In honor of the upcoming film starring a character taking up a previous hero’s mantle, here are our ten picks for heroes who have done just that!
#10.The Flash-Barry Allen:
“A Silver-Age reinvention of the Golden Age character, Barry Allen shares many traits with his predecessor. Not the least of which, he inspired HIS own future replacement, Wally West. So in a way, Barry works two ways as a Legacy hero in honoring the past and making way for the future generations of the Flash!”
In Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #1 you get to see two of Marvel’s most exciting young creators evolve different aspects of their style as they introduce a new concept for the character. In it we are shown a cold open where Bucky looks like he’s about to get his just due before a last second save by his partner from where the comic transitions into set up. One of the things that’s interesting about this debut is how with as good as All New Marvel Now has been most of the first issues have followed a pretty standard formula where as this manages to upend that while still managing to produce an interesting set up and action in a way that is almost linear story telling with abstract art work. Ales Kot is excellent as per the usual but Bucky Barnes is notable for the way he is improving in his dialogue and characterization. There’s a looseness to the way Bucky interacts in this that is a welcome surprise to both Kot’s writing and the character itself. Marco Rudy is a fantastic as he’s always been with his visual storytelling that is perhaps his most vibrant and full of life illustration style that we’ve seen from him yet. The color work and transitions here are simply marvelous in there uniqueness of vision and execution. These are two guys that were born to work together and giving them this kind of cosmic black op’s story feels like the right way to utilize their strengths as comic creators within the context of the marvel universe. In short Bucky Barnes Winter Soldier is a fantastic debut that manages to meet it’s lofty expectations and ambitions head on while showing strong promise for it’s future. It’s a journey you’ll want to join in.
In the first issue of The Winter Soldier: The Bitter March Rick Remender set up a nearly flawless premise of the Buck Barnes in full on Soviet Assassin mode in a story that played off the existentialist terror of a violent death looming around the corner. In issue that premise falls flat on it’s face with awful cliché’s and a meandering narrative that doesn’t appear to have any interest of going anywhere. The key to great horror is movement. The plot is supposed to run quickly as the fear encloses the protagonist. Here that momentum is shattered as we spend way too much on a train while subjecting you to every bad comic idea possible throughout. In this we get Bucky missing a kill shot because of repressed memory of Captain America, some horrible mustache twirling villainy, the most inessential bubble butt in a mini skirt that would make Black Chyna role her eyes and some seriously ham fisted political dialogue about men in power or something. The later part is probably the most disappointing as Remender has been improving in his comics as of late by utilizing political commentary within his narratives but this was just far too clunky to be effective in the micro sense of advancing a story let alone as conveying any kind of profound ideologies about systems of power. Roland Boschi’s art is fine but without a strong narrative to hold it up it feels as aimless as the rest of this comic. The first issue of this series showed so much promise. The second breaks all of it.
I don’t know what changed but Rick Remender is on a roll right now. What little we have seen from him in 2014 is his best since Warren Worthington III was reborn and Flash Thompson was on the lamb from Captain America. While his ongoing series have all improved it’s his debuts in the new year that have really astounded. Deadly Class was as strong of a debut from a creator owned series since Zero and Sex Criminals and with Winter Solider: The Bitter March Remender continues his hot streak with a new unique take on Bucky Barnes and the world he thrived in. Remender can let idea’s and emotions overshadow the plot but when he’s locked in it is something special. Here we start off with a cool riff on Steranko’s Nick Fury but it’s abrupt turn in the middle sets the tone for this as a horror comic based around the looming menace of the Winter Soldier; a deadly legend that nobody has lived long enough to confirm it’s existence. We’ve seen a lot of different iterations of Bucky Barnes since Brubaker brought him back; we’ve seen him as Captain America, we’ve seen him as a secret shield agent, we’ve seen his child hood and we’ve seen him in love with Natasha but his life as the Winter Soldier has always been alluded to without very many concrete details. Here that version of Bucky Barnes is front and center and Remender makes him stealth, determined and terrifying. Roland Boschi art gives the story a subtle vintage retro feel with washed out colors, straight line work and gorgeous landscapes. He get’s one set of panels that display the type of body horror that could give Michael DeForge nightmares. It’s a strong opening shot in a story that looks to make you understand what the Winter Soldier period of Bucky Barnes life story really meant in a way where the menace and terror is mostly implied but still fully felt.