Drew: In a time when serialized storytelling is very much in vogue, it’s easy to forget that some characters are designed for a specific narrative. That is, the situations that they endure during the story so define them that they can’t really exist outside of it. Would we even recognize Hamlet if he wasn’t having an existential crisis? The only way to reuse a character like that is to put them in essentially the same situation again, which obviously yields diminishing returns, and might just undermine the power of the original. Unfortunately, as Winter Soldier: The Bitter March ramps up to its conclusion, it’s clear that Bucky Barnes may only have one important story to tell. Continue reading
Spencer: Considering its Cold War setting, it’s no surprise that Rick Remender and Roland Boschi’s Winter Soldier: The Bitter March has been a story filled with pawns and masterminds, a story populated almost entirely by people who are being used and the people who are doing the using. What’s interesting about issue 3 is the way the players begin to transcend those labels. What happens when pawns tire of being pawns? And what role does Ran Shen play in all of this?
Patrick: Enigmatic super-soldier spies are tough to characterize. How can you reveal someone’s true nature when they’ve been trained to be a tool of their government, forsaking all personal interests? Rick Remender’s new Winter Soldier mini-series attempts to paint a picture of a man by presenting his surroundings in as much detail as possible. Even when we get a flashback to Bucky’s more formative years, it’s his mentor’s perspective we see stated directly, and not Bucky’s. It’s addition by subtraction, and the sum is a tantalizing character sketch, made all the more compelling by a faithfully realized period thriller.