The MCU Just Gave Bucky’s Arm Another Power

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gave insight into the functioning of Bucky’s cybernetic arm. Now another Disney+ series has given another detail.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Marvel’s What If…? episode 5.

A new scene in Marvel’s What If…? episode 5, “What If…Zombies!?” demonstrates a new power for Bucky Barnes’ cybernetic arm that had not been confirmed before. The What If…? episode explores several characters who are often in the background of other larger storylines, such as Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Kurt (David Dastmalchian). The episode of the Disney+ series also includes some important nods to unconfirmed parts of their stories, like Spider-Man’s confirmation of Uncle Ben’s existence in the MCU.

Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) lost his left arm when he fell from a train during an attempt to capture the Hydra scientist Arnim Zola (Toby Jones). Despite plummeting hundreds of feet and being presumed dead, he was able to survive the fall due to Zola having previously administered an attempted recreation of the Super-Soldier Serum. In the hands of the Soviet Union and Hydra, Barnes was used as part of the Winter Soldier program where he received a cybernetically enhanced left arm. The original arm was destroyed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) during their confrontation in Captain America: Civil War and was later replaced by the Wakandans with a new arm made of Vibranium.


Related: Who Replaced Tom Holland As Spider-Man In What If…? Episode 5?

The various properties of Bucky Barnes’ cybernetic arms are rarely explored within the MCU. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Bucky’s Wakandan arm was shown to include a failsafe mechanism that allowed Ayo to remove it while fighting him. What If…? has given audiences another rare glimpse into the confirmed powers of Bucky’s arm in an almost throwaway line from Kurt when he and Spider-Man interrupt him in the shower as part of filming their orientation video. As Bucky strangles him, Kurt confirms: “Your robot arm is waterproof.”

What If Bucky Barnes Arm Kurt Choke

While Bucky could certainly remove his cybernetic arm to take a shower, it makes sense that he might not choose to. He has previously acknowledged that the arm feels like part of him which suggests that he might feel uncomfortable without it on, as in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Sam Wilson asks him why he didn’t use his arm when fixing the boat and he clarifies that he doesn’t always think of it. It also is logical that his arm would include this feature as otherwise it could pose an issue for him in certain weather conditions

It was previously heavily implied that the original arm he was given as the Winter Soldier was also waterproof. At the end of Captain America and the Winter Soldier, Bucky dives into the Potomac River to save Steve Rogers, dragging him from the water with the use of his arm. However, it was never clarified whether this caused any problems for the arm down the line. While it would have seemed unlikely for Bucky’s Wakandan arm upgrade to have taken a step back on this point, it had not been officially confirmed within the MCU before What If…? episode 5.

Next: How Marvel’s Zombie Avengers Still Have Powers

Marvel’s What If…? releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.

  • 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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