Category Archives: Captain America
There are the comic books you read because they star a particularly favourite character – or group of characters. There are also the comic books you read because a major got-the-fans-talking storyline is running through them. Of course, there are the comics you read because a certain artist you enjoy is working on them, not to mention the comics you read because an effectively brilliant marketing blitz has convinced you to pick the books up.
Then again, maybe it’s the name of the writer that has peaked your interest.
And that’s how Ed Brubaker drew me into Winter Soldier.
I was a little late to the writer, Ed Brubaker. I knew of him, but didn’t read his work until the hardcover collected editions of Gotham Central started hitting the shelves. Even then, I was reading Gotham Central because of co-writer Greg Rucka and because I always loved the art of Michael Lark.
In hindsight, I should have been more aware of is work.
Of course, I absolutely adored Gotham Central – specifically Ed Brubaker’s writing on the series. And doncha’ know, he had worked with Michael Lark a few years earlier on Scene of the Crime, another fine title, recently collected in a hardcover edition and making this very column last November!
Over the last year and a half, Ed Brubaker and artist Butch Guice’s monthly offering of Winter Soldier has been, hands down, one of the best comics I’ve ever had the joy of reading. Bold words, I know, but I’m not alone. There are plenty of other Biff Bam Poppers around these parts who feel the same way. To be honest, I wasn’t very familiar with Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s long-time pal, who, it turns out, was kidnapped by the Soviets and brainwashed into being a communist assassin. The Winter Soldier series is Bucky’s penance.
Part superhero comic, part detective noir, and part political thriller, Winter Soldier always had its main protagonist as a central character study. Here was a broken patriot, now in the midst of healing, trying to do right once again and reclaim the man – the hero – he once was. It’s been a fascinating read, month after month, and has won plaudits throughout the industry. For a heightened sense of drama, Brubaker brought back an old assassin compatriot who has forced the brainwashing procedure on Bucky’s love interest, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow! Issue #14, out today, is the culmination of that storyline and readers have been eagerly awaiting the payoff for the length of the series.
Unfortunately, issue #14 is also Brubaker’s last issue on the title. He’s leaving the medium of comics (at least with the major publishers) in pursuit of television and film projects. The monthly Winter Soldier, I know, won’t be the same without him.
So make the run to your comic book shop today and pick up Winter Soldier #14 – the ending of a grand character study done in epic, action-packed fashion. A warm and fond farewell to an adored series and a favourite writer indeed!
Best of luck in your future projects Ed – we’ll definitely be looking out with fervent interest as to what you’re up to!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
The teaming up of Roger Stern and John Byrne was one of those key 1980s pairings in which the sum of their total was greater than their parts. Roger Stern was writing The Incredible Hulk and editing the Uncanny X-Men while John Byrne was hitting a creative peak with Chris Claremont on the Uncanny X-Men.
Everything about Captain America #253 screamed horror, from its creepy cover to it’s atmospheric opening to its cliffhanger ending. It started with a murder in England, apparently the work of a deadly slasher who had left the victim drained of blood. The prolog had a wonderful Hammer Horror feel to it and you couldn’t help but look for Peter Cushing to walk on to one of the panels and make a cameo.
Oh boy. You know, there are a lot of really interesting comics released today. A lot.
Does anyone out there remember the original mid-1980’s television commercial for the very first Legend of Zelda video game? You know: “Which. Way. To. Go?” No? Well, that’s how I’m feeling within the confines of this column today. I’ve been recommending multiple comics for the past few Wednesdays – and that kinda feels like cheating when the modus operandi of The Wednesday Run is to recommend one great comic each week. Besides, how could you or I possibly carry all of the cool books out today? We’d need a donkey! Any volunteers to help me carry a few items out of my local shop today?
I mean, the Halloween-flavoured Superman ghost story in Action Comics #13, the just-in-time-for-everyone’s-favourite-candy-coated-holiday first trade collection of I, Vampire, part one of the much-anticipated “Rotworld” storyline in Swamp Thing or the absolutely beautiful first issue of Daredevil: End of Days could all make the singular recommendation this week.
So…Which. Way. To. Go?
No, no. I need to pick one. And although the title of this week’s column is a huge spoiler (I do love spoilers!), the reasons for the pick can be found after the jump.
In the comic book universe, it’s no secret that I fall on the side of DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. You know, the holy trinity of four-colour, sequential periodicals – the world’s most recognized pop-culture heroes – the Justice League.
As evidenced by the many debates with comic book loving pals (many of whom write for and/or read this very site) about the pros and cons of the DC and Marvel universes, that means I’m not a big Avengers fan. You can’t love the Leafs and the Habs, City and United, Yankees and Mets. You have to choose. At ten years of age, I chose DC.
And on the eve of one of this summer’s most highly anticipated movies, I’m still not a fan. Not really. How could I be?
Marvel Is Avenged Thrice – AvX, The Kree Skrull War and Fury Highlight The Wednesday Run – May 2, 2012
Last fall, the weekly Wednesday run to the local comic book shop was hurriedly made on account of one specific publishing company: DC Comics. With their New 52 launch, great, irresistible titles were out every week! Who could say “no” to that many cool first issues?
This week turns the tables with Marvel Comics leading the way, the entertainment company releasing a whole host of goodies.
It’s Avengers week, after all, didn’t you know?
Make the run to your comic book shop. You’re going to find something you’ll like. Here’s a quick sampling in case you need a few specific suggestions I’ve “avengingly assembled” for you:
First off, if you had asked me a decade ago, two decades ago, even three decades ago, hell, let’s go there, I’m that old, or four decades ago, if I would ever live to see such an animal as an Avengers movie – a real mainstream big screen epic summer blockbuster Avengers movie – I would have laughed at you. And I am one of the biggest Avengers fans you’ll ever know. It is just not something I would have even dreamed possible. Add in the fact that it would be preceded by two Iron Man movies, two Hulk movies, a Thor, and a Captain America movie, and that it would have its own internal continuity – my mind would be blown.
Raise of hands: who here doesn’t like a little political intrigue, a little spy-vs-spy, in their superhero comics?
Yeah, I thought so. We all love it! Now, mix those elements together alongside one of comicdom’s most beloved characters (even if he does have a silly, dated name) and you’ve got a sure-fire hit on your hands. It’s a wonder Marvel Comics didn’t do this years ago!
Give Winter Soldier his own series. And let fan-favourite Ed Brubaker write it.