Q: Where does the 800 pound gorilla shoot his automatic weapon? A: Anywhere it wants.
Winter Soldier #2
We find Bucky and Natasha right where we left them; facing off against the aforementioned Gorilla. Once Magilla realizes he’s about to be outflanked, he escapes – via jet pack. How awesome is that? Last issue’s plan to assassinate Dr. Doom predictably falls through and our heroes are left to wonder if they should be more afraid of the bad guys who uses former Soviet super killers to try to assassinate Dr. Doom or, as the case seems to be, the bad guys who realized this plot had no chance of succeeding and are just trying to manipulate him. Although The Red Ghost and Lucia von Bardas have not yet revealed themselves, they’re very much in play during the story. Meanwhile, Bucky remembers more about the three sleeper agents that are under the bad guys’ control, and the tease of their inevitable confrontation sounds promising. Next time, it looks like the baddies have more tricks up their sleeves and will continue to stay at least one step ahead of our heroes.
I can’t say I love the pacing or layout of this issue, but Butch Guice’s art is lovely and is only outdone by Lee Bermejo’s covers. The action is captured in a way that almost reminds me of the closeup/quick editing that plagued Batman Begins, but it’s not a serious issue. I’m enjoying the story, but I’m wondering if they’re not giving Ed Brubaker enough pages per issue to work with… it’s as if he has so much story to tell and he just doesn’t have enough room to get it done.
I like to fancy myself as something of a Captain America expert; after all, I own every issue of every volume (although I am missing some issues of Captain America & The Falcon, but hey, it was the 90s… some brutal stuff came out during this era), but I must admit, I’m not familiar with The Red Ghost and Lucia von Bardas. Maybe I’ve simply forgotten them, maybe they’re not necessarily Cap characters, and while I don’t expect Brubaker to define who Bucky and Natasha are, I could use some more background on who these people are. Nevertheless, their motivations are clear, and that’ll do for now.
Still, Winter Soldier remains a fun read even if this issue ends up being forgettable in the long run. It’s clear Brubaker has a master plan and knows exactly where he’s leading us, and right now I’ll need to be patient as we continue to move there.
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