Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 4.2
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Story by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice & Chris Samnee
Cover by Marko Djurdjevic & Gerald Parel

Size: pages
Price: 3.99

Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run has been amazing. It’s been a great mix of top-notch storytelling and high quality artwork. And while I’ve enjoyed the recent “Gulag” story arc, this finale still left me scratching my head.

Black Widow has gone rogue and traveled to Russia in an attempt to free Bucky from his imprisonment in a brutal Russian gulag. Meanwhile after witnessing the greater powers at work within the Gulag, Bucky begins to orchestrate his own escape. While this is going on, Steve Rogers is hard at work trying to clear Bucky’s name.

Even though Brubaker gives us 30 pages of story, this is a pretty fast read. The main “Gulag” story is bookended by two shorter, interconnected ones and together they form a slick cohesive narrative. As always Brubaker has a firm handle of his characters and he writes them wonderfully. As a single book this is a good one but not without some issues.

First, it’s hard to connect with this book considering the events of “Fear Itself”. There is nothing in this issue that reflects the Marvel event at all. Also, you can tell Brubaker had a lot more in mind for Bucky and this story. This is the last issue before the new volume yet there are numerous questions and possible storylines that are left hanging. It also feels like Brubaker was forced to cut his story short. This issue feels a little rushed and the ending is a bit too tidy.

Mitch Breitweiser, Butch Guice, and Chris Samnee each handle the art in this issue. Neither Breitweiser’s or Samnee’s art really stands out or impresses and while Guice’s is the better work, I can only take a little of his dark sometimes blotchy art in one sitting. Bettie Breitweiser’s colors are drab and dreary and while this story almost demands it, the lack of color grows old after a while.

This isn’t a bad issue but it feels disjointed considering the greater events going on in the lives of Bucky, Steve Rogers, and company. It’s rough and gritty and quite entertaining but it’s a letdown that so many questions will remain unanswered.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 2 - Average

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