Reviews

Review – Winter Soldier #3 (Marvel Comics)

Winter Soldier #3 (Marvel Comics) cover (detail) by Rod Reis
Winter Soldier #3
Overall
8.4/10
8.4/10
  • Writing - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Art - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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Summary

Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Rod Reis
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 13, 2019

With RJ free from Mr. Colt, Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, takes the young kid in. Can Bucky help rehabilitate him, or is his humanity already lost?

“Broken Wings” Winter Soldier #3

Bucky Barnes continues to try to make amends for his times as a mind-controlled assassin in Winter Soldier #3. The program he set up with Sharon Carter to help former criminals disappear from their past lives has been going well. Tony Stark has to help with some metal arm repair once in a while but, all in all, things were going good. That is, until RJ was sent to kill him (in issue #1).

RJ is a young kid molded after Bucky Barnes himself. This young child was taken in by the mysterious Mr. Colt and trained to be a killer. Mr. Colt sent RJ after Bucky; luckily, he was narrowly able to get the upper hand on the young assassin and Bucky fled with RJ. Mr. Colt followed and actually shot through RJ to try to kill Bucky. The Winter Soldier was able to “put down” Mr. Colt and save RJ. But now the real work begins as Bucky takes in RJ.

Writing

Winter Soldier #3 (Marvel Comics) cover by Rod Reis
Winter Soldier #3 (Marvel Comics) cover by Rod Reis

I feel like this series is getting “slept on”. I am not hearing a lot of chatter about it, and that is a shame. Kyle Higgins is doing some great work in it. Winter Soldier #3 (of 5) sets up a whole new dynamic as Bucky takes in RJ. Bucky has been wanting to reform criminals and help them deal with their past and now he is confronted with someone just like himself: a young child taken and molded into a killer. Higgins starts to ask great questions about the character Bucky Barnes in Winter Soldier #3. Mainly, has Bucky been able to deal with his own past? And if he hasn’t, how will he help RJ?

The pacing for the series is very well done by Higgins. It being a five-issue mini-series, he doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. He balances everything extremely well. He continues to play with Bucky and Sharon’s ex-criminal rehabilitation program while developing the whole RJ situation. I was afraid that part of the story would fall to the wayside when RJ was introduced in the first issue, but it has a big part in Winter Soldier #3. Higgins also spends a lot of time digging into the mind of Bucky Barnes. How does one deal with the sins of his past? Even though he wasn’t in complete control of his actions, he still did things he is not proud of. Higgins does some good work exploring that aspect of the character.

Tiny spoiler, but Tony Stark does make another brief appearance in Winter Soldier #3 and, once again, it is a delight. I love the way Higgins writes the banter between Barnes and Stark. It is just a lot of fun.

Art

I am, again, not the biggest fan of Rod Reis‘s style, but it works superbly well for this series. His loose line work and more “sketchy” type feeling to his characters feel at home for this series. His coloring style has that painterly type feel to it. It may actually be watercolors—I am not exactly sure. I don’t think it is, because it is a little too tight for watercolors, but if it is, then that is very impressive. But while I may not be a fan of his style, I can definitely appreciate the talent and that it works extremely well for this story.

I feel that Reis’s art heightens the more emotional aspects of the story. It has a little softer feel to it and Reis captures the affections on the pages through his art. I won’t spoil a villain that shows up in Winter Soldier #3, but Reis does some very cool things with his powers and playing with fight scenes and panel structure/layouts with it.

Conclusion

Winter Soldier #3 (of 5) is a great look and insight into the character of Bucky Barnes. Higgins is doing some fantastic work while Rod Reis delivers some delightful art. This is turning out to be a great little mini-series that I hope gains some more traction among readers. I feel like people are missing out on a very good read by not picking up Winter Soldier.


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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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