Fan art for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier imagines what Bucky Barnes could look like as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's new Captain America.
New fan art for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier imagines Bucky (Sebastian Stan) as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's new Captain America. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has been the only version of Captain America to exist in the MCU for the last eleven years. But, the ending of Avengers: Endgame saw Steve leave his superhero days behind to grow old with Peggy Carter. This meant that someone else could become Captain America in his place.
Avengers: Endgame revealed who will become the MCU's next Captain America, as Steve gave a new shield to Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie). His transition to this new title will be explored next year on Disney+ in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Although Falcon has become Captain America in Marvel Comics before, many fans wanted to see Bucky take on the mantle next. That is how it happened in the source material, and now some fan art puts Bucky in the red, white, and blue suit.
The new piece of fan art showing what could've been Bucky's MCU future comes from Erathrim on Instagram. For this design, the artist uses elements of Captain America's traditional look and blends in Bucky's own features. His vibranium arm is no longer silver and gold as it is in recent films but rather red and white. Bucky also still has his Winter Soldier face mask in this look, even though he hasn't used that accessory since ditching Hydra's programming.
Bucky might not be Captain America in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier but the show could elaborate on Steve's decision to choose Sam instead. Furthermore, this could be where Marvel Studios sheds more light on how much Bucky knew about what Steve was going to do. Avengers: Endgame implies that Bucky was aware Steve wasn't going to come back right away, but he seemed as surprised as any to see old man Steve sitting on a nearby bench. If Bucky didn't know about his old friend's return, it is unclear how he'd know if Steve was going to select Falcon to carry on the Captain America mantle.
Now that the MCU has moved past the comics in terms of when Bucky would usually become Captain America, the chances of him suiting up like this fan art suggests might be slim to none. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will already strip Falcon of his new title at some point and see John Walker become Captain America instead. Since it is assumed that Falcon will regain the shield by the end of the show, it would then be strange for Falcon to lose the mantle again so Bucky can take it. Instead, Marvel Studios can find a new future for Bucky that doesn't include becoming Captain America, and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier should help provide some clues as to what it could be.