ADVANCE REVIEW: Winter Soldier #1

Winter Soldier #1 from MarvelWinter Soldier #1

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice

32 pages / Full Color / $2.99

Marvel Comics

When Ed Brubaker replaced Steve Rogers with James Barnes in the pages of Captain America, he set himself up for something of a dilemma. Everyone knew Steve would be back behind the shield one day soon, but in the meantime Bucky’s tenure as Cap– growing into the role, living up to the mantle– was more compelling to some readers than Captain America had been in ages. While no one was exactly sad to see Steve Rogers come back, there were those of us who weren’t ready to see Bucky go just yet.

Luckily for those readers, that Captain America creative team has been transplanted along with Bucky into a “new” book. Whether or not you will enjoy Winter Soldier depends entirely on how you felt about Captain America a couple of years ago. If you liked that, you will like this. It is essentially one Falcon short of being the same book.

This is not a complaint. It’s a relief.

The story focuses on Bucky’s attempt to clean up the Soviets’ abandoned sleeper agent program, to make sure there are no more little Winter Soldiers running around. Treating human beings like they’re loose nukes is an interesting approach to the story, although you may be left eagerly awaiting the day when writers realize there is no Soviet Union anymore. Twenty years on, how many KGB agents could there possibly be who watched Perestroika happen and said, “News, shmews. I’m going to keep guarding this sub-basement until the checks stop cashing”?

As for the art, Butch Guice and colorist Bettie Breitweiser appear to have quite a few new tricks up their sleeves. The art seems to have a more painterly quality than in years past, and Guice appears to have gone to the Alex Maleev School for Photoreferencing since the last time we saw him. Black Widow in particular always looks like a posed model, while Bucky always looks drawn “from scratch,” giving the whole thing a kind of mash-up quality. I found it to be a pleasant surprise, but it is well known that this style has its detractors; if you’re one of them, consider yourself forewarned.

All in all, it’s nice to have the Winter Soldier back. Fans of his heyday will not be disappointed.

Story: 4 / Art: 4 / Overall: 4

(Out of 5 Stars)


  1. I’m excited to see the Winter Soldier’s return. Brubaker did such a fantastic job with Bucky’s return. Hopefully, he will continue to do so with this new book.

  2. Trying this out (first 2 issues at least). I’ve dropped the other Cap books, as I’ve gradually lost interest in their storylines.

  3. As Winter Soldier fighting Steve, and eventually becoming a vital partner, I enjoyed his story. I wasn’t a fan when he took over the Cap mantle, but knew it wasn’t permanant. However, he sort of wore out his welcome for me.

    I’m intrigued about his past, but not so much as to spend 3.99 exploring that past monthly. I got enough of that in the Cap books.

    • I’m glad (and actually pretty surprised) to see that this book is priced at $2.99

    • You’re correct. I now remember being surprised when I saw that Marvel put out another 2.99 book. I keep thinking they’re going to pull the rug out from under us and charge 3.99 when we least suspect it. It doesn’t really matter. I’m at my limit at this time. I was interested in this book several months ago, before I burned out on the now-uninteresting Cap-type intrigue/thrill books. But with a new Kirkman book and a Vaughn book coming out? Bye bye Bucky. (bye bye to Cap books for that matter)

      yes, bitter party of one.

  4. When you say it’s like Captain America from a couple of years ago, do you mean back when Bucky was the Winter Soldier or back when he was Captain America… because depending on your answer, i’ll either pick this up or pass on it.

  5. Really looking forward to this.

  6. I’m very excited to check this out. I hope that they keep the stories to the periphery of the Marvel U and treat this more as an espinage story.