The GeeksverseWinter Soldier #1

Winter Soldier #1
Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 by

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Butch Guice
Colored by: Bettie Breitweiser
Lettered by: VC's Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo
Assistant Editor: John Denning
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch

When Bucky “died” during Fear Itself (which really, now if you look back on it had 0 impact since the two heroes that died, Bucky and Thor, are both going to be among the living again), I was upset. I thought Marvel didn’t know what to do with Bucky now that Steve Rogers was going to be Captain America again. Especially with how Brubaker had ended Bucky’s run as Cap in the pages of Captain America (which I still don’t like, the Gulag story should have been finished), it came across as a way to get Bucky out of the picture.

I should have had faith, after the excellant stories he had written and the love he obviously had for the character, that Brubaker had a plan.

And it’s a good one.

Winter Soldier picks up with the “dead” Bucky, along with his lady-love the Black Widow, hunting down ex-KGB sleeper cells and sleeper agents that Bucky had trained. The Cold War is long over, Russia is no longer the big enemy, but this story only highlights the lengths that the two sides had gone to in the war. Yes, it’s super heroes and fantasy, but it’s easy to suspect that there are KGB sleeper cells across the US, just like there are US cells across Russia. This is also a good way to start out Bucky’s solo adventures, tying into his past, the past he’s trying to escape.

Bucky is a good character. I like that he just doesn’t say “I was mind controled” and move on. This is a responsible man, the way it should be portrayed. He feels responsible for the actions well under mind control, and he will go out of his way to make up for those actions.

I’ve enjoyed the retconning that Brubaker has done with Bucky and the Black Widow. It makes sense for these two to be connected in their pasts and now their present. Brubaker writes a great relationship between the two. It’s strong, as strong as the Steve Rogers/Sharon Carter relationship, but the Bucky/Natasha has an undercurrent of fun and humor.

I’m not sure where Brubaker can take the character after this arc, but I’d like the series to remain in the underbelly of the Marvel Universe. I said awhile ago that I thought Bucky should have taken over the Secret Avengers as it would have been a natural fit for the character. I still see Bucky taken on those kind of missions and think thats the direction this book should head in.

I’ve always liked Butch Guice’s art. He’s got a unique style, rough, but his women still end up looking beautiful. He’s doing some different stuff in Winter Soldier. It’s closer to the last couple issues of his run on Captain America. The layouts are wild, different angles and with some parts pulled out over the borders. It’s visually interesting. This is how a long time artist remains fresh. Guice has always been one of the better artists out there, and he remains so.

Winter Soldier #1 receives
4.5 out of 5

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