Next up is Marvel's WWII flashback series, Captain America and Bucky. I'm still holding out hope that sometime down the road this series will revert to a Bucky solo series when he is brought back to life by a thankful Thor/Odin... But for now, all I have of Bucky are flashback issues... So far this series has been exceptionally good, let's see if that holds up.
Captain America & Bucky #622:
Summary: This issue kicks off by introducing us to the Invaders... You had Captain America, Namor, the Human Torch, Toro, and Bucky... And needless to say, in that company, Bucky felt pretty inadequate. From there we head to 1942 and see Bucky scouting out a burnt down Nazi hideout. While Bucky is reporting his findings back to Cap via a radio, Bucky hears a firefight and rushes back to the allied camp only to find devastation, Cap's shield and no Invaders. Bucky hops on a motorcycle and drives along, hoping to pick up some sort of trail as to what the Nazis did with his comrades. After some rough traveling in the snow, Bucky happens across a Nazi occupied castle and sneaks inside. Upon reaching the basement, Bucky spots Dr. Armin Zola(!!!), pre-transformation, draining the abilities from his Invaders teammates and feeding them into one of Zola's Nazi agents. Realizing that time was of the essence, Bucky leaps into action, taking out Zola's guards. Zola unstraps his agent, and tells him to kill Bucky, but warns the super-powered Nazi that the power transfer wasn't complete and that he had to dispatch of Bucky quickly. Hearing that, Bucky realizes that he had try to last long enough against the super-powered Nazi for his powers to drain before having a hope in beating him. Bucky manages to deflect the Nazi's fireballs with Cap's shield before throwing the shield at the tanks holding his fellow Invaders, freeing them and knocking Zola out with the shield as a bonus. Unfortunately, losing the shield meant having to battle against a Nazi with the combined strength of Captain America and Namor... Bucky taunts the Nazi and takes a few punches, with each subsequent blow becoming weaker as the Nazi's super-powers ebbed. Before the Nazi could finish Bucky off with a flaming punch, Cap races over and knocks the Nazi out with a thunderous right cross. With Zola's threat taken care of, Cap ties Zola and his goon up while the Torch and Toro burn down the laboratory. This issue ends with Namor giving Bucky a rare compliment(or at least as much as a compliment as Namor could muster), and Bucky finally feeling like he belonged on the team.
Thoughts: What can I say? This issue was perfect. Plain and simple. The story was great, the dialogue, especially Bucky's self-doubt, was fantastic, and the artwork fit perfectly with the time period being portrayed in this one. I'm wracking my brain trying to think of SOMETHING negative to say, but I'm coming up completely empty... I guess if there's a negative it's that Bucky is apparently dead in the present, which sucks because this issue would turn ANYBODY into a fan of Bucky. It was that good. If the rest of the comics I read this week are half as good as this issue, I'm in for a fantastic week!
Score: 10 out of 10.HA! I love jackass Namor...