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Winter Soldier #1 - The Longest Winter, part 1 Review

5

Bucky Barnes is 'dead' but his mission to stop the other sleeper agents is underway. There's plenty of espionage, action and adventure to make you rejoice in the return of the Winter Soldier.

The world thinks Bucky Barnes is dead. Teaming up with Black Widow and going undercover, there's no doubting how exciting this is going to be.

The Good

You have to wonder how far along Ed Brubaker has mapped up Bucky's story. I won't go into what an amazing job he's done in bringing Bucky back, filling in his back story and moving him forward as both a hero and victim of the Cold War. When it seemed he was killed off in FEAR ITSELF, many of us knew that couldn't be the case. Brubaker had invested too much in crafting and evolving Bucky that there was no way the story could be over. Now Bucky has a new mission to take him to places he couldn't go before.

It was in Captain America #619 that we saw the seed planted for this new direction for Bucky. The revelation that there were other sleeper agents that Bucky helped trained left the door open. Obviously Bucky feels responsible for some of it. This isn't something the general public can know. With the world thinking he's dead, he has the perfect cover or as he puts its, "...the best thing about being a dead man...you can do anything you want." That is enough of a set up to put a big smile on my face. With Black Widow by his side, there is plenty of spy-action, romance and undercover elements taking place in some of the darker areas of the Marvel Universe.

Brubaker's script is brilliantly executed by Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser's art and color. Reading this is like getting a comic with a cool filter on it. This doesn't feel like a regular Marvel comic. Having Bucky and Black Widow travel around the dark corners is how this should be. In order for Bucky to have the perfect cover, the world needs to believe he's dead. Unless he's going to start wearing a mask, they will have to be extra careful or be sure to deal with any loose ends along the way. The idea of hidden enhanced agents of mass destruction floating around is a cool and scary idea. Seeing Bucky's thoughts about what it must have been like frozen between missions adds to who he is and what he's been through. Even though the idea of Bucky as the Winter Soldier feels like it was explored long ago in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA, it feels like there is still plenty to be said.

The Bad

This is what I want to see done with Bucky Barnes. There are three sleeper agents he's looking for. Hopefully there will be more than enough story to tell while searching for those three. I'd love to see this series carry on for a long while but eventually a different story line will have to come up. How long can Bucky operate with the world thinking he's dead? Let's not worry about that for now.

The Verdict

Ed Brubaker laid out the groundwork for this new direction for Bucky. Getting "killed" during FEAR ITSELF was the best thing that could have happened. His time as Captain America was a great read but after his years as the Winter Soldier, espionage should now be where he excels. With a story that started in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA, Bucky (along with Black Widow at his side) are on the hunt for other sleeper agents he helped train. The colorful costumes are gone and now it's time to go undercover. We should be visiting new and different areas in the Marvel Universe. Brubaker is joined by the perfect creative team with Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser perfectly capturing the mood this book deserves. The series is off to a great start and if you're not already sold on this direction, you will be by the time you finish the first issue.

This issue is on sale Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

25 Comments
Posted by Gordo789

Do want! I loved Bucky as cap, but I agree he should be Winter Soldier full time.

Posted by Aeroman

definitely getting this one thank you for bringing him back

Posted by Morgaine_Levesque

I've already pulled this. There's no way I'm not reading it. This review just gives me the validation that it was a good idea. I'm so impressed with Brubaker's scope of writing. This guy handles cosmic war stories dealing with entire teams and civilizations just as well as he handles more homey stuff in Captain America. It's truly impressive.

Posted by Mucklefluga

I was gonna buy this but then i saw the cover for one of the future issues which had a gorilla holding a gun. This put me straight off it as i was hoping for a more realistic book.

Posted by The Poet

hmm...does look interesting...

Moderator
Posted by Bestostero

really looking forward to this title

Edited by CombatSpoon86

The fact this book is an Ed Brubaker Bucky book that isn't a 3.99 book is a match made in heaven for me :)

Posted by Ganthetsward20

Its on my pull list, but i wont get to pick anything up for a couple of weeks because of financial reasons, but I'm really looking forward to it!!

Posted by WildStyle

Was there any doubt this wasn't going to be good? Looking forward to this.

Posted by zackattack529

what should i read before i read this??

Edited by katanalauncher

@zackattack529 said:

what should i read before i read this??

Brubaker's entire run on Captain america, and the issue in fear itself where bucky "died."

Posted by ReVamp

I'm getting this, reading it, reviewing it and blogging on it. Bet yo asses on that sh*t. Bucky freackin' Barnes. God bless you Brubaker.

Posted by ThexX

@ReVamp said:

I'm getting this, reading it, reviewing it and blogging on it. Bet yo asses on that sh*t. Bucky freackin' Barnes. God bless you Brubaker.

This

Posted by RainEffect

@ReVamp said:

I'm getting this, reading it, reviewing it and blogging on it. Bet yo asses on that sh*t. Bucky freackin' Barnes. God bless you Brubaker.

My love for you has reached yonder heavens.

It is literally impossible for me to be more pumped than I already am for this. The thing I am actually excited about most is the romance between James and Natasha. I've missed that so much. Brubaker writes both of them so incredibly well.

Posted by iaconpoint

Looks so good, but I'm so out on Marvel because of the endless "events". Guess I'll pick it up in trade.

Posted by fred9101

What??? Bucky Barnes is dead??

Posted by blur1528

This will be my favorite book. I can see that already.

Posted by Teerack

I'm excited about this Winter Solider's first volume was amazing. I wonder how long everyone will think Bucky is dead. I mean eventually everyone is bound to find out. At least hero wise. IDK or care about the public of the marvel universe tho.

Posted by ReVamp

@RainEffect said:

@ReVamp said:

I'm getting this, reading it, reviewing it and blogging on it. Bet yo asses on that sh*t. Bucky freackin' Barnes. God bless you Brubaker.

My love for you has reached yonder heavens.

It is literally impossible for me to be more pumped than I already am for this. The thing I am actually excited about most is the romance between James and Natasha. I've missed that so much. Brubaker writes both of them so incredibly well.

Damn right, I'd buy the book just for the Barnes-Natasha dialogue. I'm getting much more though.

Posted by BoOMbOoMpOw

Awesomee !!!!!! :D I can`t wait to read this and I`m very excited about Ed brubaker writing Natasha and Bucky :D

Posted by sweetesttoaster

Can I still jump on even though I haven't read any of the Captain America stuff?

Posted by saoakden

Bucky as Winter Soldier again, sweet! Should be a great series.

Posted by longbowhunter

Pretty good start. Story and art were great. My only complaint is some of the angles for the action panels were confusing. I couldnt tell up from down alot of the time.

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Posted by mynameis7

i just bought this and had a question, do i need much of a back story to really get into this or is this a stand alone maybe...i read detective comics #6 first but if anyone can send me an answer i would appreciate it...thanks!

Posted by CombatSpoon86

@mynameis7:

Your good. All you need to know is Bucky didn't die in Fear Itself. This is a perfect stand alone for you.