Written by: Derek Landy
Art by: Federico Vicentini
Colors by: Matt Milla
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: September 30th, 2020
Just like the show I almost forgot this comic even existed. With a six month gap between issues two and three and almost zero progression in issue three, it may have been the smarter choice to just pretend this title got canceled.
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are back! But did it really need to be? Derek Landy is not moving this series along very fast and with this being issue three, I can see Marvel making the ‘ol “This was always intended to be a mini-series” announcement after they see the sales on this third issue. Landy loves his fight scenes, not as much as Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, but just enough to notice that the majority of all three issues of Falcon & Winter Solider have been “big” fights. Landy is also continuing the ongoing conversation between Bucky and Sam about Veterans, PTSD, and how to deal with it. The subject matter should be deep and meaningful, someone should be learning something, but having it as a quick back and forth in a larger battle pushes the importance of the subject matter to the side.
The Natural, or as Sam and Bucky come to learn from his parents, Jr., has some sense of morality. As psychotic as he may be, being raised by Captain America super fans at least gave him an idea of right and wrong, good and evil. Having Hydra come in and manipulate him, as talented as he is, makes for the perfect weapon, but we see the Captain America influence does not wane. Jr makes his own costume and it raised the question, Where is Patriot in the Marvel Universe? Could the Natural turn good? And make his way into The Champions or another group? The last Patriot, Rayshaun Lucas, was last seen as Falcon’s sidekick. Could Jr. be Bucky’s sidekick? Both coming from a darker past, could help each other emotionally and help each other strive towards becoming better heroes.
Federico Vicentini has had better days than this issue. The first two issues were done better. With no surprise you can see the decline in the larger fight scene, a lot going on, but seemed a bit rushed. Matt Milla’s colors seemed washed throughout the issue. It’s assumed this issue was done and ready for release six months ago and Marvel just chose to move it in a place that seemed appropriate, but this issue definitely needed a “once over” midway through the government shutdown to make some improvements.
Although the realization that Jr could be a good fit as a Winter Soldier sidekick, it doesn’t change the fact that almost nothing happened in this issue other than some nostalgic fan service and a semi-big reveal for the next issue, which I hope actually progresses the story more. If this series gets more than 6 issues Bucky and Sam need to have the conversation about their veteran-ship and PTSD with no interruptions, it would put weight on the issue and it would be worth it for the character development.