Over the past few years, the Winter Soldier has been popping up here and there despite being “dead.” Most recently, after starring in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ in the spring, Bucky Barnes appeared in the limited series ‘Winter Soldier: The Bitter March’ and in the ensemble book ‘All-New Invaders’ alongside his World War II teammates. However, it had been quite some time since Cap’s former sidekick starred in his own solo ongoing title. But now that all changes when the one-time Soviet assassin takes center stage in the brand new book titled ‘Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier.’
Spinning out of the events in ‘Original Sin,’ Bucky has taken Nick Fury’s place as the “man on the wall.” It has fallen upon him to protect the entire Marvel Universe from threats that they cannot see. Although, he’s seeking the help of former S.H.I.E.L.D. director and fugitive Daisy Johnson AKA Quake to be his partner in his new endeavor, as well as taking advantage of his former contacts in order to defend our world to the best of his ability.
After finishing the issue, the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Ales Kot’s writing and Marco Rudy’s artwork is weird. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because the first issue shows that there is so much potential for this series to be great. For starters, I’m really glad that Quake is being used. As someone who has been jumping around from book to book over the past few years, I feel like this series will give her the opportunity to shine. Also, seeing Bucky apply his many skills to a whole new avenue of threats could prove to be very exciting.
However, issue one did jump around a bit too much, which made a few things confusing. For instance, when Namor appeared, it was out of nowhere. And during that scene, Bucky almost reverted to his WWII self because the tone changed from the hardened superspy at the beginning of the book to a wisecracking superhero. This didn’t seem to be a problem when I read Kot’s work previously, so hopefully things get ironed out in the coming issues since there’s plenty to like about his latest project.
In terms of the art, Rudy’s work reminds me of vintage science fiction novel covers or movie posters. Ralph McQuarrie’s work on ‘Star Wars’ comes to mind immediately, but some pages are reminiscent of ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Buck Rogers.’ It’s almost as if each splash page should be framed and hung in a gallery without the word bubbles. Although, some panels are so intricately detailed that they might be distracting to the story. It also makes me wonder how long it takes to produce a comic done in this style. I hope that it’s not met with delays down the line.
As I said, ‘Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier’ has a great amount of potential. We’re going to see this character taken to places and put into situations that we’ve never seen him in before, but it remains to be seen if that’s a good or bad thing. The Winter Soldier is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe, so that’s enough to keep me on board for issue two, but it’s an added bonus that the writing and the artwork is so interesting. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t move from good weird to bad weird as the series progresses.
BUCKY BARNES: THE WINTER SOLDIER #1
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Marco Rudy