A couple of days ago, an excerpt the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War artbook surfaced online that showed Bucky Barnes in short hair and wearing a silver prosthetic arm that was a far cry from the Vibranium appendage that made the final cut. Now, like the next stage in this design’s evolution, we’re receiving a whole load of new illustrations that are much closer to what we saw in the final release, while still exhibiting a variety of ideas for how the Winter Soldier could’ve turned out differently.
Unlike that last piece of concept art, these images all show Sebastian Stan’s character with the same beard and long hair that eventually made the cut. Most of the arm designs look Wakanda-made, too, though the colors sit on a sliding scale between silver, black and gold. But where these images really diverge from the cinematic version is in the outfits, many of which seem almost bright and showy next to the plain and efficient look that Bucky displayed in the film.
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Alternate designs aside, the hero-turned-villain-turned-hero’s arm has undergone some noticeable changes between movies, and it’s a progression that Stan claimed earlier this year to sync up with Bucky’s own arc. The actor observed how these limb-based changes unfolded on levels both visual and practical.
“The first arm that was in the Winter Soldier movie, the material was really hard and it was very hard to actually move in it… but it actually informed the way I was moving at the time because it was just like carrying this thing so it totally affected me in a great way,” Stan said. “It made me discover the character in a way. And so I guess to some extent, so does he. He’s just becoming more comfortable in his own shoes and arm as he’s progressively getting older.”
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky was missing a whole lot more body parts than just his arm, but with the character confirmed to team up with Sam Wilson for their own TV show, it’s evident that we haven’t seen the last of the Winter Soldier or his ever-expanding array of limb designs. In all likelihood, we’ll find out how he comes back from his dust-based fate when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.