Bucky Barnes has had a complicated history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, going from War World II soldier, to HYDRA's brainwashed assassin, to troubled superhero. After being the catalyst for the MCU's catastrophic Civil War, Bucky was sent to Wakanda in an attempt to fully rid him of his subconscious HYDRA influences, and the end-credits scene for Black Panther saw the White Wolf finally relaxing in the hidden African country.
Though seemingly at peace, Avengers: Infinity War brought Bucky back to the battlefield in order to stop Thanos from willing half of the universe out of existence. The Winter Soldier sported a new sleek, blue suit with a black and golden arm for this sequence, but a recently revealed piece of concept art shows a much different look for the other man out of time.
Concept artist Rodney Fuentabella, whose credits include Avengers: Endgame, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther, shared a look at an unused piece of concept art for Bucky Barnes's Avengers: Infinity War suit on his Instagram.
Fuentabella explained in his caption that he "wanted to go for a more Wakandan warrior look" with this version of the Winter Soldier's outfit.
This alternate design for Bucky Barnes definitely feels more Wakandan, with intricate patterns and dark gold hues that aesthetically resemble the outfits of Wakanda's Dora Milaje. Perhaps the costume would have even come with some fun Shuri upgrades. The armor could have been Vibranium, or even contained a bit of the kinetic energy of Black Panther's suit. This suit also feels more practical. The outfit Bucky has in the final film is a much thinner material, and seeing as Wakanda was gearing up for a battle unlike the world had ever seen, he may have opted for the more protective choice. Bucky Barnes is a soldier after all, and him dressing as a Wakandan warrior is very fitting.
Though the look is a departure from the Winter Soldier's usual costumes, it would have been very fun to see the hero sport a Black Panther influenced look in Infinity War's final act battle. Hopefully the hero still gets the opportunity to wear something like this someday in the future. Fingers crossed Bucky and Sam Wilson are planning to visit Wakanda in their upcoming Disney+ series.