by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Ed Brubaker, Art by Jackson Guice
Published: July 2012
Issue five of Winter Soldier wraps up the Longest Winter storyline. Bucky and Black Widow have teamed up with Viktor Von Doom to take the Red Ghost, Lucia Von Bardas, and
Dmitri, a Russian soldier trained by Bucky and frozen in a stasis tube, only to wake up and fight his former trainer. I like Ed Brubaker, and I like what he did with the
Captain America title, but Winter Soldier has so far been a little boring, a trend continued in a pretty underwhelming conclusion.
Nothing is particularly bad, but nothing is particularly good, either. The plot has a very James Bond-feel, with secret missile silos and what not, which is cool, but that
isn’t enough to make it compelling. There’s nothing else really going for it, nothing unique or creative to make it stand out, so it all feels like familiar territory.
There are neat touches, such as the Red Ghost’s machine gun-wielding security apes, but it’s the general plot that’s weak, not the details.
Then there’s the characters themselves who are surprisingly bland for Brubaker. Bucky seems like a less-intense Captain America, which makes sense given his history, but
that doesn’t make him an exciting character. Black Widow does her thing, which involves plenty of fighting, but her personality doesn’t bring anything to the issue. Then
there’s Doctor Doom, who should always be a powerful presence, but he’s reduced to a snotty scientist. He has his moments, including a very “anti-hero” moment, but he’s
nowhere near as exciting as he’s been in the past.
I don’t take any joy on bashing Ed Brubaker, but Winter Soldier just isn’t doing it for me. I’m glad Winter Soldier is around. Even though there are similarities between
the characters, Captain America doesn’t have the Cold War vibes that Bucky does. He just needs to find a good story to be in.