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Captain America Vol. 1: Winter Soldier, Book One (v. 1) Paperback – July 19, 2006
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While the story is not bad, it also doesn't feel complete. I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise since it is just part of an ongoing monthly series. The problem is that it isn't even a full arc in that series. In fact, it feels more like background for the real story to come. So while it is needed to be read, it also leaves you feeling unsatisfied as well.
The artwork also seems to be off somehow. It is like the artists are not comfortably drawing Captain America unless he is wearing the mask. At other times, it seems as official features are focused upon but then are slapped onto a generic head. This causes the artwork to have a flat look.
So I would say this is a decent part of your comic book collection with the death of a couple of characters and the setup for another. Just don't expect it to be one of your favorites.
Ed Brubaker's acclaimed run on Cap starts here, weaving a tale of political intrigue, World War II flashback sequences, romance, friendships lost, and mystery. Brubaker uses the fact that Steve Rogers is steeped in history to his advantage all throughout his writing, making several references to the Sentinel of Liberty's prior exploits in conjunction with modernizing the character. His writing is superb and consistent throughout, with very few lulls in the story.
The artwork is strong, and Steve Epting's effort should be commended as highly as Brubaker's work as a writer. The two work very well in tandem to create a somewhat dark atmosphere around a much more jaded Cap than we're used to.
Speaking of which, this isn't your grand-father's red, white & blue extreme patriot Captain America. This is a man who loves his country and will do anything to protect it, but seems to be worn down from everything that's happened to both America and himself. He trudges forward almost begrudgingly, and the reveal of the Winter Soldier nearly breaks his psyche.
This is a very good book, one that really provides a new, interesting perspective of Captain America that has become the standard going forward. It's subtly intriguing, and while not world-shattering, is an extremely solid read from start to finish.
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