Sunday, 1 December 2013

Comic Review: Winter Soldier, Vol. 1: The Longest Winter by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Butch Guice

He's been Bucky and Captain America - now, James Barnes returns to the role of the Winter Soldier!

They're the super-spies of the Marvel Universe - and when ex-Russian sleeper agents awaken, Bucky and the Black Widow must go on the hunt for men trained by the Winter Soldier himself. But when the trail leads to Latveria, Bucky comes face-to-face with Dr. Doom! Can Bucky and the Widow prevent war with Latveria? Can Bucky stop the sleepers he himself trained? 

The Longest Winter marks the return of Bucky Barnes to the role of Winter Soldier after a brief stint as Captain America.  To be honest I am quite happy to see him back out of the red, white and blue and into something a little darker.  Bucky Barnes has always been a favourite of mine so this series is a must own for me as we get to explore the consequences of his varied past in a little more detail.

For the most part I was not disappointed in this but I would have liked a little more.  Despite my love for Bucky he can at times come across a little bland and that was a bit of an issue here.  He wasn’t interesting enough which was a shame as there was room for a little more depth.  I had hoped that him partnering with Black Widow in this series would blow my mind as she is another comic book character I adore, but I was disappointed to see her reduced to a love interest that did little to further the plot.  She came across as a love sick side kick and that is not where I want this character to go at all.

Despite some issues with characterisation I really did enjoy the political thriller nature of this comic.  The storyline was interesting and did give us more of a glimpse into the past of The Winter Soldier.  It was gripping from beginning to end but really came into its own when Dr Doom showed up, he had personality in spades and some of the brightest moments in this comic came from him.

The illustration was top notch and I really enjoyed the dark setting of the whole thing.  All in all it was a good start to what has the potential to be an awesome series.  I hope that in the future we see a little more depth to Bucky’s character and a little more exploration of his past.

Very entertaining but lacking in depth, The Longest Winter packs some punch but needs more characterisation to become great.

3 stars


Published October 3rd 2012 by Marvel.  Image courtesy of Marvel

Review by Kate Phillips


1 comment:

  1. I agree! I picked this up thinling it was primarily about the Black Widow, but I got a nice introduction to The Winter Soldiee instead. Maybe the graphic novel was just too short, but I agree with you that it was definitely lacking.


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