WINTER SOLDIER #19

By: Jason Latour (Writer), Nic Klein (Artist/Colorist)

The Story: Tesla Tarasova tries to erase her past by using her cosmic ray powers and the Tarasova tesseract as Bucky tries to reason with her.

The Review: This was an ending that we almost didn’t deserve. This sounds a bit harsh, sure, but with this title’s cancellation due to low sales, Jason Latour could have given us as cheap an ending he could have wanted, admitting defeat as James Buchanan Barnes story came to a close for a while. Instead, he gave us something that not only pay respect to the work Ed Brubaker did on him, but also to the whole Winter Soldier series.

What he does here is simple, yet amazingly effective as Latour uses every plot point, every piece of history he has written in his 6-issues arc to reinforce just what Bucky Barnes is all about, just how much he has grown as a character. In the very conclusion to the Electric Ghost story, we see that Tesla Tarasova has created something akin to a cosmic cube, a tool called the Tarasova tesseract that enables her to build a bridge toward space and time and to destroy it if needs be. Using this, she tries to kill those who have wronged her, the monsters that just ruined hundreds of life with their decisions. With Bucky as her witness, we get glimpses of what had been told and deduced from Tesla’s past in a whole new light, which brings it all full circle in a way.

Here, we just get the chance to see that Latour just gets who Bucky is. All along the murderous and sacrilegious spree of Tarasova, we see how his morality, as constructed by Brubaker, works. What we get is a point where Bucky would be hard-pressed not to take advantage of, an opportunity to just rewrite how things could have been. He could save Black Widow from being brainwashed by Leo Novokov, perhaps even save himself from his ‘’death’’ from World War 2 or even from any of the terrible situations he has been thrown into during his numerous adventures. However, in true character growth, he completely refuses this golden opportunity, as he believes in moving forward and to let the past be the past, even though his whole life has been him fighting with the very thing he did in the past when he was the actual Winter Soldier. The whole argumentation between Tesla Tarasova and him is the very best part of this issue as it really stays true to the character, celebrating just what made him work in the first place.

Of course, there’s also some finality as it is sadly the very last issue of this title. We also get some last scene with Robads, in true spy fashion as he gives us yet another look into his psyche. Giving us a traditional spy ending with Bucky and him trading some final lines in a beautiful tropical sunset, Latour shows he could have done more with the character, yet has enough class to just give us what was about this character and do so in style, without giving a metaphor about his story being prematurely ending. It’s beautiful stuff and it does give us a somewhat satisfying conclusion on this part.

Nic Klein. I seriously could just name him and end this review with this. Do I have anything more to say about him beside the fact that he’s been miraculous on his stint on this title? Here, he even gives us some of his very best effort as his experimentation with panel layouts, coloring techniques and other effects, mixing the technological with the cosmic with the more down to earth in a psychedelic melting pot of beauty. As good as Latour was on the plot and his take on Bucky, it was Nic Klein that was the real star here and I seriously hope that Marvel takes notice of his talent. This guy needs to be on a grade-A book right now.

The Conclusion: A stunning conclusion to the title and to the journey of Bucky Barnes in his spying adventures that looks simply marvelous. I applaud both Jason Latour and Nic Klein for giving us something of this caliber and I hope we’ll get to see them collaborate one more time.

Grade: A-

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Grade

Conclusion