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(The Winter Soldier, #1-#14)
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Butch Guice and Michael Lark
No one stays dead in comics except Jason Todd, Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes. That was a classic saying for many comic fans and now we have amended it. Bucky Barnes remained in the grave for sixty years after his death in the original Captain America stories, and when word got out he was returning in 2005, many were outraged. That anger was soon quelled and it is thanks to his handling by Ed Brubaker that we now have one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel Universe and MCU.
When Ed Brubaker brought Bucky back, it wasn’t through the usual means that we have come to recognize and it wasn’t a common resurrection. Bucky came back as an assassin for the Soviets, an urban legend, and deeply damaged. When he took over the role of Captain America upon Steve Rodgers death, he was a very different Captain America and one who struggled with the things he had done.
When The Winter Soldier solo series launched, Bucky found himself teamed up with his old flame, The Black Widow, to deal with the sins of his past. It is a story that details much of what Bucky was doing in the time he was thought dead, but also his attempts to come to terms with the orders he carried out. A story that doesn’t question if he should feel guilty for what he did while brainwashed, but simply accepts that he must atone for the sins of his past.
The story is high espionage at its finest while also tying in familiar elements of the Marvel Universe such as Doctor Doom and the occasional support of fellow heroes like Hawkeye, Wolverine, and Captain America. The Winter Soldier solo series serves as the stale beer spy story of the Marvel Universe and doesn’t shy from showing how villainous the protagonist had once been, but rather embracing that Bucky is a man with much to atone for and may never fully forgive himself for what he has done.
Whether or not we get a Winter Soldier solo film is unknown currently, but if you are looking to read more about the assassin who scared even Black Widow, I cannot suggest highly enough Ed Brubaker’s The Winter Soldier.
Nick Ramirez is The Geekiverse’s Marvel expert, aka “Nicky Marv.” Follow him on Twitter.
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