Comic Review: Winter Soldier: Winter Kills – One-Shot

Published: December 27th, 2006
Written by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Lee Weeks

Marvel Comics, 39 Pages


It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything from Marvel’s Civil War era but I though that I’d give this one-shot a chance, as I must have missed it back then. Plus, I like Winter Soldier and I like one-shots.

This takes place while the original Civil War was going on. It focuses on Winter Soldier trying to adjust to life after having been a brainwashed killer for so long. It also takes place on the first Christmas after he was freed from mind control while calling back to his last Christmas before everything went really bad for him, back in World War II with Captain America and Toro by his side.

This is short and sweet but it hit the mark for me.

You get to see the camaraderie between Bucky, Cap, Toro and Namor during the war and how important those relationships were. Then Bucky, now as the Winter Solider, is alone on Christmas, goes on a mission for Nick Fury and gets tied up in a fracas with Hydra, The Patriot, The Vision and the female Hawkeye, Kate Bishop.

Even though heroes find themselves on different sides of the Civil War divide, they come together out of respect for who Winter Soldier was and because it’s Christmas.

This isn’t as mushy as it sounds though. There is a lot of solid action and a good gritty tone while also critiquing what Christmas and America have become in the decades since Bucky was just a soldier in the 1940s.

Winter Kills is an enjoyable read and helps to build up Winter Soldier as a character. This also came out just before he took over as Captain America for awhile.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: Marvel’s Civil WarCaptain America: Civil War and the Ed Brubaker run on Captain America.

Comic Review: Ultimate Civil War: Spider-Ham

Published: March, 2007
Written by: J. Michael Straczynski
Art by: Mike Wieringo, John Severin, Nick Dragotta, Skottie Young, Jim Mahfood

Marvel Comics, 25 Pages


I read this while eating a ham and cheese omelet and a side of bacon at the diner by my house. I kind of feel guilty in retrospect but I guess it helped me have a greater appreciation for Spider-Ham in some weird, twisted way.

Spider-Ham is a parody character but his best stories are the ones that cross over with the real Marvel heroes. This one issue book is a parody of the events of Civil War but it features the real Captain America, Iron Man and Doctor Strange, who has the largest cameo.

Spider-Ham is a little disturbed over the fact that he doesn’t have thought bubbles like the comics of old. This is to poke fun at the modern style of comics that usually present inner dialogue in boxes. Spider-Ham just wants his old school thought bubbles, so he goes on a quest in search of them.

Our porky hero crosses paths with the Avengers battling each other and finds himself sucked into the void with Doctor Strange, who was unaware that Spider-Ham was right next to him when he cast a spell. Spider-Ham then finds himself bouncing around different realities and one is even a parody of Apocalypse Now. In the end, we get a hilarious and glorious twist.

This is an incredibly quick read and a fun one at that. I love Spider-Ham when he pops up in stuff and reading his own comic, which I haven’t done since I was a kid in the ’80s was a blast.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: The Amazing Spider-Ham: 25th Anniversary Special and Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted?