Advance Review: Devil’s Reign Winter Soldier #1

By | January 23, 2022

The Devil’s Reign crossover event continues this week, with perhaps a character that seems a touch oxymoronic in his actions being as they seem be counter intuitive to the overall theme of the event.  Bucky Barnes is after Wilson Fisk’s files, not to protect his own secrets, but to actually uncover them and get a better understanding of his life as the Winter Soldier!

Wilson Fisk is being driven mad by that one fact that stays just out of reach.  Now influenced by something which he cannot control, he wanders his mansion in search of that one thing he can’t see.  James “Bucky” Buchanan is also in search of those things that he can’t see.  The two are set to collide in a desperate attempt to finally exorcise the devils that drive them!

This issue is written by Jackson Lanzing and Colin Kelly; the former is a writer that I haven’t heard a lot about recently.  The pair set out the table for a bit of a psycho drama, played out in both real time and mind time.  The pair allow the confusing to bleed both characters, allowing the reader to feel the confusion of both Bucky and Fisk.  It’s a brave choice mainly as readers prefer a straight-up start, middle and end format.  This book, much like its place in the overall Devil’s Reign event, feels like a middle, middle and middle.  Fans of the event should enjoy the further decent of Fisk, though I am not sure that even the biggest of Winter Soldier fans will fully enjoy another episode of Bucky’s “what did I do?” show, a trope that has been used time and time again.

The art is provided by new Catwoman artist Nico Leon, and truth be told it is something of a revelation!  Gone is the cheesecake and in its place is a statuesque style with a dominating Fisk overshadowing a normally dominant Bucky.  Strong panel designs allow for a trippy experience with facial elements only coming into the fore when required.  A good as the art from Leon is; it has to be said that the colors from Felipe Sobreiro are fantastic!  From the sanest moment to those covered in the depths of red, each panel and page is dripping with style, horrific intent and powerful impacts!  With a script that wavers between lucidity and the confusion of desires merging with memories VC’s Joe Caramagna does a great job of acting as anchor of sorts, not letting the characters get lost in the art, helping to keep their purpose on track, with the highlight being the unravelling Fisk.

At first reading, I wasn’t that impressed with this book.  Bucky looking for his past is as used as a story as Red Hood being angry at Batman.  Lanzing and Kelly have used the usual desire of the character [Bucky]  to change the perspective of the whole Fisk files.  As such, this is an interesting book that stand out against the usual superhero ideal of trying to take down the bad guy.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

Overall – 4.5 Stars

Written by; Jackson Lanzing & Colin Kelly
Art by; Nico Leon
Colors by; Feilipe Sobreiro
Letters by; VC’s Joe Caramagna
Published by; Marvel Worldwide Inc.