Winter Soldier #10
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice
Colors by Bettie Breitweiser
Review by Joey Braccino
Too much good stuff goes on in Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier. Whether it’s the exceptional artwork, the emotional weight of a tragic love lost, the brutal and pulpy action sequences, or the espionage-laced thrills, Winter Soldier delivers in spades like, all the time. Issue #10 is no different, as we learn the shocking and saddening truth behind the Black Widow’s escape from the Helicarrier and we see Bucky deal with the fallout.
Brubaker knows Bucky. Period. In this issue, Bucky broods, Bucky boxes, Bucky reminisces about a day trip to Paris with Black Widow, and Bucky curses the stars. Also in this issue, Brubaker skillfully weaves Maria Hill, Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Captain America back into his Winter Soldier mythos, expanding his core cast on the eve of the “Widow Hunt” storyline. After the initial action-packed flashback to Black Widow’s escape (SPOILER: r.i.p. Agent Sitwell), the tempo of the book slows down considerably to match the brooding, pre-storyline mood. It’s a slow burn, yes, but it features a sequence between Cap and Bucky that harkens back to the entire Captain America mythology.
Butch Guice returns to the book after Michael Lark’s exceptional work on the last few issues. Guice’s scratchy pulp-inspired designs and chaotic panel layouts tell Brubaker’s story in an innovative, visually stimulating way. The initial flashback sequence is drawn between cloudy, black-and-white, angular panels. The action explodes out of the angles and (figuratively and literally) bleeds all over the page. It’s stunning. Combine the energy with Bettie Breitweiser’s brilliant decision to only color Black Widow’s trademark scarlet hair and the blood, and you have some of the most striking sequences in recent comics. Guice and Breitweiser are masters of their craft. Case in point: there’s a panel in which the Black Widow does a full split while driving a flying motorcycle through the helicarrier window, sending bits of glass shattering out in every direction; on the next page, an image of Agent Sitwell’s still, lifeless body, with the focus on his empty eyes. The contrast is striking. The rest of the issue is washed in deep shadows, again conveying the dark, somber mood. It’s perfect.
Why aren’t you reading this series!? I can’t say enough good stuff about it. Ed Brubaker is ending his run after the “Widow Hunt” story arc, so jump on now and ride the Winter Soldier wave to its glorious conclusion.
Also, Bucky & ‘Tasha 4EVA. That is all.