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‘Captain America’: Ed Brubaker and the salvation of Bucky Barnes [updated]

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Author Topic: ‘Captain America’: Ed Brubaker and the salvation of Bucky Barnes [updated]  (Read 485 times)
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« on: August 20, 2011, 11:01:07 pm »

None of that would fly well with 2011 audiences, Johnston says, so the character has been retro-fitted by the Hollywood factory.

“We took some liberties with the relationship between the two guys,” Johnston said. “In our story, Bucky is already in the service, he’s already joined up and is being sent overseas while Steve is still struggling to get in the army. That’s different than what you may have read in the comics. It adds a nuance to the relationship that pays off later. They’re closer in age, too — they’re virtually the same age. That’s not the case at all if you go back to the old comics.”

In the film, both Rogers and Barnes are orphans and grow up almost as brothers. Rogers is too sickly to enlist in the service and instead he volunteers for a dangerous and secret experiment that might make him the first of an army of super-soldiers.  That fact changes the physics of his friendship with Bucky, and the movie jettisons the hero’s almost paternal treatment of Bucky. This version of Bucky Barnes is less wise-cracking and more of a crack shot with his service rifle.

“In the comics, he’s like Robin is to Batman,” Johnston said, “but this is not that at all.”

In the pages of Marvel Comics, the adult-age Bucky has been a far more complicated figure, especially over the last decade and in the hands of writer Ed Brubaker. A  new chapter was added to his history — he survived World War II but after a major memory loss was programmed to become a brutal Soviet operative called the Winter Soldier — and then he dons Captain America’s costume when Rogers is assassinated. Will any of those elements play out in the future films being guided by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige? Time will tell.

This much is clear: Bucky won’t be in mascot mode when he gets his first Hollywood close-up.  ”Our Bucky isn’t a sidekick and there’s a darker edge. This is a much more interesting relationship.”

– Geoff Boucher
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