I wasn't planning on reviewing anything else today, but since Captain America(my very last subscription comic) came in the mail today, it gave me the excuse to finally get that issue of Silver Surfer from 2 weeks ago out of the way. So here's a bonus post before tomorrow's Fear Itself festivities.
Captain America #619:
Summary: Off the grid since she knows Bucky is in dire trouble in the Russian Gulag he'd been tossed in, Black Widow begins to concoct a plan to spring Bucky. That's all fine and good, the only problem is that she only has one day to spring Bucky. To that end, BW meets with a former KGB agent and assists in clearing out his enemies in exchange for the weaponry she'd need to break into the jail. As for Bucky, an ex-KGB agent who had the Gulag's warden in his pocket uses some advanced machinery to dig into Bucky's mind, back to his Winter Soldier days. The ex-KGB agent learns from Bucky's subconscious that there were three Russian sleeper agents hidden in America with the same training Bucky had as the Winter Soldier, all waiting to be activated to attack America. With this information, the ex-KGB agent tells Bucky he intended to sell the identity and code words that would turn the sleeper agents on to any of America's enemies with deep enough pockets. With no further use for Bucky, he tells Bucky that tonight would be his last, as there was one final opponent Bucky would be fighting in the Gulag's cage matches... That night, the Gulag's guards toss Bucky into the cage and force him to fight a giant named the Unicorn, who could fire massive blasts from the third eye on his head. Realizing he couldn't remain in the jail, especially with the information of the three sleeper agents out there, Bucky leads the Unicorn around the cage, getting him to fire a blast into the Warden's office, which overlooked the cage. With the Gulag now thrown into chaos, Bucky gets out of the cage and tricks the Unicorn into firing a blast into the officers quarters, which causes the heating devices inside to explode, setting the entire outside of the Gulag on fire. At this moment, BW arrives on the scene, and begins to make her way inside the burning prison. On the other hand, Bucky is trying desperately to escape from the prison, with several armed guards following after him. Before the guards can shoot Bucky in the back, BW arrives and blasts the guards, smuggling Bucky out of the prison to a waiting nearby helicopter. Back in the US, Steve Rogers and Nick Fury manage to find the Russian sleeper agents(they had been hunting for them due to some of Fury's contacts), and shut them down. Upon arriving back at his base, Steve learns from the president and a few of his advisors that Bucky had escaped from the Gulag after destroying much of it. Steve tries to argue that there had to be extenuating circumstances for Bucky to act in such a manner, and the president tells Steve that he'd do everything in his power to help Bucky, but that there was no way he could allow Bucky to be Captain America anymore. After the meeting, Steve meets with Nick Fury, who tells him that while Steve had done a good job in Fury's former position, he didn't have the constitution to continue dealing with the bureaucracy that was SHIELD. This issue ends with Fury telling Steve that there was a different position Steve was needed in once again...
Thoughts: Goddammit... You know, this issue was the perfect segue from Bucky being Captain America to a new identity... It was all set up PERFECTLY! I mean Ed Brubaker set the stage for Steve Rogers returning to the Captain America mantle, with Bucky becoming something else... And then Fear Itself #3 happened... I mean, in light of THIS issue, the events of Fear Itself #3 don't even make sense! Why was Bucky even Captain America in FI #3?! Dumb. Well, if this was truly the end of Bucky, he went out on a high, and I'll always remember him leaving with his longtime love, the Black Widow, on a helicopter, planning the next chapter of his life. Dammit... What a waste.
Score: 9 out of 10.This is how I want to remember Bucky... Rushing off with Black Widow into the sunset.
Silver Surfer #5:
Summary: Ugh. So the Silver Surfer's power cosmic has been restored to him thanks to Reed Richards, but this time he also gets to keep his heart as well. So he's no longer simply an emotionless whatever it is Greg Pak thought he was. Man, Greg Pak is an awful writer... Anyway, for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to fly through the rest of this review. The Seeker tries to defend the High Evolutionary from the FF, the Surfer doesn't want the FF to hurt the Seeker, since she's his cosmic girlfriend now, Galactus arrives on the scene and allows the High Evolutionary to leave with his spaceship, but not the Seeker. From there, Galactus releases the Surfer from his duties as Galactus's herald, since he had emotions again. Galactus then decides to eat the moon, because he has no herald. Surfer pledges himself to Galactus's service again to save the moon, takes the Seeker's cosmic powers away from her, and leaves with Galactus, while she heads back to Earth with the FF.
Thoughts: This was, by FAR, the worst Silver Surfer story I've EVER read. And I've read a lot of Silver Surfer stories! A Silver Surfer love story... Get the hell out of here! Oh, and now he has emotions... Because THAT'S gonna make him SO much better or something. There are certain writers that I'm honestly surprised continue to get high profile jobs at Marvel, and Pak is one of them. I'm just stunned that he was handed a mini-series that should have been a lay-up to write, and turned it into Surfio and Seekerette. Ugh, let's just move on so I can bury this issue into the deepest recesses of my mind and pretend I never read it.
Score: 2 out of 10.Nope, not even Galactus himself could save this one for me.