The Falcon and Winter Soldier mini-series continues onward, and this issue was just amazing. Issue #1 set up Sam and Bucky’s team-up and introduced us to “The Natural,” who took down both heroes. Last issue felt more like a really didn’t give us much information, but that turned out to be a really good hook as this issue spills the beans and lets us in on why Sam and Bucky will be on this adventure. Plus, if you look at advance solicits, you will see a character on the cover who will return and complicate things for both men.
A major thing that I appreciated in this issue is the humor that started coming out of Sam and Bucky, which helped to ground them and put them in a tone that matches their MCU counterparts — good move on writer Derek Landy’s part, as this will read very nicely for a wider net of fans. I enjoyed the moment when Sam offers to carry Bucky to the train that they have to catch. Once the two land on the train, Bucky is gung-ho to get in there but Sam is hesitant as he is tired from carrying Bucky. It’s funny to see those moments in comics start to pop up that ground them in reality.
One thing I found interesting was the tension between Sam and Bucky when it comes to killing, as Bucky will do it and Sam doesn’t want him doing that at all.
That could come into play against the two characters later on in the series, as I’m sure with all the cloak and dagger business there will be a moment where someone might need to be put down permanently. We get to learn more about what is going on with The Natural and his motivations towards being Hydra Supreme.
Something that was fun in the issue was the mentioning of Baron Zemo, who will be the villain in the Disney+ series, and his death in the comics; Bucky believes that the Punisher killed him while Sam thinks that the Kingpin did the deed. Yet in reality, it turns out that (SPOILER ALERT) he isn’t dead at all, just maimed by the Punisher since he cut off his right hand. Yes, Zemo did die by way of the Ghost and was resurrected…comics, right?
I’m glad that Baron Zemo is back as this will really tie in nicely with the upcoming show and also Baron Zemo and Bucky Barnes have quite the history. Both versions of Baron Zemo had done Bucky dirty.
This also adds to the rich history between all three characters and puts them in quite the situation as Zemo plans to exploit Bucky’s pardon from his previous Winter Soldier activities, which also drags Sam into the situation as he wants to help his friend. Zemo takes it a step further, reminding them that The Natural would be a far worse threat instead of dealing with Zemo, who they know. Artist Federico Vicentini does a great job on the action scenes in this issue as well along with the calmer scenes; he does a great job giving Sam and Bucky a real brother in arms closeness with their confrontation with Zemo.