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Devil's Reign: Winter Soldier #1
Marvel Comics

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‘Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier’ #1 review

Bucky embarks on a dangerous mission to retrieve pieces of his broken life.

In Devil’s Reign, the latest Marvel event, NYC Mayor Wilson Fisk is on a mission to take down the world’s greatest superheroes. Fisk has detailed info on superheroes like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and Luke Cage. The type of information that if it got out to the public could be highly dangerous, like secret missions, identities, and their histories. But the Bucky Barnes is hardly gonna stand back and let that information leak. 

In Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier, Bucky takes a solo trip to Wilson Fisk’s place, Gracie Mansion, to steal files on him and every other superhero. But leaving alive with that information…well, that might be the tricky part if Kingpin has anything to say about it. Writer Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and artist Nico Leon give us a hard-hitting look at what a man would be willing to do to recover the broken, fragile pieces of a life he only knows a little bit about. Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier is a poetic love letter to the sins of Bucky Barnes’ past and curiosity of an uncertain future.

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If you know Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, then you know he only cares about two things: himself and power. From the first page of dialogue where we hear someone off-panel say, “I’ve posted the guards without families,” as we watch Wilson Fisk put on an expensive ring from a drawer full of jewelry, you know that Lanzing and Kelly have captured the embodiment of what Wilson Fisk is all about. He’s even more impressive as a villain in the Marvel Universe who doesn’t have a single power to his name. But what Wilson Fisk does have, as you’ll learn while reading this issue, is an assortment of resources, power in high places, and files he has in his possession that would bring any hero to their knees. Now that’s true power.

What I loved most about reading Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier is how much more I felt for Bucky. Here’s a guy who has half a memory of his own life. And Mayor Fisk is the key to Bucky perhaps learning what horrid pieces of his history he may be unaware of. How many lives he’s ruined, friends and family he’s missed, and more. Lanzing and Kelly unpack many emotionally drawn moments connected to the Winter Soldier while having Wilson Fisk shine at the same time in his own bizarre and sadistic way.

As for the illustrations provided by Nico Leon, there’s a great use of shadow play here mixed with some gritty, in-your-face moments that pack a helluva punch when they show up throughout the book. In addition, the assortment of bold but straightforward colorwork by Felipe Sobriero adds a nice touch at bringing a realistic and sharp look to the story. And the letter placement of VC’s Joe Caramagna is solid and never distracts from the artwork or the story. 

Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier is a story that’ll have you rooting for Bucky Barnes for sure. Whether he gets to celebrate, well, you’ll have to read it to find out. Great job all around by the entire team that put this comic together in a way that has it serve as an awesome segue from the terrific main story.

Devil's Reign: Winter Soldier #1
‘Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier’ #1 review
Devil's Reign: Winter Soldier #1
Devil's Reign: Winter Soldier is a story that'll have you rooting for Bucky Barnes for sure. Whether he gets to celebrate, well, you'll have to read it to find out. Great job all around by the entire team that put this comic together in a way that has it serve as an awesome segue from the terrific main story.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.7
Spot on writing that's deep, magnetic and simply poetic.
Gritty, in-your-face illustrations with the right combination of violence and clever storytelling.
8.5
Great

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