As Bucky draws closer to finally making Lady Lotus answer to justice, he recalls lessons he learned from his last encounter with the villainess... all the way back in World War II.
Stern crafts a great heel with Lady Lotus. She isn't a sexy succubus stock character, but a vile controller whose arrogance just reeks off every one of her offensive, though sleekly-worded, monologues. I also enjoyed the sense of hyper-reality he infused the Young Allies' adventures with. These kid commandos are still ludicrous, but you buy them working in this mileau. The portion where Wash breaks free of Lotus' mind-control was a stand-out. Its understated quality made it that much more powerful.
You know, I'd really have to reach to find something to criticize here. Yes, this is sort-of a "miscellaneous" story designed to fill in some gaps in continuity. It isn't going to blow your mind or make you re-evaluate the way you look at superheroes. It's just a good old fashioned adventure story by talents whose skills are well-oiled and finely tuned.
The Verdict - 4/5
As I've said before, I was really against the resurrection of Bucky when the Winter Soldier storyline first rolled out, but his return's actually opened a real wealth of interesting stories. As somebody who's read up on all those original comics, I got special enjoyment seeing those pulpy yarns reconciled with the harder-edge espionage stories of today.