That’s the original version of Bucky from the 1940s, back when child endangerment was the most popular part of superhero comics. When Captain America was brought back decades later, however, teenage sidekicks were considered deeply uncool, and Bucky was unceremoniously written off by explaining that an airplane exploded on his face. That’s how few fucks Marvel gave about the character: Not only did they kill him off-panel, but they actually allowed him to stay dead.
That wasn’t enough for 9-year-old fan Ed Brubaker, though. Bucky was his favorite character, and he spent years looking for the issue where he died. When Brubaker found out that issue didn’t actually exist and Bucky had essentially been killed off in a footnote, he made a solemn promise: “If I ever write Captain America, I’m undoing this mistake.”
Cut to about 30 years later. Brubaker made a name for himself writing gritty crime comics, but was finally offered a job as a Captain America writer. Guess what the first thing he did was.