Customer Reviews: Captain America, Vol. 1: Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection
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Showing 1-10 of 40 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
I know that hyperbole lends itself to massive hating, but in this case, it's pretty much undeniable. I should say that Ed Brubaker is the best writer who is currently working on a regular basis. He's a master at pacing, dialogue, characterization, intrigue and action. He's the perfect comic writer, essentially. He never dumbs it down; he aims for the smartest reader out there. Brubaker has written several different series in the past, many of them with a pulp-noir bent (GOTHAM CENTRAL, BATMAN, and the reinvention of CATWOMAN as far as major titles) but he also did brilliant spy-noir work within the Wildstorm Universe with the now-classic series SLEEPER, and now he brings many of the same sensibilities to Captain America, a character who, after floundering for years, has been brought back into the spotlight of the Marvel U. and he's never been better.

The biggest problem that Brubaker faced in "The Winter Soldier" arc was not just reintroducing Cap in a new and darker world while still being the shining Sentinel of Liberty. It's all in the resurrection of a long-dead character. Brubaker staked his whole future in the comics industry by resurrecting one of the great untouchable characters in the Marvel Universe.

Obviously, comic characters are killed and resurrected all the time so it pretty much becomes rote. But there were two characters in the Marvel U that were untouchable as far as bringing back from the dead: Uncle Ben Parker (you bring him back, you invalidate his death, and the reason Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man), and James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, Cap's teen sidekick who 'died' in the explosion that also hurled Steve Rogers into the suspended animation he was in since 1945. And what Brubaker does is perhaps the best and cleverest resurrection in comics history. Bucky Barnes is not only resurrected as the villainous Winter Soldier, his wartime persona is also reinvented not as a constantly wise-cracking and villain-punching kid sidekick, but as an efficient and deadly advance scout who does the darker and unfortunately necessary things in combat that Cap can't.

The story also brings important side characters from Cap's life to the fore, like his on-again/off-again love Sharon Carter (aka Agent 13) and Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon). It also introduces a new and very insidious threat to the Captain America pantheon: Corporate Takeovers. It also includes the greatest deus ex machina ever conceived: The Cosmic Cube, which can alter the reality of the user, or can force others to bend to the user's will... which works both positively and negatively for everyone who does choose to use it.

Apart from Brubaker's writing, the other bright spot is the amazing artwork provided by both Steve Epting and Mike Perkins. Epting's work is about as close to photo-realistic as you can get, and Perkins provides a little more stylized artwork, but it doesn't seem at all out of place.

To give even more hyperbole, CAPTAIN AMERICA has been the best continuing comic on the stands since Brubaker started writing the new volume, and what's even greater is that this is a brilliant start to the new volume, and it keeps getting better in its run.

Amazing stuff, and it will lead you to more Brubaker work. Of what you should view for Marvel especially is his run on DAREDEVIL (after Bendis' status quo-smashing run), his work on the creator-owned ICON line that includes ALL the volumes of CRIMINAL and his newest series INCOGNITO. X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS is pretty good, but his arc "The Fall of the Sh'iar Empire" is his best X-MEN work.
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on May 10, 2010
After playing Ultimate Alliance and getting into the Avengers, I decided I had to learn more about Cap and Bucky - this TPB is absolutely brilliant and has made me a huge Captain America fan. It has also made me a huge Brubaker fan with snappy, edgy writing that adds a tremendous depth to the characters we've known for many, many years. The artwork is spectacular and accents the writing (or perhaps visa versa... perhaps best just to state the Team that put this together is amazing). I'm a 45 yr old Marvel fan and this is one of my all-time favorite books! Well worth adding to your collection!
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on August 29, 2011
I never knew much about Captain America growing up, and always thought he was a bit goofy. After seeing the movie that just came out, I had to learn more about him. This is a serious take on Cap. He didn't come off as goofy, and the whole book was very interesting. I read it in one sitting. A lot of nice cameos by other heroes and villans in this book. I really liked the idea of the Winter Soldier (I already knew his identity, won't spoil it for you), and the files showing how he became the Winter Soldier and the results of his missions were very interesting to me. Give this book a look. It will make a fan out of you. Only problem I had was that I hadn't ordered the next graphic novel after this one yet, so I had to wait a few days for the next one to come in!
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on May 4, 2014
Sometimes, being proven wrong is a good thing. And with this storyline, I am glad Ed Brubaker proved me wrong- something he would continually do through his long tenure on Captain America. Captain America has been one of- if not my absolute favorite- super-heroes- since I was three years old, and along with Thor, a character I read consistently. So, when a character has been an "old friend" of yours for years like that, you tend to be very protective of their history and continuity. So, when I first started hearing about the Winter Soldier storyline, and read through Wizard magazine and other sources that the Winter Soldier was going to be Bucky, I didn't exactly have the best reaction. I was like, "What are they thinking?" Don't get me wrong, I liked Bucky. I loved seeing him in flashback, and WW2 era stories, but I came from the Stan Lee school of thought: Bucky's death was the major tragedy in Cap's life. You take that away, you take away that sense of tragedy that is important and intrinsic to the character. I thought that bringing him back was a bad move, and a gimmick. However. when I picked up some of the issues to see what it was all about, this story that pretty much set the comics world on fire- I found myself not only proven VERY wrong, but enjoying every second of it! Ed Brubaker took away all the old comic reader cynicism I had and blew it away with the awesome story he was telling. Brubaker made me realize that, by bringing Bucky back, he didn't take that tragedy away from Cap's life- he replaced it with an even greater tragedy- the fact that Bucky not only survived, but was delivered into the hands of the Soviets and turned into the legendary, lethal assassin and Cold War "ghost" known as the Winter Soldier- turned into the very type of thing he and Cap would fight against- and, for the past 50 years, was performing unspeakable acts of assassination and espionage against the nation- and the world- he once defended, by the very type of people he and Cap had fought so hard and almost literally gave their lives to defeat. the way Brubaker wove this tale- almost like an espionage story/political thriller disguised as a super-hero story- with all the foreshadowing that led to the debut of the Winter Soldier, and led to the suspicions and ultimate reveal of his identity, was masterful. you become engrossed in the mystery, and the action, and all the character-driven drama & suspense written so intricately within this saga Brubaker was building, and you can see why it work perfectly being made into a fantastic feature film. Brubaker took not only his knowledge of Cap's history, but WW2, post-war, and Cold War history and conspiracy and used it to create the perfect setting for Bucky's return and this ultimate threat to Cap and the security of the world. Brubaker didn't bring Bucky back through some gimmick-filled, comic booky resurrection- he brought him back in a very believable, organic manner, using flashbacks and Cap & Bucky's history with the Soviets during WW2 to set the stage for the recovery of Bucky's body, and his transformation into the Winter Soldier through the Soviet's influence, and provided a history for the Winter Soldier's clandestine post-war activities that was not only plausible, but left room for future embellishment. he sold me on Bucky's return in more ways than one, and it's all through his skillful writing that provides a semi-historic feel that makes it work. You not only feel for Steve, knowing what has become of his best friend and partner- and knowing he may have to kill him to stop him- a struggle illustrated well by Brubaker's character-driven script, but you also feel for Bucky himself. Every time Cap confronts his former friend, you can feel not only the physical struggle, but the internal struggle within both men- you can almost sense Bucky's hesitation as he fights not only Cap, but the Soviet's conditioning and the memories and soul of the true Bucky Barnes struggling to resurface. This struggle is what makes the book, and Brubaker would make Bucky far more interesting than ever before- providing flashbacks to WW2 that showed how skilled and efficient Bucky was, both as Cap's partner and an espionage agent, and showed why he was an integral part to the Invaders' operation. These same skills would be utilized by the Soviets when they condition him into the Winter Soldier. in time, Brubaker would turn Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier into one of my all-time favorite comic characters- and now I find that thanks to Brubaker, Cap's history- and the Marvel Universe- is better having Bucky alive & well & kicking butt in it! Equal of praise is not only the writing, but the art, provided by Steve Epting and Michael Lark, who would become a definitive Cap creatve team. Epting shows his skill here, with detailed, gritty art that still has a Steranko/Colan-inspired feel, and action scenes that would rival any feature film, with the emotions of the characters and conflicts he illustrates palpable in every panel- a very difficult thing to achieve. The Winter Soldier's awesome character design alone is a testament to Epting's artistic skill. The art by Michael Lark is also integral. Lark's detailed, slightly gritty art compliments Epting's, and here Lark does the very important WW2 flashbacks, showing the darker side of the war and the activities of Cap, Bucky and the Invaders during this time that shaped Cap & Bucky into the men they are, for better or for worse, in a way no one had done before. The scenes Lark illustrated sowing Bucky's skill & importance to Cap & the Invaders is one of the greatest panels in comics history. Everything you need to know about Bucky, and why he's fighting beside Cap & the greatest super-team of WW2, is contained in those panels. There is much more to this story than I could ever mention here- you just need to read it yourself, and become immersed in this great example of graphic story-telling. And this is just the beginning of the saga that Brubaker and company would craft, that would put Cap on top again. Brubaker's run on Cap can be considered one of those great, visionary, character-defining runs that leave an indelible mark on a character and their history, and I put Brubaker's run in league with other great visionary comic runs such as Walt Simonson's run on the Mighty Thor and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run. Had I let my cynicism drive me, I would've deprived myself of one of comicdom's greatest sagas. Being proven wrong can be a fantastic thing- and I thank Brubaker & company for showing me that! I highly recommend not only this book, but all of Brubaker's Captain America saga. Buy this and enjoy it, and then see the awesome movie this comic masterpiece inspired. You won't regret it!
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on September 18, 2014
This book is AMAZING. Whether you're an old longtime comics reader since Joe Simon and Jack Kirby began Cap's adventures in '41, or a teenage movieverse tumblr Stucky fangirl looking for some feels, or something in between… well, if you like Captain America and Bucky, you will definitely love this. Like, seriously. The feels in this story are intense, and the plot is so complex and intriguing, that (unless you've got something %100 really serious on your mind) you won't be able to stop turning the pages! Trust me, I was just given this book for my 16th birthday, and then read the entire 13 issues in one sitting. It's epic, a part of the timeless Captain America saga that you really really don't want to miss out on!

Nick Fury is sassy and priceless. Steve and Sharon have a perfectly tense dynamic. I actually feel really sorry for the Winter Soldier's handler Lukin. It gives more background for him (I read the later Red Menace a while back, heh). Anyways, as for Bucky himself… GOSH. He's perfect. If for no other reason, you should get this book to read the Winter Soldier files that Steve finds in his house; if you have a heart, it'll make you cry. It's heartwarming how much Steve believes in Bucky, how bad he wants to save him… it's beautiful. Also there's an issue about Nomad in here that's very nice! It's so so sad, though, but it gives so much depth into his thoughts. It's so good!

A little warning, though… if you're not currently a fan and you don't know much about who Bucky is, don't read this right away. I know I've just been saying how amazing it is, and there are tons of flashbacks to drag your heart more in, but still, it's better to be somewhat familiar with Bucky before you read it, if you wanna receive the full ripping-out-your-heart-and-trampling-it-to-the-ground experience. Though, it's a good place to get into Captain America comics, especially if like you've seen the movies or something. Personally I started reading Captain America later and then went back. But it's awesome however you read it! Ed Brubaker has been my favorite comic book writer for a good while, but I would say this is easily the best of his storylines I've ever read! It's just SO GOOD. So read it. Yes.
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on February 28, 2014
With The Winter Soldier, Brubaker writes the best Captain America book ever while also resurrecting a forgotten character, giving Bucky a new lease on life and turning him from an easily mocked sidekick into a brilliantly realized and transformed new character, and a superhero in his own right. The Winter Soldier is a great read and anyone who thinks Cap only works in team books, should pick this up to see him carry the story brilliantly.
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on January 21, 2016
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's legendary run begins here. With The Winter Soldier, they tackled the one story that we'd been told for decades could never be told and they did it with style. This book inspired the wonderful Captain America Winter Soldier movie and kicks off an amazing run of stories featuring Steve Rogers and a huge cast of characters. Highest possible recommendation. This is a great read.
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on December 30, 2011
This new series of Captain America is the reason why I love Captain America. Going back to the Steve Rogers' roots is what makes this incarnation of Captain America a formula for success... and why we had such a good Captain America movie.
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on April 20, 2014
It's the return of Bucky Barnes!!!
This is one of the greatest graphic novels I've ever read! I started buying CA comics before the release of the Winter Solider movie and I am so glad that I did. The writing and art are absolutely phenomenal!
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on February 26, 2014
I needed this for my collection and finally getting to read this comic before watching the movie when it comes out was awesome, bucky being reborn was a great addition to the captain America series and the metal arm just makes him that much cooler just to bad he dies in Fear Itself trying to be the new captain america
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