Who is Bucky Barnes about to become in Infinity War? Black Panther gave us a major hint. Now more has been revealed. Entertainment Weekly recently unveiled their 15 new magazine covers for this week's double-issue, which takes a deep dive into the upcoming Infinity War, arriving in theaters April 27. One of the covers features the unlikely duo of Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who was introduced in last year's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who have never met in an MCU movie before. What's even more interesting than the cover, though, is the brief description, which confirms a rumor that has been swirling since Black Panther hit theaters last month. If you haven't seen Black Panther yet, there will be SPOILERS for one of the post-credit scenes below.
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) took his old friend Bucky Barnes to Wakanda, to see if T'challa (Chadwick Boseman) and his high-tech team could erase all of the HYDRA brainwashing that was done to him decades ago, which was used against him in Captain America: Civil War. While Bucky wasn't featured in the primary story of Black Panther, he did surface in a post-credit scene, which opened with a group of Wakandan children huddling around someone in a tent. The children all leave the tent, shouting, "the White Wolf is awake", before Bucky Barnes emerges from the tent, when he is approached by Shuri, who states he has much more left to learn.
Even before Black Panther, we knew Bucky would be a part of Avengers: Infinity War, with the first trailer revealing Bucky has a new arm, after his metallic Winter Soldier arm had been removed. Producer Nate Moore revealed in an interview that they almost showcased this new arm in the Black Panther post-credit scene, but Bucky felt more "human" without the arm in that scene, so they left him without a new arm, for the time being anyway. While it hasn't been confirmed yet, it appears that Bucky's new arm is made of vibranium, the mystical and indestructible metal that is native to Wakanda.
As for the White Wolf moniker, Entertainment Weekly reveals that, "Sebastian Stan's rehabilitated assassin now goes by White Wolf," although no further details were given. This marks quite a big change from the comics, where the White Wolf is a young child named Hunter, who is rescued and taken in by King T'chaka after the boy survived a plane crash. Over the years, he was ultimately granted Wakandan citizenship and was given the moniker White Wolf. With this new confirmation, it seems that Marvel Studios are merging the White Wolf story with Bucky Barnes' story, although no further details about Bucky's transition to becoming the White Wolf have been given.
There is also no indication as to how long of a gap there is in the movies between the events of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, which hits theaters April 27. The other Black Panther post-credit scene revealed that T'challa now plans on sharing Wakanda's high-tech resources with the rest of the world, but we know that at least one of the major battle sequences in Avengers: Infinity War, that has been featured in the trailers, is set in Wakanda, with Steve Rogers as Nomad teams up with Bucky/White Wolf and several of his Avengers buddies to take on the nefarious Outriders, an alien race who fights for Thanos (Josh Brolin). You can take a look at the Bucky Barnes/White Wolf and Mantis magazine cover, and head over to Entertainment Weekly for more details.