Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review: Winter Soldier: Winter Kills
Winter Soldier: Winter Kills tells the story of Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, as he spends his first Christmas as a free man since 1944. For those who don't know (or haven't seen the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie), Bucky was Captain America's sidekick in WWII. A tragic accident caused Bucky to fall to his- or so everyone thought. Turns out (this being comics) that Bucky didn't die- he was found and revived by a secret Soviet program and brainwashed into being a deadly assassin. He and Captain America (who also survived suspended animation) eventually met and Cap used the Cosmic Cube to restore Buck's memories. It happened a little differently in the movie... but same difference. Bucky/ Winter Soldier is now on the side of the angels, and trying to readjust to life in the modern day.
So here Bucky is spending Christmas Eve alone, and wandering the streets of New York City- until he receives a call from Nick Fury, director of SHIELD. Nick needs him to stop the Young Avengers (don't ask) from raiding a HYDRA base and getting in over their heads- he agrees to help but the deal goes down anyway and Bucky leads them in battle. He then goes his own way and we find him at a cemetery, paying his respects to two special people- one a victim of his days as Winter Soldier, the other a comrade in arms from WWII. Bucky and Captain America were part of a team called The Invaders during the second World War, and Bucky is at the grave of Toro, an old friend and one of the founding members.
Namor the Sub- Mariner shows up, and he and Bucky meet face to face for the first time in some years. This to me was the highlight of the story. Bucky asks Namor to tell him how Toro died, and when Namor replies that it's not a short tale, Bucky replies that he really doesn't have anywhere he has to be...
This is a powerful story at the end, although there's probably more of an impact if you know the history of these characters. Having grown up reading the Invaders, I was surprised how affected by it I was. This stuck with me for a while after I read it- what more can you ask?
Winter Soldier: Winter Kills was a one shot comic reprinted in Captain America: Civil War #1. You can read a free digital sample here.