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Captain America #619 - Gulag, Part 4 Review

4

Bucky Barnes is still in the Russian gulag and Black Widow doesn't want to leave him to rot. How will Bucky's decisions affect her and Steve Rogers?

Bucky's a pitfighter in an Siberian gulag, Black Widow shows some amazing resourcefulness and the winds of change are upon the players in the Captain America universe!

The Good

Bucky's prison setence carried the right amount of drama without being overblown; it shows how serious of a soldier he is that he never lost hope during his entire stay in a Gulag. I think it's a great example of his chararacter, and a testament to his will.

Black Widow's "one night operation" monologue was great, too. Her trips around society in order to get the items she needs for a jailbreak. I know this might sound silly, but I'm always really interested in the preparation for operations like this; it's cool to see what goes on behind the scenes, logistically.

Chris Samnee's art on the Nick Fury/Steve Rogers backup was a great part of this issue. I was surprised that an artist I associate with light-hearted storytelling could still manage to be so serious.

Having the discussion between the foreign heads of state towards Bucky's future as Cap just tied in everything together: you have action, political intrigue, Black Widow and some awesome pitfighting segments.

I'm a fan of Brubaker bringing old villains back as opposed to creating new ones; it definitely adds something to the book when there's a definite history. Since we know what they're capable of in the past, we don't need to establish their threat in the present.

The Bad

Not much, to be honest. I'm not a fan of the decision to make Steve Rogers Captain America again, but that's an editorial decision, not one associated with this issue. Perhaps there's a column in there, somewhere.

The Verdict

Captain America seems to be one title that remains in the background until events of a major crossover force it into prominence. With the events of Fear Itself #2, that's going to happen once again, as readers will have to deal with the metaphorical changing of the guard. It's sad, however - I was just getting used to Bucky as Captain America, and applauded Marvel with being unafraid to stick Steve in a more bureaucratic role. I guess the statis quo remains constant in the end.

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