Winter Soldier #1 hits your local comic book store on December 5 with a great setup and an over the top cliffhanger.
The book is written by Kyle Higgins with art by Rod Reis and letters by Clayton Cowles. Winter Soldier #1 is an excellent introduction to the character, as Higgins hits the ground running with a new story but feeds you enough information so you know Bucky’s backstory. Reis’ artwork is what makes Winter Soldier #1 a MUST READ; the Bill Sienkiewicz influence really stand out on several pages.
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The A-Team.
The above script is from the A-Team, but it works to describe the plot of Winter Soldier #1. Where the plot deviates is with Higgins’ focus on redemption. Bucky is a broken hero and will forever try to repent for his sins. Higgins understands this is a Marvel Comic book and there are lighthearted moments, but when the story gets dark, it gets dark. The book has the feel of a Nightwing or Daredevil title. Heroes you love, but you know they’re destined to be beaten down because of their moral compass.
As mentioned above, Reis’ art is brilliant. It’s a style that’s extremely appealing to me as it’s both modern and retro-experimental all at the same time (my head exploded coming up with the adjective). When the bullets fly in this issue, you’ll get ripped apart by the emotion on the faces of the people being shot. The violence is raw, and Reis’ work becomes unpolished, but it works for the action. The final page is a cliffhanger, and Reis does his best John Romita Jr. impression, and the angle of the panel is perfect to put you in the point of view of Bucky. Clayton Cowles does a great job with the lettering of the book, complimenting Reis’ retro-experimental style in the action sequences too.
Overall, Winter Soldier #1 is a must-read because of its self-contained narrative and intimate artwork by Reis.
Are you going to add Winter Soldier to your pull list? Comment below, and thank you for reading.