Winter Soldier #15 Review – Brubaker Will Be Missed, But Latour Is On The Right Track

Winter-Soldier_15-674x10241-300x455This issue was a nice surprise.  I’ll admit, I knew very little of Jason Latour when I picked up my books this week.  I truly didn’t know what to expect.  I knew Latour was an artist (and a talented one), I knew he was an occasional writer.  Perhaps most importantly, I knew he was stepping in and taking over for the recently departed Ed Brubaker.  So – big shoes to fill.

Thankfully, Jason Latour squares up to the plate admirably.

Issue 15 picks up at an undisclosed time after the tragic events of 14.  The Winter Soldier managed to takedown Leo Novokov and rescue Black Widow, but in the aftermath discovered that Novokov had ultimately erased every trace of Bucky Barnes from the Natasha Romonov’s memory.  It was a real gut punch for fans of the series and a bitter, but effective note to end Brubaker’s run.

The aftermath finds Bucky searching out absolution for his past.  He’s interrupted by Nick Fury (the real 616 version, cigar and all), ostensibly to bring the Winter Soldier in from the cold so to speak.  What follows is an intriguing bit of introspection that indicates Latour may have a solid hand on Bucky Barnes inner turmoil.

Eventually, the Winter Soldier, on Fury’s order, takes off to bring in a deep cover hydra agent – an agent who’s love was murdered by the Winter Soldier.  Latour seems to be laying the groundwork for his overarching villain.  In this case, a sect of Hydra devoted to the occult.  It’s a competent setup.

Beyond the writing, in my opinion, the art was a major highlight and nearly a reason in and of itself to give the issue a look.  Nic Klein pencils the issue with a loose expressive style that when combined with the dreary color palette really drives the darker, espionage tone of the book.  The characters look haggard, weary.  And it fits.  The style is reminiscent of Alex Maleev, David Aja or Michael Lark.

So, what’s the verdict?

I’ve been a fan of the Winter Soldier since his first appearance in Captain America #1 (2005).  I was more than a little worried when I saw that Ed Brubaker was departing Marvel and more importantly the Winter Soldier.  But, thankfully, Jason Latour seems up the challenge.

 

8/10

 

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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