WINTER SOLDIER VOL. 4: THE ELECTRIC GHOST (Marvel, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Winter Soldier Nos. 15-19 (cover dates April- August, 2013)
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist and Colorist: Nic Klein
Poor Jason Latour. Having to follow a writer as beloved as Ed Brubaker on a title where Brubaker redefined a character is such a daunting task that I can only imagine him having many sleepless nights cooking stuff up. I can honestly say that this title didn't miss a beat. I enjoyed these issues almost as much as Brubaker's. Most fans bolted, resulting in this series being put on ice, which is a shame because this is some good stuff.
I was also unfamiliar with Nic Klein's work, but a quick search revealed that he has been making the rounds for years. He does some quality stuff here, and I am pleased enough with it that I am going to pick up another book that he did, Dancer.
Bucky/The Winter Soldier confronts another ghost from his past, this one calling herself the Electric Ghost. This is as hard-edged and brutal as we've come to expect from the title. It's a shame that it's been cancelled, as the whole “Bucky's shrouded past” thing seems like fertile ground for lots of cool stories. Maybe he'll get another shot at a title with the second Captain America coming out next summer.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Between the ever-so-slight decontenting of the cardstock cover and the slightly thinner paper, this book feels thin. I suspect that as we march ever onward to all digital comics, these books will become more and more cheaply made until no one will want physical books, at which point I will quit this hobby and use my money to buy a Corvette.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: The variant covers are inserted after the issue, with the average consumer edition cover being the chapter marker spot. Listed below are the covers included after each issue:
#15 variant by Nic Klein
#16 variant by Mike Deodato & Morry Hollowell
#17 variant by Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi
#18 variant by Dave Johnson
#19 variant by Jason Latour
Soldiering On page from issue 17, included as an Afterword.
Paper rating: 4.25 out of 5. The coated stock paper is decent but not great.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Typical glued binding. The book is thin enough that it lays pretty flat, like a fat comic book.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. The lamination on the card stock cover is thinner and feels ever so slightly cheaper than what Marvel has been using.