Why Bucky Is More Suited to Be the White Wolf
Now that you’ve been given a little background on the White Wolf, let’s explore why it makes more sense for Bucky to fulfill this role instead of Captain America. At his core, the White Wolf is very much an agent of Wakanda. Though T’Challa initially expels Hunter and dissolves the Hatut Zeraze, the Dogs of War provide a critical function for Wakanda throughout the many different iterations of the Black Panther. It’s easy to see this role translated to film as the Black Panther progresses as a franchise.
As agents of Wakanda, the Hatut Zeraze fulfill many missions, many of them secretive, undercover, and involving highly sensitive situations with world leaders. Here is where I hearken back to the idea that going from Bucky to Captain America in a straight line doesn’t make sense. Captain America: The Winter Soldier portrayed Bucky as an assassin, an agent of war, if you will. While Captain America could also be considered an agent of war, Marvel does well to represent him as an ideal, showcased in Phil Coulson’s collection of Captain America Trading Cards.
Moreover, Bucky is a terrorist. That’s literally his job when he’s introduced in the modern era. HE KILLED TONY STARK’S PARENTS! Given that most of America knows him as a Hydra assassin, it doesn’t seem plausible that America would accept his morality. From the events of the movies and the trailers of Avengers: Infinity War, we already know Bucky is in Wakanda and actively involved in saving Wakanda from the threat of Thanos. While he will certainly get credit for saving the world, such a move is more likely to endear him to the people of Wakanda than Americans. Even in his plight to save the world, he’s far from making amends with his nation of origin. This promotes the idea of him being an agent of Wakanda more than an agent of America.
So if not Bucky, then who? The likeliest and most sensible candidate is Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon. Announced by Marvel on The Colbert Report in 2014, Sam Wilson took over the mantle of Captain America after the Iron Nail drained Rogers of the Super Soldier serum and he aged into an old man. Ever since, Wilson has held the mantle of Captain America, even when John Wilson came after his shield in Civil War II. On a side note, if you haven’t read the issue where Sam kicks John’s ass, you need to get on that immediately.
Since joining up with Cap in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Wilson has been an inseparable part of the Captain America story. Whether it was helping Cap overthrow the U.S. government, which also happened to be Hydra, tracking down Bucky, or fighting alongside Rogers as a part of his team standing up against the Sokovia Accords, Wilson has made it known that he does what Rogers does, just slower. While Sam and Steve’s stories have become more intertwined, it’s not so much that we see Steve positioning himself in a different direction than Bucky as much as the writers seem to be moving Bucky’s story to Wakanda.
To summarize an idea, imagine Bucky as Wakanda’s greatest spy and Sam Wilson hoisting the shield. Now try to imagine Bucky hoisting the shield and Sam remaining a relatively muted super hero with self-admitted flaws. If Captain America is indeed dying or putting down the shield, what possible story could you generate for Sam Wilson that would be as powerful as making him the next Captain America? Similarly, how do you go from terrorist assassin to beloved national hero? It would take some clever writing to make that storyline believable.
Both Bucky and Sam have lengthy futures with Marvel. Marvel has been relatively true to the comics and would have no issue incorporating a storyline that has been in play for four years. Fans will recall that T’Challa’s original inclination was to kill Bucky in Captain America: Civil War. What started out as a revenge mission for the Black Panther has turned into salvation. Bucky’s path appears to be already drawn and it’s difficult to see it leading to the shield. That said, you can sign me up for any story involving Bucky as a special operative of Wakanda. Likewise, it doesn’t take much for me to buy into the idea of Sam Wilson as the next Captain America.