Review: Winter Soldier (2018-2019) #5

Previously- Winter Soldier (2018-2019) #4|

This limited run of Winter Soldier (2018-2019) is 5 issues and was written by Kyle Higgins, with art by Rod Reis, and letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles. 

What do you need to know?

In an effort to help RJ, Bucky overstepped now has to pay the price of yet another mistake.  

What do you need to have read?

Honestly if you haven’t read #1-4, why are you here? 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 amazingAs I’ve said before, this is a new story so these completely optional and you should be fine to jump into this issue. 

Cover for #5. Set star in the background, with Bucky and RJ facing off for a fight.

Like last time I have got to talk about this cover first and foremost. Why? Because it feels like such a call back to the cover of Captain America: The Winter Solider, vol. 2, with RJ instead of Steve. This really emphasises the brother vs. brother vibes that this issue has going one. 

Bucky’s now on the left ride, rather than the right, which could hint at the fact that he’s the “good” guy this time around. Although Buck’s go this fist raised its notable that it’s his flesh arm, which, while powerful, is not as lethal as his metal one, minimising the threat. The cover also contrasts nicely with #2, where the two are depicted as a team, very Batman and Robin. 

The plot of this issue really focuses on the fallout from the thing which happens at the very end of the previous issue. We flick Bucky and RJ’s storylines, the tension building, as we wait for them to cross one another once more. It’s a chapter about information, about who has it, and who’s getting it which plays into the power dynamics of the narrative. The tension also helps with the pacing, keeping it moving rapidly as the reader waits for the inevitable. The ending itself was clever, and though not necessarily predictable in some respects it made perfect sense. 

Once again, the use of colour is really interesting, particularly the use of red in order to represent rage and anger. A lot of the red panels really feel point-of-view specific which gives the colour a very personal feel, as though it’s representing the emotions of the character, rather than just colouring a story. I also love the pages of panels without dialogue, this image of JR is particularly gorgeous: 

Panel shows SJ standing next to a car, gun in his hand, while the rain around around him.

Reis really manages to capture the movement of the rain against RJ’s body. It’s pretty clear pathetic fallacy, and I think it’s really effective against a character who so far has been very strong.

Overall the story is a really emotionally driven one and this final issue succeeds in wrapping everything up in terms of these emotional arcs. Bucky learned some valuable lessons which I would love to see him come back to in the future. I think it would be amazing to revisit this story in five, or ten years’ time, to really understand how these events have affected them. 

Winter Soldier #5 is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store. Alternatively, it’s also available as a trade paperback, Winter Soldier: Second Chances from Comixology, Forbidden Planet (affiliate link), Amazon, or your local comic book store. 

In the meantime, why not check out… Winter Soldier #1, Winter Soldier #2, Winter Soldier #3, and Winter Soldier #4

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