[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
The Winter Soldier and Sharon Carter have set up a service to extract people from dangerous situations and give them a second chance at life. Bucky was given a miraculous second chance after becoming the Winter Soldier, and now he wants to give that to others. We open up the comic with him helping a police officer in deep with a ring of dirty cops escape town and his corrupt peers.
My boy is back with his own comic at last, even if it’s only a miniseries. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before since joining up with Comicon.com, but Bucky Barnes his my favorite Marvel hero, and I was a bit heartbroken when Jim Zub’s Winter Soldier-led Thunderbolts (I’m also a huge fan of the Thunderbolts) comic didn’t return after Secret Empire.
Also, needless to say, I adored Ed Brubaker and Jason Latour’s Winter Soldier series. Ales Kot’s Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier was interesting and ambitious, but it didn’t quite jive for me. That said, Marco Rudy’s artwork was gorgeous. I quite enjoyed Matthew Rosenberg and Travel Foreman’s Tales of Suspense mini with Bucky and Hawkeye, too.
Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis have Bucky back in the saddle, now absolved by the U.S government for his help in fighting Hydra. He wants others to have second chances too, and he’s giving that through this pseudo-witness protection operation.
That’s an interesting starting point for Bucky, and it taps into the core of his post-Winter Soldier character. He’s a fighter with a lot of guilt, but he still wants to make the world a better place.
Sharon Carter plays a surprisingly large roll in this first issue, and I’m not going to complain. It’s always nice to see Agent 13.
The ending twist is interesting, and I look forward to seeing where that twist takes the story.
Rod Reis’ artwork brings a nice mixture of fleshed-out and grounded environmental details and characters off-set by surrealist sequences and interesting set-dressing via the paneling. It’s a great look, and it works for the tone and Bucky himself more often than not. The dynamic color work is quite good and eye-catching too.
Winter Soldier #1 did not disappoint this long-time Bucky fan. The premise is interesting, it reads like a faithful rendition of Bucky, and the art is damn good. There are some oversights in the story, namely why Bucky doesn’t also try to shut down some of these criminal organizations too, but the spirit of the tale still works regardless. In any case, this one still gets a recommendation. Give it a read.
Winter Soldier #1 comes to us from writer Kyle Higgins, artist and cover artist Rod Reis, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, and variant cover artists Bill Sienkiewicz and Butch Guice with Frank D’Armata.