Comic Corner: Falcon & Winter Solider #3

Previously- Criminal Sanity #6|Coming soon- Falcon & Winter Soldier #4

Falcon & Winter Soldier #3 was written by Derek Landy, with art by Federico Vincentini. The colours are by Matt Milla, and letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna.

What do you need to have read?
This is a short 5-issue series that can be read on its own. This book is great at giving you a paragraph or two recapping what has happened so far. If you are here because you’re a fan of Bucky in particular, then I would recommend Winter Soldier: Second Chances, for some extra background. However, there’s no pressure.

What do you need to know?
When a member of Sam’s vet support group, Sally McKenzie, and Bucky’s ex-handler, Veronica Eden, go missing the two team up to look for them. They have been attacked by The Natural, a young HYDRA protegee who kicked both their assess, and survived a train full of HYDRA assassins. They learn from Baron Zemo that both he, and another person are vying for leadership of HYDRA. Zemo gives them the address of The Natural’s parents.

Cover of issue #3 shows three captain Americas. The first one, presumably Steve stands in front. Behind his left shoulder is Falcon/Sam Wilson Cap, and behind his right is Bucky/Winter Soldier Cap. Both Bucky and Sam look to be attacking Steve with their shields.

We pick up where the previous issue left off at the home of the Natural’s parents, who just so happen to be crazy into Captain America. If you thought they looked like fans outside of their house, wait till you see what they’ve got going on inside. It is pretty insane. As people, they seem almost too normal. I suspected they might have been training him into a mini–Captain America but, it seems that his moniker is apt, and he is naturally talented.

While Sam and Bucky drink some tea out of Captain America teacups, under the shadow of one of multiple Cap statue, this one going head-to-head with Red Skull, they could not look more uncomfortable. It is understandable, as they have both grown into their identities far more than when they wore the Captain America mantle. At the house, it is a psychological discomfort, but it is also translated into a physical discomfort when they both put on Captain America costumes/uniforms in the following scene. Their discomfort is also comical, considering that they were more comfortable fighting a tarin full of HYDRA assassins in the previous issue.

One of my favourite things about this series is how brilliant the banter between Sam and Bucky is. Full credit to the writing of Derek Landy. If the TV show doesn’t have banter as good as this, then, I will be a little disappointed. The banter has a lovely flow that adds to the book overall, rather than feeling it is an afterthought. Landy gives them these reoccurring comments, such as Bucky’s claim that the first fight with The Natural being a warmup. It builds up Bucky’s personality in addition to making the relationship between him and Sam feel familiar. I love that the relationship has this I-kind-of-hate-you-but-not-really vibe and think that it works so well for these two characters in particular. Especially because in a way they are only friends because they have a mutual friend in Steve.

Two Captain Americas meet their ultimate foe: chafing.

Bucky and Sam find The Natural where his parents said they would find him. The Natural seems to be under the impression that HYDRA used to be the bad guys but is looking at rebranding themselves. In my experience, and I’m sure in Bucky’s too, a benevolent HYDRA is not something I see happening. It is also a chance to get to know him a little more, and the book makes an effort to establish him as a kid. He jokes at quips and has a dig at Hawkeye, which we love to see. Bucky’s reaction to this, ‘Heh. Yeah’, is notable because he has a mini-series with Hawkeye. Despite his awesome skills, he’s just a kid at heart. He’s idealistic in a way not dissimilar to Steve, which may warm Sam and Bucky to him. They make an effort to change his mind because they see that he isn’t evil he’s just misguided.

While The Natural ducks out, Bucky and Same are left to take on a group of HYDRA goons. In the previous issue, I was obsessed with the fighting montage on the train, and while this is different, it is just as fun. Landy incorporates that banter so that Sam and Bucky can play off one another and build depth into their character during what would be a pretty standard sequence. The HYDRA goons are more interesting than usual. The colourist has given them this green uniforms that remind me of grasshoppers, as opposed to the duller sage green we usually see in modern Cap books. This comparison in emphasise by the yellow lensed goggles and yellow gloves. It’s also fun that they talk to our heroes, not enough to interrupt the dialogue between Sam and Bucky but the willingness of one to talk to them humanises them. They’re not just an army of nameless, faceless goons, they feel fear like any person. It is not very often that I find a fight with HYDRA good especially exciting but this team manages to pull it off.

Panel shows Bucky and Sam in Captain america costumes gifting HYDRA goons. 
Dialogue reads as follows.
Bucky: Some of us aren't too keen on the group therapy thing.
Sam: And some of us recognise that healing is different for everyone.
Bucky + Sam+ Group therapy = Chaos.

However, Landy is not the only one to be lauded because I want to take a moment to talk about this art. I have already expressed my admiration and love for it, and I may be repeating myself, but I cannot help it. The art feels fresh, but there are allusions to the traditional pop-art-style comic book. It just puts a smile on my face, and I have the best time looking at it. The book has a great team working on it and, we should all be grateful.

The end of the book packs a bit of a punch as we The Natural is persuaded to betray his HYDRA friends, and we find out the other person who is vying for HYDRA leadership. The final page is a full-page panel of Veronica Eden, Bucky’s missing ex-handler. Not only does she look like a fun character, and I can’t wait to see more, it also makes us ask some questions about Bucky. While he no longer works under her, we don’t know how long she has had this link to HYDRA. I am so excited to see if Bucky has had some involvement in HYDRA that he was not previously aware.

Falcon & Winter Soldier #3 is available from Comixology, or your local comic book store.

Alternatively you can read the whole series in Falcon & Winter Soldier: Cut off One Head, available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic books store.

Coming Soon… Falcon & Winter Soldier #4

In the meantime, why not check out… Falcon & Winter Soldier #1, Winter Soldier: Second Chances, or Batman: The Adventures Continue #1.

2 thoughts on “Comic Corner: Falcon & Winter Solider #3

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s