After decades of Hydra operations, the list of everyone the Winter Soldier has killed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a long one. Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, became one of the most feared assassins in the MCU after his fall in 1945, tasked with eliminating anyone who posed a threat to Hydra or assassinating those whose removal would further Hydra’s goals. According to the Black Widow, he’s credited with more than two dozen known kills since the early 1960s.
As in the Marvel comics, much of the Winter Soldier’s past is shrouded in mystery. Some of his targets, however, have been revealed via flashbacks or other plot devices in the Marvel movies and TV shows. Bucky Barnes’ notebook in Falcon and the Winter Soldier helped fill in a lot of the blanks on his kill list, but there are still some gaps. As a secret operative, most of the Winter Soldier’s targets are, by definition, unknown. As a victim of Hydra brainwashing and conditioning, Bucky himself may not even remember all of his targets.
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There is some crossover between Bucky’s targets in the Marvel comics and MCU. As the Winter Soldier, Bucky’s targets included high-level political officials, military leaders, diplomats and scientists. Anyone who had a key position in the national defense of a country was at risk. As seen in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, however, some of the soldier’s victims were also innocents. Secrecy was the prime directive of the Winter Soldier, so many of his kills were likely collateral damage. Anyone who witnessed the Winter Soldier in action had to die. In chronological order, here is a list of all of the Winter Soldier’s known victims in the MCU.
American Soldiers In The Korean War
One of the Winter Soldier’s earliest known missions was as a covert operative in the Korean War, which stretched from 1950 to 1953. Isaiah Bradley, a super soldier who was working for the U.S. military at the time, reveals in Falcon and the Winter Soldier that he was sent into South Korea in 1951 to take on the Winter Soldier. “We heard whispers he was on the peninsula, but everyone they sent after him never came back,” Isaiah says. According to Bucky, he and Isaiah fought in a bar in Goyang, a South Korean city just outside of Seoul, close to the current demilitarized zone.
It’s likely the Winter Soldier was working for the Soviet Union at the time, which secretly provided military and medical supplies to North Korean and Chinese forces. The Soviet Union was forced to conceal its role in the conflict in order to avoid starting a nuclear war with NATO and the United States. In the MCU, the Winter Soldier acted as a secret agent, able to engage in direct military action against South Korea and the U.S. without repercussions. His exact mission parameters are unknown, but it’s likely he killed high-level military officials.
John F. Kennedy
In the world of Marvel comics, it’s long been speculated that the Winter Soldier had a role in the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. That theory was confirmed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Arnim Zola revealed some of the Winter Soldier’s targets. In a flash of pictures showing the Winter Soldier’s past kills, there were background images of the Kennedy assassination, implying he was killed by the Winter Soldier.
Hydra, which promotes destabilization, may have wanted JFK dead in order to engender global chaos. Another possible explanation relates to JFK’s influence on S.H.I.E.L.D. He was photographed with Peggy Carter at one time, suggesting he had a significant relationship with the agency. With JFK’s progressive domestic policy platform ushering in enormous change, and his foreign policy marked by increasing tension with the then-U.S.S.R., it’s likely Hydra wanted him gone for a number of reasons.
Howard and Maria Stark
The Winter Soldier’s assassination of Tony Stark’s parents was a major plot point in Captain America: Civil War and remains one of the most significant missions he’s carried out to date. In the film, it’s revealed that the Winter Soldier killed the Starks in order to steal a working version of the Super Soldier Serum. As one of the most valuable military inventions of the 21st century, the serum is often at the center of the Winter Soldier’s missions. Howard Stark was killed not only as part of the theft, but in order to keep him from developing any more serum for the U.S. military. It’s likely the Winter Soldier killed many other scientists over the years who were close to rediscovering or perfecting the serum in order to keep it out of the hands of Hydra’s enemies and ensure Hydra was the only organization with the knowledge.
Iranian Nuclear Engineer
Black Widow reveals another one of the Winter Soldier’s kills during Captain America: The Winter Soldier — a nuclear engineer she was tasked with escorting out of Iran. In 2009, as Natasha was guarding the engineer, the Winter Soldier shot through her to kill the target. The story serves to underline the Winter Soldier’s skills as a sniper. Although Natasha survived the attack, the Winter Soldier completed his mission and was able to escape.
Unknown Russian Official And Six Bodyguards
In Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 1, episode 1, “New World Order,” Bucky Barnes relives one of his Winter Soldier missions during a vivid nightmare. During the mission, the Winter Soldier kills a high-level Russian official and his six bodyguards at Hotel Inessa in Russia. Not much is known about the prime target of the mission. He doesn’t seem to have any hand-to-hand skills, making it unlikely he’s a member of the military. Maybe he’s a Russian politician working against Hydra’s mission or a U.S. sympathizer? It’s also possible he was a scientist of some sort.
Most of the focus in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier dream sequence is placed on R.J. Nakajima, a young management consultant who was attending a professional conference at Hotel Inessa. As he was going to his room, R.J. accidentally witnessed the Winter Soldier’s assassination of the unknown Russian official. Although R.J. pleaded for his life, the Winter Soldier ruthlessly shot him to maintain his cover.
R.J.’s death haunts Bucky. Throughout Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 1, he struggles to tell the truth to R.J.’s father, Yori Nakajima, whom he’s befriended. One symbol of this struggle is Bucky’s notebook, which has a list of the people to whom he needs to make reparations. The fact that Yori’s name is included on this list signals that it may not just be a straightforward record of the Winter Soldier’s victims. Rather, it may be a list of people (still living) to whom Bucky can make amends. The list not only includes victims but also family members of victims and Hydra operatives who are still active.
In 2014, during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the soldier kills Jasper Sitwell, a Hydra operative who gave information to Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson after they kidnapped him. The Winter Soldier kills Sitwell during a surprise attack on the trio about halfway through the film, following his failed attempt to assassinate Nick Fury. The mission reveals the Winter Soldier is not just used to kill Hydra’s enemies, but also to keep the organization’s own operatives in line through fear and to take out any Hydra agents who have turned.
During the final battle scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the soldier kills at least two S.H.I.E.L.D. pilots, an airport technician and a security guard, all in an effort to get to Steve Rogers. The Winter Soldier’s direct assaults in the movie are a departure from his usual covert M.O., but his super-soldier abilities give him the upper hand in battle, even when he’s outnumbered. One can only imagine how many more S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives or military troops fell victim to a deadly attack by the Winter Soldier.
Colonel Andre Rostov, a.k.a. the Red Barbarian
One of the first names on Bucky Barnes’ list in Falcon and the Winter Soldier is “A. Rostov,” which undoubtedly stands for Andre Rostov, a communist general from the Marvel Comics. In the comics universe, Rostov’s death is caused by a mysterious sniper as he is living a life of opulence in the Bahamas. He is presumably killed by Bucky after having tried to bring him back into the Hydra fold.
In the comics, through a series of unfortunate events, Bucky is imprisoned in a Russian gulag where Rostov, a.k.a. the Red Barbarian, the warden, makes Bucky fight other prisoners and conspires to turn him back into the Winter Soldier. After breaking free, Bucky ends the threat to his mental clarity once and for all. Rostov, who is one of the Winter Soldier’s former handlers, remains a threat to Bucky in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He may have been killed by the Winter Soldier as a Hydra deserter or by Bucky after he broke free of their clutches.
Bucky’s list also includes the name, “C. Kusnetsov,” presumably a reference to the Marvel Comics character Doctor Kuznetsov. The mad scientist worked for the Soviet space program in Iron Man: Fatal Frontier #2, creating a sentient robot who ultimately became a threat to Iron Man. Perhaps Kuznetsov knew too much?
In addition to referencing Paul Walter Hauser — an actor who starred opposite Sebastian Stan in Oscar-winning movie I, Tonya — the “P.W. Hauser” in Bucky’s notebook could refer to one of two Marvel Comics characters. Harry Hauser, host of the radio show “The Hauser Retort,” is a radical radio host who called for Sam to surrender the Captain America mantle to John Walker. Could he be a Hydra agent? Perhaps this name represents another operative Bucky helped climb to power whom he now needs to put behind bars. Hauser could also refer to a Nazi named Wilhelm Hauser who fought Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos in the comics. It’s possible the Winter Soldier had a hand in his death.
The surname “Hudson” is one well-known to fans of the X-Men comics, belonging to Logan’s mother, Elisabeth Howlett, née Hudson. The name was passed on to Wolverine’s son James and other members of his family. It’s revealed in Wolverine Origins #33 that many Hudson relatives, chiefly Professor Truett Hudson, had strong ties to the Weapon X Program, a U.S. government initiative to develop super-soldiers.
It’s likely the Winter Soldier was sent after one of the Hudsons because, like Howard Stark, they were too close to creating a viable super-soldier serum. “L. Hudson” could also represent a family member who Bucky needs to make amends to, as it did with “Y. Nakajima.” One of the Winter Soldier’s confirmed victims in the comics was Logan’s one-time wife Itsu Akihiro. Could he have again targeted Logan’s family in the MCU?
Another mysterious name listed in Bucky’s notebook is “C. Collins,” who could be Cal Collins, a lowly Hydra agent who appeared in Black Panther and the Crew #3. Cal was a faux realtor for a Hydra front, a luxury condo complex in New York City dubbed the Renaissance. The scheme was uncovered by the Black Panther, who found out that the company Collins worked for, Paragon Properties, was a dummy, actually operating under Keane Industries and Hydra. Collins is exactly the type of low-ranking Hydra agent who poses a security risk. Perhaps Hydra had him assassinated after his usefulness expired?
The most notable reference to a Henrikson in the Marvel Comics is to Cal Henriksen, a failed test subject for the Venom symbiote. It’s difficult to imagine how the Winter Soldier could fit into his death, which was clearly caused by U.S. military officials when he went on an uncontrolled rampage. But maybe he had some role in sabotaging the experiment — after all, it was yet another attempt to create an super-soldier.
Unidentified Victims and Easter Eggs
Unfortunately for fans, there are some names that appear in Bucky’s Winter Soldier notebook that never appear in the Marvel comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s unlike Marvel not to pay attention to the little details, but it’s possible some names are just filler. A few names are MCU Easter eggs, references to renowned comic writers and creators.
“L. Kaminski” refers to comics writer Len Kaminski, who worked on War Machine, Avengers and Iron Man, while “S. Whitaker” is likely a nod to Steve Whitaker, who wrote several Captain America stories. “A. Clairemont-Windsor” could be an allusion to Chris Claremont and Barry Windsor-Smith, who collaborated on X-Men and other comics. “J. Weaver” could refer to Marvel penciler Dustin Weaver or reference Marvel Comics character Susan Weaver, director of Manhattan Hospital’s children’s ward in Spider-Man.
The names that remain unidentified are: T. Osman (Turkish), C. Holbein (German), R. Skardisson (Norse), J. and G. Soltero (Spanish), N. Sari (Indian) J. Akiyama (Japanese), I. Tahlazar and F. Gannod. Whether these names belong to bystanders, soldiers, spies or scientists is anyone’s guess.
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- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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