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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 189

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the first storyline of Ed Brubaker’s Captain America, the year-long (a little more than a year, really) story, “Winter Soldier,” with artists Steve Epting, Mike Perkins and Michael Lark!


The Winter Soldier storyline (which consists of two six-part smaller stories, “Out of Time,” which introduces the fact that Captain America’s former partner, Bucky, is still alive, followed by “Winter Soldier,” where Cap deals with the fact that Bucky is still alive but is a brainwashed assassin known as the Winter Soldier) opens up with a bang in the first issue of the fifth volume of Captain America…

The issue begins with the Red Skull haggling with a Russian named Lukin over various super-weapons that Lukin is selling off after taking control of an old secret Soviet super agency. The Skull sees one of Lukin’s operatives, and notes that he would be VERY interested in having this fellow, but Lukin counters that something like that would require a trade for the Cosmic Cube. Skull replies that he does not have it.

Later, we see Captain America trying to track down the Skull and realize that the Skull has other plans…but so does Lukin….

This very effectively debuts Lukin as a major villain, especially when we learn that his operative is the aforementioned Winter Soldier, Cap’s former partner, Bucky, who has been brainwashed and is held in cryogenic freezing in between missions, so he has only aged about 10 years in the past 60.

Besides introducing the fact that Bucky survived the explosion that led to Cap being frozen in ice for decades, Brubaker also develops a new backstory for Bucky that is quite intriguing, here it is (throughout the early issues, Michael Lark would supply the art for flashback pages set during World War II – the set-up is Cap and Bucky are working with the Russians (which involves working with the man who will later brainwash Bucky)…

It all comes to a head in Captain America #14 (the numbering is a bit off because Cap #7 and #10 were both not exactly related issues, although #7 was a lot more tied-in than #10, which was a House of M tie-in issue – so it goes #1-6, 8-9, 11-14)

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I won’t spoil what comes next – all of these issues have been collected.

This initial storyline is filled with action, drama, great character bits (Brubaker uses the Captain America supporting cast like few others) and amazing artwork by Epting, Perkins and Lark.

This was one of the best openings to a re-launched title that you’ll ever see. And Brubaker hasn’t eased up on the quality yet, five years later!


your page is repeating 6 times…or is it just deja vu?…:-)

your page is repeating 6 times…or is it just deja vu?…:-)

He probably copy pasted the image links and forgot to change the #. The pages are all there if you just change the link slightly.

Of course these images contain the odd misattributed speech balloon which ought to be spoken by Namor. Which is annoying

Thanks, guys, fixed it.

Not sure about the speech bubble. Seems right since he’s asking about Toro, it’d be Torch that would answer. It does seem a bit odd Namor doesnt respond tho, maybe Torchs rudeness at having cut him off left him speechless?

A great pick, Brian. A few random comments:

Epting: Not to slight the fine contributions made by Perkins and Lark, but Epting stands, to my mind, as the preeminent CA artist of the last 20 years.

Brubaker: The best Cap scripter since Roger Stern.

Bucky: Like everyone else, I was skeptical about bringing Bucky back, but Brubaker’s brilliant scripting swiftly brought me around.

This story single-handedly made me a Cap fan, and it only got better. That Brubaker could make a comic about Cyborg Commie Bucky not only readable, but great, makes him one of Marvel’s all-time best scribes.

Yeah, I gotta say, I never cared about Captain America before (Probably because I missed Stern’s and Waid’s runs on the character?), but Brubaker made me care.

hmmmm loved this but Brian I have to ask: did you ever tackle any of the issues from the 2nd Waid run? Lady Deathstrike, the losing of the shield, AIM, the triangular shield, the “Supreme Hydra” , Batroc, Skrulls, Nightmare…I can imagine you going nuts with these moments…

If only the Red Skull had dropped the Cosmic Cube over the balcony. That would explain how Thanos found it in the park, leading to the Spidey/Hellcat team-up.

Yeah, this is superb stuff and if you don’t own it, then you need to – go and buy it today. Easily in the top 3 Marvel stories of the last decade.

Not to be a prick, but...

July 10, 2010 at 4:06 pm

“Easily in the top 3 Marvel stories of the last decade” isn’t saying much. But it is a great run. I’m just so tired of what Marvel has become since, you know, Bendis and Millar (yes, even Daredevil, which was *almost* saved by incredible Alex Maleev art).

As far as Brubaker’s Cap is concerned, the only problems I have are 1) Bucky coming back in the first place: I wish it hadn’t happened, but it was handled was well as possible and 2) his characterization of The Falcon. He’s always saying “Tsst, Girl” of “Damn, Girl”, much the same way they write Luke Cage nowadays. It’s a tad embarrassing. Still, top notch compared to just about anything else they’ve put out latelety.

2) his characterization of The Falcon. He’s always saying “Tsst, Girl” of “Damn, Girl”, much the same way they write Luke Cage nowadays. It’s a tad embarrassing. Still, top notch compared to just about anything else they’ve put out latelety.

Brubaker doesn’t write Falcon like that at all. I mean, Falcon says “damn,” sometimes, yes, but never in the way you describe it. I agree, it WOULD be embarrassing if he did, but he doesn’t.

John Trumbull

July 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

Something that struck me while looking at those pages again… Why in the world would the Human Torch need to wear a jacket in the winter time?

Cracking run. Until this came along I thought Mark Millar was the only person who could make Captain America an interesting character to me.

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