The Marvel Cinematic Universe began assembling with Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008. When “Avengers: Infinity War” hit theaters in 2018, it marked the beginning of the end of the franchise’s first epic story arc, known as the Infinity Saga. In that film from Anthony and Joe Russo, True Believers were treated to a number of excellent team-ups featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. In fact, the galaxy’s greatest heroes even got in on the action as the Guardians of the Galaxy finally crossed paths with the Avengers after operating independently for so long.
Seeing scenes featuring Thor and Star-Lord or Captain America and Groot were great fun, but the best (or at least, my favorite) team-up was Rocket Raccoon and the Winter Soldier combining their artillery power to take down a few of Thanos’ minions. The typically unflappable assassin’s reaction to the genetically enhanced mammal turned mercenary was priceless. It was a fun little moment amidst the chaos of battle.
When Bucky eventually denied Rocket the opportunity to acquire his cybernetic arm, it just made the Benatar’s resident weapons expert declare that he was going to get that arm one way or another. Now, four years after making that declaration, the fan-favorite character voiced by Bradley Cooper has finally gotten his wish in “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” thanks to Nebula.
As we saw in the latest Marvel Studios Special Presentation, Drax and Mantis were hard at work tracking down the legendary hero Kevin Bacon to spread Christmas cheer to Peter Quill. Although it seems like Nebula was doing some Christmas shopping of her own. But just how did the daughter of the Mad Titan manage to secure a certain appendage belonging to Bucky Barnes? Well, it probably didn’t land her on Santa’s nice list.
For the raccoon that has everything
After further examination, the arm doesn’t sport a red star on the shoulder and features gold accents. This indicates that this is one of Bucky’s newer arms rather than an old one that was just laying around in an old S.H.I.E.L.D. facility or safe house. The White Wolf was first given an arm like this in Wakanda, then he continued to use a similar model during “Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
As far as we know, Nebula hasn’t been back to Earth since Tony Stark’s funeral in “Avengers: Endgame,” so that could have been when she absconded with Lieutenant Barnes’ arm. Maybe she popped over to Avengers HQ before the Guardians took off, raided Bucky’s locker for his back up arm, and saved it for a special occasion. But considering that the team wasn’t familiar with Christmas traditions until Kraglin regaled them with the Ravagers’ first Christmas (which was squashed by Yondu), it’s likely that Nebula obtained the arm more recently. I’m picturing this mighty warrior staking out Bucky and sneaking into his room while he’s asleep to take the arm right off his nightstand. Or, since they are allies, Nebula could have just called in a favor from an old friend.
Either way, the Winter Soldier will probably sport a slightly different arm to go with an updated look for “Thunderbolts” in order to sell more toys and merch. Since that old arm is so last season now and Bucky is ready for the latest model, why not let Nebula keep the antique? However, after seeing a whole movie about the dangers of vibranium landing in the wrong hands, the new Black Panther and the kingdom of Wakanda may have something to say about the latest addition to Rocket’s armory.