There's really no need for a long-winded intro here. This is Bucky's first solo series, and is also my Pick of the Litter. I'm expecting good things here... Let's see what we get!
Winter Soldier #1:
Summary: There are three Soviet sleeper agents on US soil. The sleeper agents, much like Bucky was, are in stasis tubes awaiting their next missions, which they would carry out in an unwavering fashion, regardless of the mission. Bucky and the Black Widow have discovered that somebody was buying the sleepers, probably to use them for some sort of nefarious purpose, and working with SHIELD, are trying to track down the three sleepers and stop their release. Upon reaching the first sleeper facility, they find some ex-KGB agents, but an empty stasis tube. The duo follow a tip from SHIELD up to Minnesota where they discover another ex-KGB agent and after some intimidation, the ex-KGB agent gives up the location of the second sleeper agent. Bucky and the Widow sneak into the facility holding the tube, but end up getting discovered, and are forced to fight their way through an army of angry gunmen. Bucky manages to get eyes on the tube, but is fired upon by... a talking monkey?! What the hell is this, a DC comic?! Widow manages to knock Bucky clear of the monkey's bullets, but the ape winds up escaping with the tube. From there we head to a hotel room where we find the Red Ghost(thus explaining the super-ape) and Lucia Von Bardas, the former leader of Latveria. It turns out Bardas was the one purchasing the sleepers for the express purpose of assassinating the longtime leader of Latveria, Dr. Doom!
Thoughts: Not bad... This comic was pretty good. I mean it wasn't great, but to be honest, I wasn't expecting greatness right off the bat. One thing Ed Brubaker does better than most writers is building up a story, so this was just the first step in what should be a long, winding and ultimately fulfilling story. The premise here is interesting, with Bardas trying to kill Doom, with Bucky stuck in the middle, I'm just a bit confused by why she wants Doom dead... Last I knew, Kristoff was the ruler of Latveria and Doom was a member of the FF... But maybe that's changed since I dropped FF. Besides that, it's Bucky and the Black Widow, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Bruce Guice, which gives the whole comic a great Captain America feel to it. So while not perfect, this was a good first issue featuring fantastic characters and a stellar creative team, that should continue to gain momentum as we move forward.
Score: 8 out of 10.
Since Bucky's supposed to be dead and all, shouldn't he be wearing something a bit less... I don't know, Bucky-ish?