Winter Soldier. Issue 3. Comic Book Review!

Dooms… day!

Winter Soldier #3!
(Brubaker. Guice. Gaudiano. Breitweiser)

Your opinion on this issue will likely be the same as your opinion when it comes to Doctor Doom. Either you find him a truly fantastic antagonist, or you think he’s a cheesy remnant of the 1960s.

I personally find him to be a fantastic antagonist, ableit one who varies in terms of how effective he is. Some stories nail Doom, other stories paint him with broad strokes. Like The Kingpin, he’s capable of transcending traditional superhero stories and entering into the grimier parts of the Marvel-verse, but requires a sure hand.

Brubaker has that sure hand.

In fact, I’m going to guess he’s a Doctor Doom fanboy. Because this issue takes him out of his comfort zone, plunking him into a spy comic (granted one with superpowered monkeys, but still…), and has him face off against Black Widow and Winter Soldier, a pair of espionage agents.

And it is glorious.

One of the things I’m digging about Winter Soldier is the mix between the colourful Marvel-universe of garish costumes and the fantastical, with a post-Casino Royale James Bond feel, where everything is brutal and the harshness of the spy-game is put out for all to see. Throwing Doctor Doom into this was a risk, but it pays off. He’s more insidious than he has been in years, as well as being depicted as someone who can match physicality with the best of them.

This is evident in the drawings, the writing, and the colour scheme. Doctor Doom’s green is muted, his mannerisms subtler, his demeanour distinctly less broad than usual. This isn’t the Shakespearean Doctor Doom, it’s an insidious Bond villain (played straighter) who’s caught in the middle of a dangerous political game. Which forces Doctor Doom on the defensive, somewhere he’s (arguably) at his best.

I’m really enjoying this series. While I’m not the biggest fan of espionage and spy stories, I’m finding myself oddly compelled by Brubaker and co’s shadowy piece.

Grade: B+

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