Artist: Roland Boschi
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
“The Bitter March Part 2”
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Ran Shen must escort two former Nazi scientists out of Russia to make sure their alchemy formula doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This is easier said than done when the Winter Soldier and Hydra have Shen in their sights.
Ups: The characters in this series are really starting to grow on me. Agent Shen is a very capable spy, but he also has a sense of humor and spends a good amount of time hitting on women that he really shouldn’t be hitting on which I find entertaining. This issue also introduces some more villains in the assassin known as “The Drain” and his hydra subordinates. The Drain is delightfully eccentric and sadistic and I can’t wait to see more of him as the series goes on. The titular character, Winter Soldier, gets a good amount of attention in this issue and it’s interesting to learn about what he was like during the Cold War.
Downs: The beginning of the issue was a little slow, mostly because it consisted of exposition heavy dialogue, but after that gets taken care of the issue picks up quick.
Overall: This issue marks a crucial point in any spy story. Somewhere towards the middle of the issue all of the lines are drawn and it’s up to each of the characters to try to achieve their respective goals, and no one is really on the same side in this story. All of the characters are well developed and it really feels like anything could happen in this series. This issue had a good amount of action in it but I most enjoyed how things are being set up for later issues. All of the pieces are in place and the stage is set, it’s only a matter of time before the tension snaps and something drastic happens.
Grade: 4 of 5