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Near the conclusion of World War II, Captain America's partner Bucky apparently died while attempting to stop the Nazi commander Baron Zemo from using a stolen experimental drone plane.

Moments before the drone exploded Bucky fell into the ocean were his near frozen body was retrieved by a Russian Submarine. Severely wounded, and his left arm severed, Bucky was kept frozen by the Russians to preserve his body in a hopes of extracting the secrets of the American Super-Solider Serum.

His body slowly reheated by an experimental Nazi process, Bucky was miraculously revived. To the Soviets' dismay the American solider had no trace of any chemical enhancements - but although he appeared to have permanently lost all memory of his former life he retained his combat and social memory.

During the ensuing Cold War, Bucky was converted into the perfect espionage agent and assassin capable of infiltrating the enemies of the Soviet Union as the Winter Soldier.

After the assassination of Captain America, Tony Stark received a package containing Rogers' final requests: Stark should "save" Bucky, and the mantle of Captain America should continue.

After being captured by the Red Skull, Bucky escapes into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Tony Stark shows him the letter from Steve Rogers, in which Rogers' wishes regarding the future of the Captain America identity are made clear. Bucky agrees to take up the mantle, on the condition that he be answerable to no higher authority. Stark arranges a battery of medical and psychological tests to assure that Bucky's Winter Soldier programming has left no lasting effects.

Current Incarnation:
Winter Soldier

Other Incarnations:
Winter Soldier (First Bionic Arm)
Captain America
Captain America (Hulked Out)