I’ve been reading, and to varying degrees, enjoying, the books of the Marvel Now relaunch (but not a reboot! Because Marvel doesn’t reboot! And there have always been enough readers who give a tinker’s shit about Havok to put him on an Avengers team!), but the more I read, the more I am beginning to believe that we have just come off the back side of one hell of an era of Marvel comics. I mean, look back to, say, Civil War. Since then, and up until the Marvel Now books, we had Spider-Man’s Brand New Day and Dan Slott’s run of stories on that title. We’ve had Bendis’s Avengers and New Avengers arcs. Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man, and Christos Gage’s Avengers Academy. And while not all of the crossover events have been great shakes (everyone gets a hammer? Really?), you gotta admit that Marvel, in general, put out one hell of a run of comics in that period between 2006 and 2011.
And through it all has been Ed Brubaker on the Captain America titles. From the reincarnation of Bucky to the death of Captain America to his rebirth to the launch of Winter Soldier, Brubaker has delivered some damn good action / espionage stories through the years, and have singlehandedly put Captain America on my pull list for the first time, well, ever.
Well, Brubaker is already off of Captain America in favor of Rick Remender, but he has remained on Winter Soldier… until now. Brubaker says goodbye to Bucky and Captain America, at least for now, with Winter Soldier #14. And while I had some issues with the early issues of the title (somewhere along the line, we went from Captain America being martyred in the aftermath of Civil War to a filthy Commie monkey with a machine gun), as a swan song for Brubaker’s run in Cap and Bucky’s world, it is true to form, a fitting conclusion for his work with the character… and a reminder that we are in a whole new world with Marvel Now… for good or ill.