[**Major Spoilers for Winter Soldier #4 and #5 Ahead!!]
The Winter Soldier accidentally killed RJ’s dad, Richie Boyle, in a back alley altercation. Bucky is terrified to tell RJ, and Bucky calls Sharon Carter for support, advice, and help burying the body. She tells Buck what he doesn’t want to hear; he needs to tell RJ what happened immediately. Meanwhile, RJ is afraid his dad stood him up–or that something happened to him. RJ is paid a visit by Mr. Colt, who is there to make the situation worse.
Winter Soldier #5 brings a tragic end to this miniseries. While I won’t spoil the specifics of what happens in the back half of this comic, I will say that it goes about as poorly as one would expect.
Despite that, it’s a rather beautiful comic. It’s the grim ending to a story of a man who tried to redeem a surrogate son all to like himself despite never learning to forgive himself. All the best intentions in the world won’t necessarily fix the dissonance.
All told, RJ’s actions in this comic are understandable. He’s a broken young man, and his world was just made a little darker. He doesn’t get a proper ending in this book, and that’s honestly appropriate. That said, I hope this won’t be the last time RJ and Bucky cross paths.
Also, damn does the Winter Soldier get the tar beaten out of him over the course of this miniseries.
It’s an emotional tale of fathers and sons being unable to forgive one another or themselves. Kyle Higgins has written a beautiful tale with this one.
Rod Reis does a fantastic job of bringing it all to life too. His ability to wring emotion out of the characters is impeccable, and his ability to blend scenes together is top-notch too. The texture work adds to this atmosphere of a cold and rough world, and his color art contributes well to the same.
Winter Soldier #5 gives this miniseries the beautiful and painful ending it deserves. The tragic life of Bucky Barnes continues to be tragic; we can only hope that the Winter Soldier learns some lessons on the way. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
Winter Soldier #5 comes to us from writer Kyle Higgins, artist and cover artist Rod Reis, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles.