Friday, November 4, 2011
If you're reading this, then you probably already know that a major revelation happened in this week's Fear Itself #7.1 Captain America. This is SPOILER territory for those who haven't read the issue I mentioned, so veer your eyes away from this post, or be prepared to be spoiled away.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers' partner, the former brainwashed Soviet assassin known as the Winter Soldier, and Rogers' replacement as Captain America, seemingly perished at the hands of Skadi/ Sin during Marvel's Fear Itself storyline, but all was not as it seemed. Unbeknownst to all save for Steve Rogers, Nick Fury, and Bucky's love interest Natasha Romanov/ Black Widow, Barnes was alive and well, and only faked his death to allow him to go back behind the scenes, resuming his role as The Winter Soldier and sees him embark on a new covert mission that he sees as the path to redemption for his past sins.
Honestly, I was utterly disappointed with how Marvel "killed off" Bucky in Fear Itself, and while that was handled by Matt Fraction, Captain America writer and scribe Ed Brubaker did say he had the intention of killing off the character anyway in that same time period (which was an excuse to bring Steve Rogers back in the mantle and carrying the shield, just in time for July's Captain America: The First Avenger movie). While I have no qualms or complaints about Steve being back, I just wish they treated Bucky's departure better, and his return a few months later signifies that the "death" was meaningless and an excuse to bring him back to his former role of the Winter Soldier. It's not going to be a bad thing given that Brubaker's handling the character he created, but how this impacts Cap fans is both mixed and varied. I feel the same way I did when Captain America: Reborn was running and showed how Steve Rogers managed to return from beyond death: utterly confused and dismayed. I'm going to miss Bucky's tenure as Cap, but I'm glad he's back... though he didn't need to pull off a "John Walker" and die in the first place. This is also evidently the teaser Marvel posted way back, where a single Red Star and the words "What if there wasn't only one?" etched in the middle of it.
For more on the story, visit Marvel.com and the source post at Newsarama and Comic Book Resources.
The new Winter Soldier series hits next year on February, 2012.