By Rick Remender, Roland Boschi, Chris Chuckry
It’s a magical experience when two words of fictional worlds combine, more so when both are approached with affection and dedication. Winter Soldier The Bitter March melds fantastical superhero action with the best qualities of espionage and intrigue from classical James Bond stories. Just in time to coincide with the latest and greatest Captain America movie, Bitter March serves as an entry into the former sidekick’s largely glossed over history. It fills in a blank, slightly deconstructing the carefully constructed mythological past of the Winter Soldier. He becomes more than a product of whispers, rumors, and legend. The Cold War may be over, but so is summer: winter (Soldier) has certainly come to the Marvel Universe.
One of the best things about reading a Remender comic is the overwhelming fun bursting from every page. Whether or not writing the script was an act of discouraging labor, Remender comics have this universal sense that the writer is having fun, enjoying himself with the characters. The repartee on just about every page is the most pronounced evidence of this sense of fun, it’s so tongue-in-cheek, and so perfectly sets the tone of the 60s setting. Hyrda, Nazi scientists, American espionage, it all feels as if it were extrapolated directly from an unwritten Fleming novel. This Fleming-esque panache paints a vibrant coat over an already heavily romanticized era of global history, transporting us to a state where the line between fiction and reality is slightly obscured.
Adding to the fantastic tone, Boschi and Chuckry dropkick the reader off the suspension of disbelief cliff. Despite the outrageous nature of the story the world Boschi and Chuckry create instils a level of realism into the reader which makes the fantasy unquestionably real. The action is clear, concise, with a precision characteristic of secret agent expediency. The precision of movement is so pronounced it’s difficult to not hear the low surf guitar strumming of James Bond’s iconic theme emanating from the page.
The new chapter in Winter Soldier’s legacy is off to an explosive start. If Remender, Boschi, and Chuckry are exiting the gate with a story as exciting as Bitter March #1, there’s no telling how crazy this comic is going to get by the end.