Ed Brubaker has accomplished an amazing feat. I still don’t really love Winter Soldier. But I’m riveted by this current storyline. By making Bucky Barnes so important to characters I do like, I can’t help but be more invested in what happens to the guy. This issue alone features Captain America, Daredevil, Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury. The whole thing has been saving Black Widow, so while she doesn’t actually show up in more than a few panels; her presence is felt through the entire book.
This is a middle chapter, so the plot isn’t going to move along very far. But I’m fine with that if it means a good battle like this one. Winter Soldier takes on Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Daredevil, all at the same time. It’s a delicate balancing act, at least two of those guys are A-listers, so we don’t want to see DD and Wolvie totally punked out. The fight goes just how it needs to in order for Winter Soldier to do well, but not TOO well. And of course, the scales get totally balanced when Cap shows up.
I’m happy it is so easy to write-over brainwashing. I figured we were in for a long, protracted recovery to get Bucky back, but no, a couple panels in the Brainwave Scanner (seriously, look how close it is!) and he’s A-OK. Hopefully it will be that easy for the Widow too.
Butch Guice’s pencils seem a bit smoother than they have recently, no doubt due to the inker. I’m not complaining, the book looks great, and it’s really neat how some of the characters seem to have different weight pencils on them.