Review – Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel Comics)

Winter Soldier #1
  • Writing - 8.8/10
  • Art - 7.8/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)


Writer: Kyle Higgins

Artist: Rod Reis

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Maturity Rating: Teen +

Release: December 5, 2018

The Winter Soldier has done some terrible things and Bucky Barnes has spent a lifetime trying to erase those sins. Though he has found his redemption he cannot forget, and now hopes to help others break away from their past.


“Am I Evil?”


James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes is a superhero, former American WW2 soldier, and a former Captain America sidekick known as The Winter Soldier. He is also the former brainwashed super soldier brought from stasis at different eras of time to kill, assassinate, and destroy. Bucky deals with his past every day and has found some redemption, but he never forgets what he has done. He now hopes to help others get away from the present and past and start new lives. Sounds like a good plan, but Bucky finds the past hard to outrun in Winter Soldier #1 (of 5).


I was not sure what I was getting into with Winter Soldier #1 written by Kyle Higgins. I had not read the solicits or anything, but just read it on a whim, and wasn’t even aware it was a five-issue miniseries until I went back and read the solicit. Higgins did a great job of dropping us right into this story and setting up this miniseries. The issue starts off with a bang, featuring Bucky attempting to save someone looking for his help.

From there, Higgins does a wonderful job of setting up the story and why Bucky is doing this. Refraining from spoiling anything, I love the little “team” he has put together to find people who need his help. It was a little upsetting to learn this was a miniseries and we probably won’t be getting any more adventures with them. I like the story theme as a whole as well, with Bucky still trying to atone for his past and helping others in bad situations. It is something that is talked about a lot with Bucky Barnes, but Higgins brings a new level to it in Winter Soldier #1.

The story also feels like it has a lot of heart as well. Higgins gives a little more soul to Bucky Barnes and makes him a very relatable character. His interactions with other characters are also very well done. 


Art by Rod Reis; Image via comicsbeat

Rod Reis handles all of the art duties in Winter Soldier #1. He continues to employ a looser style and it works well. Reis’s painterly colors and light line work gives the series an ominous tone. The art emotes this bleak feeling, yet hopeful at the same time that is perfect for it. There is some good structure work as well. I love the scene of Bucky having a flashback while meditating, Reis lays out those scenes incredibly well. The way he structures the panels and organizes the scene looks fantastic.

Reis’s style is still a little stiff for me; some of the action scenes are not very dramatic and it just lacks some fluidity at times. That being said, Reis does excel at hitting the more emotional points of Winter Soldier #1. The characters are also wonderfully well rendered and designed. Reis also does a cool technique of switching up the background and sometimes a whole scene’s coloring. It works well in heightening the intensity of those situations.


Winter Soldier #1 is a pleasant surprise. It had a well-executed concept that let Kyle Higgins expand upon Bucky Barnes’ character. Higgins helped expand the character a little more for me. Though Rod Reis’ art style is not my favorite, it works well for this series and fits with the tone of the story. All in all, this was an excellent first issue. It looks to be a pretty solid five-issue miniseries and I am very excited to see what happens next. That final page teaser was also excellent in building hype for the next issue!

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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