The Reason Behind Bucky’s White Wolf Title, Explained

Bucky Barnes has been a longtime presence in the MCU, dating back to the first Captain America movie in 2011. Best friend to Steve Rogers and a former World War II veteran, Bucky became a victim of HYDRA’s experiments and was turned into the Winter Soldier.

However, following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Barnes was given amnesty in Wakanda by King T’Challa. During his stay, they put him in cryostasis to free him from HYDRA’s control triggers.

Bucky made an appearance in the post-credits scene of Black Panther, where he is referred to as the White Wolf by Shuri. The title comes up again in Avengers: Infinity War when T’Challa presents him with a new synthetic arm. 

Now, it’s made a comeback in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as well, when Sam Wilson takes a jab at Bucky and calls him a “White Panther” instead. But, what is the mystery behind the moniker, and why is Bucky called so? Let’s take a look.

1. The White Wolf in the MCU

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier sets off Bucky’s narrative recovering from his traumatic past as HYDRA’s most deadly assassin. Throughout his therapy sessions with Dr. Christina Raynor, he looks back on all the violence and murderous actions that he was made to go through and proclaims his wish never to be associated with the title again.

Why Is Bucky Referred to As the White Wolf?
Bucky Barnes

Considering how the Phase 4 series has been all about character development for Bucky, there is a possibility he might be given a new title to replace his old one. As Marvel has already thrown in the Wakandan moniker in reference to him, it could be building Bucky to take up the White Wolf title officially.

While bestowing Barnes with his new mechanized arm in Infinity War, T’Challa told him, “the White Wolf has rested long enough.” Amidst a strange land with even stranger people, Bucky was given a place to rest and recuperate. 

Living in the quiet remote village, Barnes is shown reveling in the peaceful solitude. Thus, the White Wolf moniker seems apt for him as it represents his more calmer side.

2. Mentions in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

In Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, “Star-Spangled Man”, the name is used by Wilson, albeit inaccurately. During their spying on the Flag Smashers, Sam teases Bucky by saying, “Look at you, all stealthy. A little time in Wakanda and you come out White Panther.”

Why Is Bucky Referred to As the White Wolf?
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Bucky straight away corrects him by saying, “It’s actually White Wolf.” His rectification of the name goes to show the pride he possesses over it.

Throughout the series, Barnes is seen making amends for his previous actions as a means to deal with his traumatic past. From the onset, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is all about Wilson and Barnes trying to come to terms with where they stand at present and rediscover who they are.

Living in a world with no Steve Rogers to bond them together, both must rely on each other to leave their past behind and step into new roles, whether that be Sam becoming the next Captain America or Bucky becoming the White Wolf.

3. Comic Origins

In Marvel Comics, the White Wolf makes his entrance in Black Panther #4’s 1999 issue where a Caucasian boy is saved on the Wakandan borders from a plane crash, which kills his parents. King T’Chaka took pity on the boy and named him Hunter, all the while raising him as his own son.

Why Is Bucky Referred to As the White Wolf?
White Wolf, Shuri and Black Panther

However, after the birth of T’Challa, things took a turn for the worse. Hunter started harboring feelings of jealousy towards T’Challa as the new kid had replaced his place in the family.

Even though he had no intention of taking the throne, he chose to contest the title out of his love and devotion towards Wakanda and T’Chaka. This is when he became the White Wolf and led Wakanda’s secret police force called the Hatut Zeraze or the War Dogs.

Following T’Challa’s ascension to the throne, he disbanded the force due to their brutality, which added fuel to Hunter’s already raging hate against the former. Later, the two fought it out in a battle, in which T’Challa emerged victoriously.

4. Is Bucky Still the White Wolf?

Other than Wilson’s jab, it remains unknown whether Bucky is still hailed as the White Wolf or not. Ever since he left Wakanda, he has not made a return to T’Challa’s home country. 

Why Is Bucky Referred to As the White Wolf?
Bucky with Ayo

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean he has been forgotten, as the Wakandan people, especially the children, seemed to have grown very fond of him during his stay. Barnes is also yet to reunite with T’Challa and Shuri, and since Marvel has planned a sequel to Black Panther and a television series based in Wakanda, we might see both characters come into contact with him again.

As of now, Bucky seems to be on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Considering how he has been doing in his therapy sessions, the transformation to becoming the White Wolf seems to be gradual.

Even though the comic book version and the MCU version do not align with each other, both are connected via their love for Wakanda and its people. Where T’Chaka rescued Hunter, Bucky is shown kindness by T’Challa.

However, as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier enters its final week, Bucky’s future remains to be decided.

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5. About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is an American television miniseries created by Malcolm Spellman for Disney+. It is based on the titular Marvel Comics characters Sam Wilson aka. Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka. The Winter Soldier.

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Falcon and Winter Soldier respectively. They are joined by an ensemble cast including Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Danny Ramirez, Georges St. Pierre, Don Cheadle, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp, Florence Kasumba and guest star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam and Bucky team up in a global adventure to fight an anarchist group called Flag-Smashers while setting to protect the legacy of Steve Rogers (Captain America).

Source: Hotstar

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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