 to #71 include flashbacks to Cap and Bucky’s time in World War 2.
Collects: Giant-Size Invaders 1; Invaders 1-22, Annual 1; Marvel Premiere 29-30; Avengers 71
In the 1970’s Roy Thomas and Marvel launched “The Invaders,” showcasing the World War 2 exploits of Captain America, Bucky, Namor, and the Golden Age heroes from this time period. Bucky will consistently interact with the Invaders throughout Marvel history, and the team comes up in modern comics as well.
Collects: Invaders (1975) 23-41, Invaders (1993) 1-4, Giant-Size Invaders 2, What If? (1977) 4
Collects: Captain America #120 to #138
The return of Bucky to the Marvel Universe! Or is it?
Collects: Captain America (1968) 149-159
The second Captain America and Bucky return!
Collects: Marvel Universe #1-7
An Invaders vs. Baron Von Strucker story from Roger Stern!
Ed Brubaker Winter Soldier Comics Begin!
Collects: Captain America (2004) #1-7
In the mid-2000’s, Ed Brubaker left DC Comics, and some fine work on Batman to take over Captain America for Marvel. Brubaker and artist Steve Epting reinvigorated the title, and frankly the entire Marvel Universe, with the Winter Soldier saga. The entire lengthy run is fantastic, but it all begins here. This marks the launch of Bucky as Marvel Comics and MCU fans know him today.
Collects: Captain America (2004) #8-9 & #11-14
Captain America #10 is skipped here due to the fact that it’s a House of M tie-in!
Collects: House Of M #1 To #8
Bucky plays a small but interesting role in the alternate reality Marvel Event of 2005.
You can find the entire event in Comic Book Herald’s complete House of M reading order.
Collects: Captain America (2004) #15-21
Collects: Civil War #1 To #7
Bucky is largely absent from the actual Civil War event, which focuses more closely on Steve Rogers, Captain America. The fallout from Civil War will lead to major changes for the Winter Soldier, though.
Find the entire event in Comic Book Herald’s complete Civil War reading order.
Collects: Captain America (2004) #22-24 And The Winter Soldier: Winter Kills One-Shot
Bucky Barnes, Captain America
Collects: Captain America (2004) #25-30
From Winter Soldier to new Captain America. Bucky deals with the fall of Steve Rogers, and the ongoing schemes of the Red Skull.
Collects: Captain America (2004) #31-36
Collects: Captain America #37-42
Collects: Captain America #43-48
Collects: Avengers/Invaders #1 To #12
The modern-day New Avengers meet the time-traveling World War 2 Invaders roster.
Collects: Secret Invasion #1 to #8
Another mega Marvel event that will lead to big changes for Bucky. Comic Book Herald’s complete Secret Invasion reading order.
Collects: Secret Invasion Dark Reign & New Avengers #48-50
The new Captain America joins the New Avengers, and becomes a regular part of the ongoing New Avengers comic.
Collects: New Avengers #51-54
Collects: New Avengers #55-60
Collects: Captain America #49-50 And #600-601
It was only a matter of time.
Collects: Captain America: Reborn #1-6
Collects: New Avengers Annual 3, Dark Reign: The List – Avengers, New Avengers #61-64 & New Avengers Finale
Siege effectively marks the culmination of Marvel Universe events beginning with 2004’s Avengers Disassembled, and makes the rest of the Marvel Universe aware Bucky is no longer the only Captain America running around.
Can The Winter Soldier Wield The Shield?
Collects: Captain America Reborn: Who Will Wield The Shield? & Captain America 602-605
With Steve Rogers back in the picture, Bucky and Steve decide who wield the shield of Captain America.
Collects: Avengers #1-6
Bucky Cap joins the Heroic Age Avengers.
Collects: Captain America #606-610
Collects: Invaders Now! #1-5
Invaders miniseries starring Bucky Barnes.
Collects: Captain America #611-619 & 615.1
Bucky finally faces the music for the crimes committed as the Winter Soldier. Can a man with Bucky’s past be Captain America?
Collects: Captain America And Bucky #620-624
Cap and Bucky flashbacks to World War II!
Collects: Captain America And Bucky #625-628 And What If? (1977) #4
Collects: Fear Itself #1 to #7
Marvel’s 2011 event features big changes for Bucky, and sets the stage for his next ongoing solo series.
Comic Book Herald’s complete Fear Itself reading order.
Return To The Winter Soldier
Collects: Fear Itself 7.1: Captain America, Winter Soldier 1-14
Ed Brubaker’s time on Captain America and Bucky comes to a close with the absurdly excellent solo Winter Soldier series. Bucky relinquishes the Captain America title, and returns to his life as master of espionage.
Collects: Winter Soldier 15-19
Collects: Winter Soldier: The Bitter March 1-5
Miniseries by Rick Remender showcasing some of the Winter Soldier’s actions during the 1960’s.
Collects: All-New Invaders 1-5
Bucky jumps into Marvel NOW! with an All-New Invaders roster set in modern day Marvel.
Winter Soldier, Original Sin and Man on the Wall
Collects: Original Sin #1 to #8
Original Sin is Marvel’s 2014 mega event, with a major focus on the Winter Soldier. Sets up the next ongoing solo Winter Soldier series as well.
Comic Book Herald’s complete Original Sin reading order.
Collects: Invaders 6-10
Collects: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier 1-5
Following the events of Original Sin, Bucky takes over as Marvel’s “Man on the Wall.”
Collects: All -New Invaders 11-15
Collects: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier 6-11
Collects: Secret Wars #0 to #9
Collects: Runaways (2015) #1 to #4
Teen Bucky! Hardly required reading for Winter Soldier continuity, but a fun alternate reality set during the amazing 2015 Secret Wars.
Winter Soldier and The Thunderbolts
Collects: Welcome To Pleasant Hill Prologue 1, Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha 1, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3-4, Uncanny Avengers 7, All-New, All-Different Avengers 7-8, New Avengers 8-10, Captain America: Sam Wilson 7-8, Uncanny Avengers 8, Illuminati 6, Howling Commandos 6, Assault On Pleasant Hill Omega 1
Avengers Standoff results in major changes for the entire Captain America family, and sets up Bucky for his next ongoing series with the Thunderbolts.
To make heads or tails or all the issues collected, I recommend Comic Book Herald’s complete Avengers Standoff reading order.
Collects: Thunderbolts 1-5
Bucky Barnes, leader of the Thunderbolts!
Secret Empire & Aftermath
Secret Empire spells big changes for the whole Captain America family. Most especially Bucky Barnes, who is redeemed and finally out of Steve Roger’s shadow, putting Winter Soldier on a brand new trajectory.
Collects: Reading order linked above.
The infamous “Hydra Cap” event, where Steve Rogers apparently loses his mind and fights for the wrong side. This is a big exploration of Cap’s relationship with other heroes, including (and perhaps especially) Buckey.
Collects: Thunderbolts 7-12
Part of Secret Empire tie-ins.
Collects: Tales Of Suspense 100-104
This story follows in the immediate aftermath of Secret Empire. Hawkeye is a broken man out for bloody answers, and the only man who can help him is the one he can’t trust: Bucky Barnes.
Collects: The Punisher 224-229
Barnes knows a little something about being a brainwashed assassin,. So when Frank Castle looks for revenge for what was done to him during Secret Empire, Bucky is there to help put things right.
Collects: Captain America 1-6, Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Avengers/Captain America) 1 (Captain America Story)
Steve Rogers is no longer the trusted paragon of virtue he once was. After Secret Empire, he’s a man without his friends or his countrymen behind him. What does it mean to be Captain America under these circumstances?
Collects: Winter Soldier 1-5
Bucky has been an assassin, a villain, and the pawn of dictators. Now that he finds himself redeemed, Bucky is taking on a new role: fixer.
Collects: The Unstoppable Wasp (2018) 6-10
Bucky Barnes ruins Wasp’s first and only birthday party. You heard me.
Collects: Invaders 1-5
Namor going absolutely crazy. Captain America. The Human Torch. The Winter Soldier. Chip Zdarsky also going crazy. This book is everything I didn’t know I needed forever.
Collects: Full reading order linked above.
Practically the whole cast of Marvel Heroes gets their D&D on. Bless you, Jason Aaron.