The new arc starts here – although it might be tough to understand what’s happening here if you didn’t read the first 5 issues.
Winter Soldier #6
In the first arc of this new series, Bucky took down two of three Russian sleeper agents he trained way back when, but the remaining stasis-tube dweller is unaccounted for… until about page 5. Leo Novokov has been living on his own, without a handler up until recently, and Leo was in no mood to be handled – so he kills the would be handler. He blames Bucky for not finding him and helping his transition into the new world and his first act is to prove that Bucky is still alive. Jeff Davis, one of Bucky’s replacements, serves this purpose on a small scale – after Leo kills him, he stakes out the crime scene until Bucky shows up and Leo sees Bucky with his own eyes.
It sure does seem like the one bad guy that’s left at the end is always the most deadly. What’s the deal with that? Anyway, I didn’t love the first arc, but things are moving nicely now. For some reason, Ed Brubaker’s writing in this issues just… feels better. Everything is nice and fluid and although the issue isn’t big on action, it’s still a blast to read. I like Michael Lark’s pencils here, but without any complicated situations, it remains to be seen if the weird layout issues from the first arc are going to crop up again.
This arc has bears all the signs of classic Brubaker – Bucky is almost James Bond like as he wanders into facilities, takes out AIM agents and heads on with his mission. I’ve had trouble recommending this book during the first arc, but I think they’ve found the rhythm now. It’s too early to say, but I think they’re about to crank the spy-fantasy dial up to eleven!
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