The Winter Soldier, who had been apprehended by the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre for the Bombing of the Vienna International Centre, was imprisoned in their headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Theo Broussard was kidnapped and murdered by Helmut Zemo who took his place as the unfortunate psychiatrist. Zemo was looking for revenge after the Battle of Sokovia had destroyed his home and family and was the mastermind behind the bombing. Zemo had also sent an EMP bomb to the city's main power plant.
Pulling the Trigger
Zemo gave a psychological evaluation on the Winter Soldier, acting that nothing was amiss, until the EMP bomb he had sent to the city's main power plant detonated, cutting out all of the buildings power, including the security cameras. Zemo then reactivated Barnes' Winter Soldier Program training by using the HYDRA manual he had stolen from Barnes' former handler Vasily Karpov, which led to Barnes breaking free of his restraints to stop Zemo's plans, ripping his arms free and punching the glass to try and get away. Zemo was able to finish saying the codewords just as Barnes broke free and became his willing assassin. Zemo requested the mission report about the death of Howard Stark.
Having obtained the information he needed, Zemo faked injury and was swiftly confronted by Captain America and Falcon who attempted to save Barnes, Rogers interrogated Zemo asking what he wanted and was told that he wanted to see an empire fall. Falcon was then attacked by the Winter Soldier and knocked out, who then presided to kick Rogers down an elevator shaft. Zemo ordered the Winter Soldier to fight and kill anyone who attempted to stop him before getting in a helicopter and escaping to seemingly prove his guilt for the bombing.
As Zemo attempted to escape, Falcon pursued him up the staircase and outside, only to loose him in the crowd.
Escaping the Centre
- "Evacuate all civilians, get me a perimeter around the building and gunships in the air!"
- ―Everett Ross
As the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre released that the Winter Soldier had escaped, Everett Ross evacuated the building as Tony Stark, Black Widow, Sharon Carter and Black Panther headed to confront the soldier. Barnes met some resistance but quickly disarmed and defeated the guards but met trouble in the form of Stark attacking him with his Iron Man Gauntlet getting Barnes attention with an Ultrasonic pulse. Next, he disoriented him with a Flash Beam. Barnes quickly recovered and aimed a handgun at Stark, who countered by wrapping his hand with the gauntlet over the muzzle, blocking the barrel. When Barnes pulls the trigger of the gun, the bullet is blocked and Stark uses his other hand to pull the slide off of the lower receiver of the weapon, disabling it. Barnes then punches Stark several feet backwards into a table, defeating him. Barnes defeats Carter and Romanoff but stopped from killing Black Widow by Black Panther, who gives him a good fight but Barnes manages to escape to the rooftop.
As the Winter Soldier commanders a helicopter, Captain America manages to make it to the roof in time to see his childhood friend take off. Rogers manages to grab the landing gear of the copter and prevents it from leaving the helipad. Running out of options, Barnes dangerously tilts the helicopter, hoping to catch Rogers with the blades but only manages to destroy the copter as it crashes back on the helipad. Rogers carefully approaches but Barnes grabs him by the neck as the helicopter falls of the helipad with the two men into the ocean, knocking Barnes unconscious. The two men survive however and Rogers pulls his friend to shore.
The Winter Soldier escaping allowed Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson to interrogate him themselves. Barnes, now free of his brain washing told the two heroes about five other candidates for the Winter Soldier Program and that the psychiatrist was headed to the facility where they were being kept in cryogenic stasis. Meanwhile, The Joint Counter Terrorist Centre gave Iron Man 36 hours to capture Barnes and bring in his renegade comrades. Although War Machine, Vision, Black Widow, and Black Panther agreed to help Stark, he still felt undermanned and recruited high school student Peter Parker, who Stark managed to discover was a superhero named Spider-Man, under the pretense of giving him a scholarship under the Stark September Foundation program. Rogers tasked Hawkeye to recruit Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man to head towards the facility were the other Winter Soldiers were being kept, leading to the Clash of the Avengers.