Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Winter Soldier #1
Brubaker, Guice & Breitweiser
Bucky is back as the Winter Soldier in this launch of what could be considered a Captain America franchise book. If you are familiar with any of Ed Brubaker’s writing, specifically his work on Captain America, then you know exactly what to expect from this book. Brubaker provides the same level of cloak and danger story set in the James Bond-like world of international politics and intrigue. The artwork is a bit of a different approach from what you may expect from Guice as he uses more of a photo-realistic approach for this book. Overall, I liked the book but I ultimately felt that this was all ground we’ve seen covered before. However, if you want more spy stories then you will love this book.
Bucky is out on his own as the Winter Soldier. Bucky is out to stop some old school Soviets from creating more Winter Soldiers. However, Bucky is not actually alone as his girlfriend, Black Widow, is along for the ride. Bucky, runs into some trouble at the end of the book which sets up a very interesting plot development for future issues.
Brubaker’s style in these books is to use a lot of inner monologue to get the reader into the protagonist’s head. We learn about Bucky’s past, about his fears and we can follow his thought process as he investigates the Winter Soldier program. The downside to this style is that the secondary characters are reduced to sounding boards that we learn very little about. The other aspect of this style that is worth noting is that the plot develops as if you are the lead character which is a good way to lay out the story but if you, as the reader, like to know more than the lead character you may be out of luck.
Guice takes an approach to this book that the reader is looking through an old photo album. This is artistic look makes the book feel like an old spy movie and definitely fits in with the noir look that Brubaker generally leans towards. The flip side to this is that the artwork makes everything seem dreary that you get the feeling that death surrounds all of the characters all the time. It comes across as slightly depressing. Overall, I think if you like the photo-realistic style then you will be very pleased with what you find here.
I liked this book but didn’t fall in love with it. Mostly because I felt like too much of this story had been told in a similar flavor in the pages of Captain America. Sure, the details are different but for the most part I felt like I had already read this book. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a good work because it is. I am also sure that this book will take twists that previous arcs never took which is what you come to expect from Brubaker. I think if you enjoyed Brubaker’s stories of Bucky before and you like spy stories then this is the book for you.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles