This limited run of Winter Soldier (2018-2019) is 5 issues and was written by Kyle Higgins, with art by Rob Reis, and letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles.
What do you need to know?
Grateful for the second chance he’s been given Bucky Barnes, ex HYDRA assassin, is now working with Sharon Carter to give other people second chances. New identity, new home, new life, only things aren’t always that easy, and it turns out that someone has been wanting to meet him… and possibly kill him.
What do you need to have read?
As this is #2 I’m going to go out on a limb and recommend you read #1first. If you feel the need for more background then Captain America and Bucky: The Life Story of Bucky Barnes does a pretty good job at covering Bucky’s story, from WWII right the way through to the Winter Soldier. If you like Bucky then you ought to read with Captain America: Winter Soldier, vol. 1 and vol. 2, just because they’re amazing.As I’ve said before, this is a new story so these completely optional and you should be fine to jump into this issue.
The book begins by properly introducing this new character that we saw in the final panel of #1, RJ. In a flashback sequence we get to see his memories which, interestingly enough are in black and white, rather than colour. Not only does this separate the past from the present but it also implies how memories become faded over time. The lack of colour, like Dorothy in Kansas, can also be used to suggest that the character was not enjoying his life at this point. The only colour that is introduced is a dark red which, as you may have guessed, is used to signify blood. This is interesting because it’s the only spot of colour in this memory, whether for good or bad, the blood and the violence that it represents has had a profound effect on this character. Also, it’s pretty gorgeous on the page.
This issue is our first chance to see where the relationship between RJ and Bucky is going to go. The first thing I noticed about RJ was his outfit and it immediately made me think of Bucky in Captain America and Bucky #620.
The similarities are undeniable, and clearly intentional so we know that Bucky is going to see himself in this kid. By drawing these visual parallels, the reader is going to be thinking of Bucky as a kid, so it’s a great way to remind us that RJ is just a kid. Sure, he’s got a knife and can throw a punch, but that’s not who he should be. Bucky acknowledges the resemblance to his old outfit a couple of panels later and I think it’s safe to say that we’re heading for a paternal relationship between the two. This excites me because it’s not a side of Bucky that we often see, despite the fact that he does have the potential to be a great father figure. It’s going to be fantastic to see him in a role with this sort of responsibility and how he handles that in future issues.
For a second issue I think the plot is paced brilliantly as it manages to give us a bit of intro to RJ, while also giving us plenty of action. There are two big fight scenes interspersed with more casual conversation. The action shows us how both Bucky and RJ are physical character, both of whom are threats enough that they can hold themselves in a fight. Neither come across as infallible, which is important when your characters are human, maybe jacked up on super soldier serum but still mortal. I get the feeling that the next issue might be a bit slower, but I have so many questions that I don’t mind that. We’ve had a good dose of action so far that I feel the writer could get away with a whole issue of chit chat.
Winter Soldier #2 is available from Comixology or your local comic book store. Alternatively, it’s also available as a trade paperback, Winter Soldier: Second Chances from Comixology, Amazon, or your local comic book store.
Coming Soon… Winter Soldier #3
In the meantime, why not check out… Winter Soldier #1