Comic Review: Winter Soldier Vol. 1 The Longest Winter

WinterSoldier 1 CoverDelOttoVariant Comic Review: Winter Soldier Vol. 1 The Longest Winter

Yes I’m back for another review and this time its off the first volume of Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice.  Now Brubaker is single handedly the man that made me love Captain America.  His work on the character has been interesting but none of it would be possible if not for Bucky Barnes AKA Winter Soldier AKA my new favorite Marvel character.

Now I want to get the bad out of the way first so I can focus on the stuff that really worked.  While I did read the original Winter Soldier story by Brubaker, I have NOT read the rest of his run.  But I thought since this was a new ongoing I could just jump in without needing to read the rest…. that’s not true…..

First of all what didn’t work for me was this whole Cold War theme, I know that Winter Soldier is heavily tied into that but that’s a period that’s never really interested me and I find the whole generic russian bad guy thing a miserable cliche at this point.  That’s not a fault of the book that’s just personal taste so you can ignore this point entirely if you don’t agree with me.

But what really didn’t work was the fact that you needed to read a lot of the past Brubaker stuff to understand this and then some. First Fury makes reference to him leading a team into Latveria to take down Dr. Dooms replacement.  I guess this is Secret War because I heard a similar story in Marvel Ultimate Alliance.  I was just confused by the fact that Doom wasn’t the leader of Latveria for a while and was like….. where did he go then? Was he dead? Was he a good guy? I don’t know and the book never bothered to tell me these things.

And the last negative of the book is that while Black Widow is well written dialogue wise and her romance with James is definitely one of the better romances I’ve seen in a while, I just felt like she didn’t do enough.  She kicked some guys, back flipped alot.  In the end, didn’t really get any big OMG moment like Bucky or even Doom got.

Now that that’s out of the way, I really enjoyed this book.  Sure you could say I hate it from the stuff I said before.  Honestly despite those issues this was a really good book, what I immediately liked after reading is how the cross over with FF matters.

I have constantly complained about the Avengers showing up in books where they either have no business being or they’re there…. because Marvel decided it would be cool? But Doom’s appearance here matters as a large part of the endgame revolves around him helping Bucky and Natasha to stop the start of a new world war.

It is created for a good story purpose and it makes the story better, this is how cross overs should be done in every Marvel book.

I also enjoyed the whole American good guy vs Russian bad guy thing/cliche was turned on its head.  Bucky lived with these sleeper agents, he knew them and they were his friends back in the good old days, but now he has to stop them not just to save the world but also to redeem himself.  He also tries to reason with them because he still sees them as his friends and he doesn’t want to kill them.

I found this a good twist on a cliche that just makes me want to bash my face on the keyboard most of the time.

Also I’m glad that this movie accepted the silliness of comic books.  For instance there is a gorilla trained to be a killer with a gattling gun, a jetpack and he only knows three words in Russian, DEATH TO AMERICA! How is that not awesome! A story that easily could have just been some pseudo realism soldier story and it does start out like that, it quickly becomes a blend of the two and it isn’t scared to do some ridiculous things.  I like that it wasn’t over or under used.

While I do have some issues, Winter Soldier Vol.1 is one of those books you just gotta read, sure your enjoyment may vary depending on your Winter Soldier knowledge or your thoughts on the Cold War, but this is still a great book that you should check out.

Final Verdict: B+

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