It would be safe to say that Bucky Barnes has had one of the most complex character arcs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that would be putting it lightly. After first appearing as an impressionable and confident young recruit in Captain America: The First Avenger, he seemingly fell to his death before returning as the title villain in sequel The Winter Soldier.
Steve Rogers tried to break through to his best friend and found some success, before Bucky escaped and then ended up being framed for a crime he didn’t commit in Civil War, ultimately being revealed as the murderer of Tony Stark’s parents and the subject of reactivation attempts at the hands of Zemo, which led to him fleeing to Wakanda before rejoining the fray as the Avengers battled Thanos with the fate of the universe at stake.
That’s a lot of narrative ground to cover without even scratching the surface of what Bucky had been up to since the end of World War II. For instance, in The Winter Soldier, we see photos in his file from the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which certainly seems to imply that he was the one that took the shot.
Although it was little more than an Easter Egg that doesn’t stand to factor heavily into the wider MCU mythology, a new fan theory explains why H.Y.D.R.A. would have tasked one of their operatives to take out the leader of the free world. As ScreenRant outlines, JFK would have posed a major threat to their goals for infiltrating every level of society and government in the early 1960s, especially when it came to Russia and the Cold War.
Assassinating the President of the United States would have created the instability that the evil organization preyed on as they sank their tentacles into every level of authority over the next five decades, with the newly-founded S.H.I.E.L.D. completely unaware that they were already fighting a losing battle that had always come from within. Furthermore, and as ScreenRant explains:
But the threat of John F. Kennedy could well have been a lot more direct than that. In Captain America: Civil War, there is a photograph showing Peggy Carter with JFK. The early SHIELD was restricted to the United States, and they appear to have played a key role in the Cold War. The photograph of Kennedy appears to have been one of Carter’s most treasured possessions, suggesting they worked together particularly closely. It’s possible this partnership was close to uncovering Hydra’s presence. Hydra was active in both Russia and the United States, and Kennedy had his own channels to the USSR, which could have hinted at a grand conspiracy.
That certainly makes sense and overall, it’s an interesting theory that helps shed a bit more light on things. But tell us, do you have any thoughts of your own to add? If so, feel free to leave them via a comment down below.