Winter Soldier #17
Written by Jason Latour
Art & Colors by Nic Klein
Review by Joey Braccino
The past comes back to haunt Bucky Barnes!!! Nick Fury pulls some shady stuff!!! Gritty, hard-boiled espionage action abounds as our eponymous hero broods and grapples with his guilt and identity!!! Emotionally resonant parallel flashbacks!!! The Winter Soldier goes to space!!! Of course, aside from that last sci-fi twist, new series-writer Jason Latour treads a lot of the same thematic and metaphorical ground that Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier covered. Still, that isn’t meant as a knock to Latour’s story; instead, it speaks to a larger mythos for the series that transcends the writer behind the script. Winter Soldier #17 continues Bucky’s uphill mission to find the Electric Ghost and come to terms with his role in creating this new supervillainess.
The sci-fi element that Latour brings in at the end of the issue is both refreshing in its departure from Winter Soldier’s more standard fare as well as its extension of the series’ ongoing theme of identity. Bucky takes us through some deeply philosophical narration as he attempts to reconcile the separation in time and space between his two lives: one as the hero who wielded the shield and seeks redemption; the other as a Soviet murderous sleeper assassin.
Nic Klein’s artwork is, as always, absolutely stellar. Klein’s brooding style is perfectly suited to Latour’s gritty and heavy script. While I’ve always loved his linework and lay-outs, I’ve been especially astonished by the versatility of his color palette. It’s rare to pick up a mainstream book where the lines and color are done by the same artist, so the synergy here in Nic Klein’s work results in a flawless visual experience.
Check it out. I may wear my admiration for Bucky Barnes on my sleeve, but it’s only because Winter Soldier is consistently one of the best written and best illustrated books on the stands. The central conceit of Winter Soldier—the quest for redemption and, by extension, grappling with the mistakes you are attempting to redeem—is so perfectly constructed that the stories and character just seem to fall into place. Regardless of writer or artist, Bucky is one of the best characters in the House of Ideas right now, and his stories are distinctly modern in execution and theme.