Bucky Barnes was made for Steve Rogers. We're not just talking about all that endearing slash fiction; we’re talking literally. When Joe Simon initially sketched Captain America in 1940, he sketched Bucky alongside him, based on a friend from his high school years. Bucky would appear alongside Cap in Captain America Comics #1 in 1941 and their long, engaging and amazing narrative would begin.

While mostly a sidekick to Rogers through his World War II escapades, Bucky was killed off when he was unable to defuse a bomb on a plane. In 2005, Barnes' fate was reworked by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Michael Lark. Not only was Bucky still alive, but he had been preserved in extreme cold, somewhat like Rogers. The Russian military found him, revived him, and trained him to be an assassin known as The Winter Soldier.

Following the character's return in the comics, we've seen him faithfully brought to the screen in the current run of Captain America movies, played by Sebastian Stan as both the soldier Bucky and the assassin The Winter Soldier, and the tension between Bucky and Steve has made the character irresistible to fans, including cosplayers.

In honor of America’s favorite sidekick-turned-assassin-turned-bromantic best pal, we’ve gathered a slate of cosplay running the gamut of Bucky in both his teen partner and Winter Soldier states. Whether they’re backing Cap in the classic WWII gear, or facing off against him with the cybernetic enhancements of Winter Soldier, these cosplayers portray the evolution and complexity of Bucky across the ages. These are the best Bucky Barnes cosplays.


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