DC Comics isn’t the only company out there dropping new books left and right and changing on the mass comic book audience. Marvel has a bunch of new books they are dumping out as well, including a Bucky Barnes comic. Is it good?
Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel Comics)
Bucky Barnes, AKA Winter Soldier and several other aliases, has decided to take on a new job and mission. He has taken on the role Nick Fury Sr. had previously — protecting the Earth from intergalactic and extradimensional threats, wherever they may be. Shouldn’t be that hard, right?
I’ll say that it never ends. Will this guy shut up already?
The first issue of this comic has left me with a rather mixed feelings. It’s not that comic is bad per se, but it has some problems that are holding it back for being something truly great or even good to a certain extent. The story is basically just setup and laying the down the foundation of what we’ll be seeing later. The main problem is that it’s slow going and it doesn’t feel like much is happening, and some scenes aren’t really given all that much context (basically the whole scene with that alien princess who I assume is going to be a threat of some sort). It never really feels like the story gets very engaging or exciting most of the time, even during parts where there is action (I’ll explain why later).
As for the writing, it’s alright I suppose. I admit that I’m not too familiar with Bucky or even Daisy Johnson (first time I’ve heard of her) due to being relatively new to the main Marvel Universe, but from what I can tell, their characters are fine here. There’s not much depth or real insight outside of generic banter and a tiny bit of narration, so the issue isn’t really too character focused at this point. The storytelling is questionable and the book can be hard to follow at points, but that’s due to the biggest mixed bag of this whole issue (which again I’ll get to). The dialogue is alright, but it can be hard to follow given the situation the comic has and it’s not particularly memorable either. It does appear like the comic is trying to be funny or crack jokes, but none of them really work out well and sometimes they just feel out of place (like the guy saying he was shot in the butt or he should have picked a different job). And I personally felt the ending was awkward, like it just came out of nowhere.
Well this is just weird.
As I was hinting at earlier, the biggest positive, but also negative is Bucky Barnes‘ artwork. This is where the comic shines, but also drags it down a bit. On the positive side of things, the artwork is gorgeous and visually stunning without a doubt. Just about every page has something stunning to look at, whether it be the imagery or just how the layouts are put together. The coloring is equally as impressive and makes a lot of the art pop. Marco Rudy has certainly come a long way from when I saw him last in Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing run and he now seems to be channeling J.H. Williams III and Mike Del Mundo.
But his uniqueness with his style come at a price, since his storytelling abilities with the art is lousy. It’s often difficult to follow along with what is exactly happening, since it can be hard to tell what panel to look at first and what flows into what. The dialogue balloons have a difficult time as well at points, since it be difficult to tell who is talking to who (not helped by the fact that some characters talk the same as one another) and the art doesn’t help with distinguishing who’s who at points. Hell, it can be even hard to tell what exactly you are looking at as well. This can make the book a frustrating read despite its visual acuity and I hope the artist calms down a tad in future issues.
I dunno, you tell me! I’m getting confused here!
Is It Good?
Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier #1 is a comic with great potential and boasts some beautiful visuals. However, it really needs to work on its writing and the artist really needs to balance beauty and cohesiveness in order for the art to truly contribute to its success. I think they’re onto something here, but there’s work to be done and I hope the creative team can fix its problems.