The Winter Soldier is the perfect comic to start with

Captain America is not just a character, he is a symbol. Several writers/artists use him to compare what they think of America Should be with what he is. After all, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon first drew him punching Hitler because they desperately wanted the United States to do just that. (“Captain America Comics” #1 came out in 1940, before America entered World War II.) Brubaker’s Captain America is still a good guy, but also a darker man of action; he’s introduced training, and Sharon notes that he’s been acting angrier than usual lately. In essence, Cap’s mood is the same as it was in the nation’s in 2004.

The mastermind behind “Winter Soldier” is KGB agent turned energy CEO Alexander Lukin. A protégé of Soviet Colonel Vasily Karpov, the man who created Winter Soldier, Lukin uses Bucky’s iron fist as if it were his own. Lukin’s character is allegorical for Russia’s post-Cold War transition from a communist to a capitalist state.

The first scene of the comic is Lukin executing the Red Guardian, the Soviet counterpart of Captain America, killing a vestige of old Russia. Then, the comic last page reveals that Red Skull used the Cosmic Cube to escape death by placing his mind in Lukin’s body, Mr. Hyde-style. Scratch the surface of a mega-capitalist and you find a fascist. While Captain America is a hero of conviction, Lukin is a chameleon who dons several ideological coats for personal gain.

The bad that people Truly remember though, it’s the same Winter Soldier. This comic is the first time Bucky has ever looked cool and a lot of that credit goes to his new look designed by Epting. The Winter Soldier’s MCU look is almost a recreation of his comic book design because you can’t improve on perfection.

“Winter Soldier” (character and story) had all the potential of a failed experiment, but Brubaker and his artists knew how to thread the needle of risk.

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