In ‘Thunderbolts’ #11 we’ll see Bucky Barnes finally start figuring out that the current Steve Rogers isn’t the Captain America he knows and thinks of as a brother and writer Jim Zub is sharing a little about how the whole scenario will play out. For anyone who has been following the world of Marvel recently we know that Captain America became a Hydra agent out of the blue and is about to unleash his “Secret Empire” upon the Marvel Universe. This event sprouted from when the Red Skull briefly had Kobik under his sway and changed the past to make Rogers a long-term Hydra sleeper agent. Only, Rogers doesn’t believe in the Skull’s vision of the future and has cast his bid on reimaging the world through what he feels Hydra should embody.
In ‘Thunderbolts’ #10 we saw The Winter Soldier injured, possibly fatally so. To save him, Kobik transfers him back in time to when he was still Captain America’s sidekick in World War II. As much as I loathe time travel stories in Marvel at this point, it should prove to be an interesting way for Bucky to stumble across Steve’s greatest secret.
When Zub is asked what the experience of being able to write Bucky “starting to figure out Steve’s secrets” he stated that:
It feels great to contribute to something that has been slowly and carefully built over such a long period of time. We really had the space to mold the relationship between Kobik and the rest of the team, especially with Bucky, and now all that will pay off with emotional intensity as Secret Empire kicks into gear. Through each part of “Return of the Masters,” our THUNDERBOLTS anniversary story that leads into [the event], we’ve got big revelations and payoffs.
Regardless of the “Secret Empire” storyline, once Zub found out who Bucky’s team of ‘Thunderbolts’ would consist of this specific moment of revisiting when Bucky jumped on the plane which would lead him down the path to becoming The Winter Soldier was always guaranteed to happen:
Once I found out that Kobik, a living cosmic cube, would be on the team and I learned about her abilities, I started thinking about the most intense thing she could do to “help” Bucky. Sending him back to World War II so he could try and change his fate stuck in my head, and I felt thrilled that we could make it a part of the bigger story. It brings James back to his roots and shows how far he has come.
It seems that the “Secret Empire” will not only test the friendship that these two have built over the years but completely change the dynamic of how they interact with one another:
I know where Secret Empire will go, and I’ll tell you that we’ll head deep into the darkness before we’ll see any possibility of pushing through to the light. Cap and Bucky’s friendship—and their loyalty to each other—has never faced a test like this. Whatever happens, they won’t come out of it the same—if they come through to the other side.
While it isn’t clear if Bucky will find out all of Steve’s hidden agenda or just be put on his trail in the upcoming book, it is clear that his entrance into the “Secret Empire” is going to be happening sooner than later.
Are you looking forward to Bucky and Steve squaring off in the upcoming conflict? Share your thoughts below True Believers!
‘Thunderbolts’ #11 will be available at your local comic shop on March 29th, 2017!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!