While the rest of the heroes have to converge on Wakanda when it’s chosen as the site of the battle against Thanos’ forces in Avengers: Infinity War, one of them’s already there. As seen in the post-credits scene of Black Panther, Bucky Barnes has now had HYDRA’s conditioning flushed from his brain and is laying low in the African country. As he’s put his past as the Winter Soldier behind him, he’s also adopted a new name which was given to him by the local children – White Wolf.
Not too much has been made of the name on-screen as of yet, which is understandable. After all, it’d be odd if the Avengers stopped fighting to save the universe so that they could talk about Bucky’s new nickname. Still, it should mean something to Marvel comic book readers, as White Wolf is a term pulled from the pages of Black Panther’s history.
In the source material, it’s the name given to a Caucasian man, Hunter, who survived a plane crash that came down in Wakanda. He was taken in by King T’Chaka and raised as T’Challa’s adoptive brother, before becoming the head of the nation’s secret police, known as the Hatut Zeraze.
Obviously, Bucky and Hunter’s backstories are fairly different, but there is a clear connection between them, as they’re both outsiders who eventually adopt Wakanda as a home. It’s also worth mentioning that T’Challa and Hunter had a fraught relationship, much like Bucky and the king. They did begin as mortal enemies, after all, as Black Panther blamed Sebastian Stan’s fan favorite for his father’s death.
The former Winter Soldier adopting the White Wolf name in Avengers: Infinity War suggests that he might well stay in Wakanda for a while and perhaps even become a trusted ally of King T’Challa’s. Er, that is, if he ends up being resurrected when Avengers 4 arrives next May.