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Captain America: Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection


Ed Brubaker (Author); Steve Epting, Michael Lark, etc.(Illustrators)

Marvel Comics (Publisher)


I very much enjoyed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and was curious to examine the comic arc that originated the film. The art is clean and expressive, allowing for a solid rendering of well-known faces. And while the comic does not delve into the damnably interesting issue of justice precognition, Brubaker and Co. do not disappoint, delivering a story that embodies all the punch of a well-timed Cap knockout. For me, the most interesting part of any superhero story is the subtext, the material just beneath the surface. Brubaker’s Captain America, despite being the literal embodiment of American patriotic values, has given us a character that demonstrates the nuances every good hero should possess. Cap has suffered inestimable losses, is complicated, possesses doubt and questions the party line. His PTSD-laced flashbacks are brutal, made worse by the fact that it is clear his mind has difficulty distinguishing between reality and dreams. There but for the grace of Dr. Erskine go thee, and Cap soon discovers that being the most powerful man in America does not exempt him from the crippling emotional pain that comes with losing friends in war. Any closure that Cap might have had concerning his best friend Bucky Barnes is shattered when it is revealed that Bucky has been kept on ice by the Soviets for decades and used as a brainwashed assassin to further political causes that would make Uncle Sam turn over in his grave. Cap is forced to confront his friend in a battle that asks him to put aside the political for the personal, and to consider the real human losses associated with power and the nefarious machinations of those who possess it.

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