The end of the first arc of a book that seemed to have so much promise, but the results are lacking.
Winter Soldier #5
Hot on the heels of Lucia, James, Natasha and Dr. Doom arrive at the secret missile silo that she has gained control of with the intent of launching the nukes at the United States. Natasha and Doom keep the Red Ghost’s primate brigade busy while James heads deeper into the compound and bypasses the Red Ghost’s attempt to slow him down. James is then confronted by one of the other Winter Soldiers that he trained way back when, who only makes a half hearted attempt to stop him, and then makes no attempt to get out of the way of James’ throwing knife, which apparently kills him. Doom takes down Lucia in his own fashion, horrifying Natasha, but despite Nat’s reaction, she’s not dead. James finds that the missiles were never set to launch in the first place, meaning the Red Ghost disobeyed Lucia orders, which is strange. One final Winter Soldier is still unaccounted for, but the primary threat has been neutralized. Later, SHIELD is able to learn the location of the KGB agent who sold the Winter Soldier activation codes and James kills him. Still later, Lucia reveals that she never had access to the final missing Winter Soldier and doesn’t know anything about him. “He could be anywhere…”
And so ends the first arc of Winter Soldier, and I have say, I’m disappointed or confused on several fronts. Let’s break it down.
Maybe it’s not the art; maybe it’s just the layout, but am I the only person who has a hard time trying to follow what the hell is going on in this book during some action scenes? Things are just all over the place and I don’t know where to look or in what order to look at it. Breaking with convention is fine, coming up with your own style is fine, telling a story without words is fine – but not at the expense of comprehension.
I’m kinda shocked at how uninterested I was in the story. I mean, this is Ed FREAKING Brubaker we’re talking about. What the hell happened? The lack of development on the new Winter Soldiers made them totally uninteresting and interchangeable. I don’t know which one James killed this issue (I guess he killed him; it wasn’t entirely clear), and it doesn’t matter. Why didn’t Red Ghost fire the missiles? I have no idea. What did Red Ghost have to gain from this in the first place? Was Lucia just out for revenge against Doom? I have no idea.
Why is the book called Winter Soldier?
I guess it refers to James… but the logo has the Soviet hammer and sickle on it, so does it refer to the other Winter Soldiers? If it refers to James, why not have the star on his arm in the logo he replaced the hammer and sickle with? If it refers to the other Winter Soldiers, shouldn’t Brubaker start developing their characters at some point? Wait, there’s only one left now, right?
I love Brubaker, but this is below his standards. Maybe the next arc will improve the book, but if this was anyone but Bru, I’d pack it in.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|tone||layout, some story points|
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