Captain America: Winter Soldier – First Time Read

Image is a comic book cover. At the top, it has menancing eyes with the word Captain America. It shows a man with a red, white, blue shield with a star in the middle. Below him are two people, a woman holding a weapon and a man holding a pistol

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of my favorite Marvel films. It’s a pivotal film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of the way that the movie permanently changes S.H.I.E.L.D. While at C2E2 this year, I went to a panel about Mental Health in Comics. One of the series that was brought up was Ed Brubaker’s Captain America: Winter Soldier run as this series explored Captain America’s PTSD from the war. After the panel, I purchased the ultimate collection of Captain America: Winter Soldier after the panel ended. Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of the best comic books of all time and I would argue it’s one of the best Marvel graphic novel series to exist to date.

Captain America: Winter Soldier begins with Steve being called in to investigate the murder of Red Skull. Steve can hardly believe that Red Skull was killed and seems pretty suspicious about the timing of his death. As the issues progress, Steve feels that his memories are being manipulated as he is misremembering certain events from the war. Some of those memories involve Bucky Barnes, his partner, who was killed after he tried to disarm a bomb that went off. Steve feels that someone is personally out to get him for revenge or some other purpose. After a major bomb explodes, Steve investigates and sees Bucky from a distance. Steve can’t believe his eyes until Nick Fury concludes that Bucky is alive operating under the alias “The Winter Soldier”. Steve is at a loss, he knows he needs to stop Bucky, but he feels there are parts of him that still remain.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is a dark story. I liked how Ed Brubaker took Captain America and made him more nuanced. Captain America has always been a positive, upbeat, person who wants to do the right thing. In other comic runs, they gloss over all of Captain America’s experiences in the war. In this series, Steve talks to Sharon Carter in detail about the memories of WWII and what still haunts him. It makes Captain America more human in a lot of ways because he is a regular person at the end of the day and there were major casualties in WWII that won’t be forgotten.

Steve Epting does an amazing job with the art along with Michael Lark who focused on the flashback art panels. In black & white, it shows Steve’s memories from the war which are mixed with reality in which Steve is retelling these stories. The art is interesting to look at and fits with the overall aesthetic of the story.

I couldn’t help but compare this graphic novel to the movie adaptation. For the most part, the movie does a great job of taking the story that Ed Brubaker originally wrote. Some of the major differences include Sharon Carter’s involvement, Red Skull, and Steve being sent Bucky’s original report. The differences do make sense especially because Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) took the Sharon Carter role in the graphic novel.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of those Marvel classic stories. It’s a great example of how to re-examine the same characters in new ways.

2 thoughts on “Captain America: Winter Soldier – First Time Read

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s