(*this review originally appears in Bob’s Threat Level Wednesday for Oct 01, 2014)
Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #1
w. Ales Kot
a. Marco Rudy
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because, Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier, replacing Nick Fury as the Man on the Wall (the Spy-Assassin-Adventurer role Fury kept secret for decades, killing Monsters, Aliens and Demons that threatened Earth, but were beyond the likes of super-heroes to handle) is not only a perfect fit story and continuity wise, but a smart character move for him as well.
Getting the Winter Soldier out from Cap’s shadow for the time being, while simultaneously making him a linchpin in the overall comic side of the Marvel Universe, we’ll get to explore sides of the character not seen before, against a backdrop we rarely capture them in, yet alone so immersed.
I really enjoyed the Original Sin mini-series event (as I do any Aaron book, see below) and I’m glad that someone is following through on the events that brought us to Bucky’s current position in the MU.
Now, after inheriting this mantle from Fury, Bucky has some tough choices to make, and big shoes to fill. Realizing Fury’s mistake in working alone, Bucky recruits Daisy Johnson, former acting Director of SHIELD and Fury’s handpicked successor in all things super-spy,to tag along on his new earth-protecting, universe-hopping, sometime-assassination gig… and convinces her with some Skrull-Thai fusion food.
The intrigue increases as Bucky follows up on an interstellar drug trafficking ring that takes him to the depths of Atlantis and the inevitable team up with Namor. When the two heroes manage to learn who the man, or should I say God, running the ring is…welllll let’s just say…this book gets very interesting very fast.
I’ve dug Lot and Walsh’s take on Secret Avengers, as well as his other works on Suicide Squad and Zero, so I’m completely confident he can pull the spy stuff off, and hope to see the more cosmic side of his writing. He writes a great Bucky, balancing the dark side of his new position with flashes of a fun, more human Bucky, compared to the lonely isolated Nick Fury he replaced.
It was also cool to see Marco Rudy stretch his artistic style. He wowed me in his acid-trippy Marvel Knights Spider-Man miniseries he did with Kindt, displaying his crazy psychedelic layouts, and proved to me a more than competent Horror/Mystic artist with his creepy New Avengers annual dealing with Doc Strange. It was nice to see him try a bit more traditional panel layout, but still keeping his signature style while channeling spy-story master Jim Steranko for inspiration. This book has a solid foundation and endless supply of source material to make it one hell of a fun book. Please give us some of those great Big Bads of Marvel’s Monster Age. I’d love to see Rudy ‘s take on Moomba….. More Moomba!