by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Ed Brubaker, Art by Michael Lark
Published: August 2012
I wasn’t super crazy about the last issue of Winter Soldier and I said as much in my review of the title. I feel that the plot got a little busy and there wasn’t enough excitement to match the amount of stuff going on. Winter Soldier issue 07 doesn’t have this problem. It’s the beginning of a new arc – more specifically, the prologue. Bucky and company are tracking down the missing sleeper agent that everyone expected to surface during the course of events of the last arc. The issue cuts back and forth, telling the story of the missing sleeper, Novokov, and Winter Soldier’s attempts to track him down.
Novokov’s story is a gripping tale of science gone wrong. He was in stasis, just like Bucky himself before he re-emerged as the Winter Soldier. Except when Bucky was awoken, there was a process to it, involving the slow administration of certain chemicals. Novokov doesn’t get that luxury. An earthquake strikes, tearing apart the building his stasis tube is housed in and giving him a rude awakening. He has no knowledge of who is aside from small drips of memory that make their way through the cracks of his altered mind. There are obvious similarities to the Bourne Identity, though I don’t think the idea of a spy with a wiped memory is all that new.
It’s an engaging story because the complexities aren’t in the plot but rather in the characters. The plot itself is incrediblely straightforward: find Novokov. What sort of threat he poses and why isn’t as simple. Brubaker excels at this sort of complex, character-driven material. It’s cold war storytelling at its finest, with a bit of science fiction thrown in to help it fit comfortably in the realm of comic books. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this story unfold and I can’t wait to see what Brubaker does with Novokov.