A face from the past returns at a pivotal time in RJ’s deprogramming. But is his return too good to be true? Or is Bucky just being paranoid? What lengths is he willing to go to keep RJ safe? An issue filled with shocking choices.
Usually when one starts a comic series at issue #3, you can pick things up pretty easily. That’s still the case here, but with the added caveat that this is third of five issues (which I wasn’t aware of until I started reading). Needless to say, I haven’t read the first two issues.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the comic.
A lot of what I needed to know was given to me from the recap page, and the rest through a wordy therapy session or two in the opening to the comic. It had the effect of bringing me up to speed without needlessly overburdening those who had read the other two issues with too much exposition.
The issue itself has a lot more emotional and psychological weight than physical threat level (though there is an interesting sequence in the comic, but more on that later) as Kyle Higgins digs into the damaged psyche of the Winter Soldier. Redemption stories have always been some of my favourite, and Higgins peels back a layer or two to make some revelations into Bucky’s mind; it’s nothing overly ground breaking or original, but it is teased out slowly and done very well (there’s a chance that it’s a much better reveal if you’ve read the first two issues).
The plot of the comic isn’t overly complex, and ties right into Bucky’s desire to give folks a new life after escaping from or moving on from a life of crime; it’s a concept that I really enjoy and hope that it’s expanded upon after this series (that it comes from Kyle Higgins doesn’t surprise me – his Image series C.O.W.L. also had a great central concept).
Rod Reis has an almost whimsical style in this issue; the art feels light, but easy to follow. There is a brilliant double page spread, although the effect was lost a little in the review copy I imagine it’ll be fantastic in print, and an action sequence that follows that’s also visually very impressive. You’ll be looking at those pages for sometime as you absorb the details.
Starting a five issue miniseries in the middle is never ideal, but with Winter Soldier #3 it is more than doable. This is a really fun and enjoyable comic with some not so subtle questions about the nature of redemption.
Story: Kyle Higgins Art: Rod Reis Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy (but maybe start with #1)