Review: Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier, Vol. 1: The Man on the Wall

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier, Vol. 1: The Man on the WallBucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier, Vol. 1: The Man on the Wall by Ales Kot
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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Ales Kot writes some odd-ball shit. Gotta have mad respect for a guy that isn’t afraid to do his own thing and writes outside the box. That said, he was a little too far outta the box with this one for my tastes. Throw in a couple of unconventional artists and I’m lookin’ for an exit. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but I certainly wasn’t in love with it either.

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Ales take on Bucky was pretty ambitious. Kot follows up on the Original Sin event of a year or so ago with this collection. If you haven’t read that book, there’s some minor spoilers ahead. Buck has inherited the role of “the man on the wall” in this collection. The first line of preemptive defense against any potential threat to good ole’ mother Earth. It took some guts to change up Barnes’ previous persona in the Marvel Universe and take him beyond the espionage element I had come to associate with him thanks to Ed Brubaker. Now he’s more of a space-ranger, ala’ Buzz Lightyear, kinda guy. That said, I definitely prefer Ed’s take.

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It was also pretty unique in terms of the artwork provided for the story. The unusual layouts and maverick artistic styles of Marco Rudy and Langdon Foss were a pretty ballsy selections. I felt like this worked better in Ales’ Zero than it did in this book. And while I appreciated the attempt at doing something a little atypical here, it just didn’t rock my world. The art was tough to read and difficult to follow in parts, and while it wasn’t necessarily ugly, it didn’t do much for me either.

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Ales had a lot going against him with me in this book. Cosmic stories, not my bag. Superheroes in cosmic stories, nuh-uh. Throw in a little time travel and nope, peace out. Really tough for any writer to make that stuff work for me. It can be done, but not this time.

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So, this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I’ve accepted that Kot, like all my favorite authors, is gonna put out the occasional stinker. But I’m not givin’ up on Ales. It’s onto Secret Avengers and I’m pretty damned excited about that title. That shit looks sick.

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About Lono

I spend most of my time thinking about comics, tattoos, guns, beer, comics, my kids, comics, my wife, bourbon, samurai, comics, boobs, and English Bulldogs. And very rarely, if ever, think about work. I’m the less literate, rarely appropriate, knuckle-dragger of the bunch. I’ll make any excuse to hang out with my Shallow Reading pals, nerding out about comics, and avoiding responsibility at all costs. Only my name has been changed to protect the justifiably embarrassed. For completely un-waxed full frontal nudity, hit me up over at Goodreads.

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