Four Colour Thoughts – Winter Guard #1

The Creators – Ryan Cady – Writer, Jan Bazaldua & Djibril Morissette-Phan – Artist, Federico Blee – Colours, Ariana Maher – Letters

The Players – Red Guardian, Yelena Belova (White Widow), Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Winter Guard (Crimson Dynamo, Red Widow, Vostok, Perun, Ursa Major, Darkstar, Vanguard, Chernobog)

The Story – The Avengers are looking for She-Hulk, last seen in the hands of the Winter Guard and Yelena might know something about it. Faced with a picture of a dead Ursa Major, she decides to tell the tale of how she made it out of Russia and what happened while she was there.

The Take – Spinning out of the Avengers ongoing title, Ryan Cady along with Jan Bazaldua and Djibril Morissette-Phan spin a tale of intrigue and action featuring the finest team to come out of Russia and they waste no time in getting to it. It all begins with the White Widow relating her experiences in Russia with the Red Guardian to the Black Widow who needs to know what went on and how it might relate to She-Hulk. Yelena aside, the Winter Guard is of course front and center and it looks like there are fractures within the team, most of them not seeming to enjoy the leadership role Red Widow is taking upon herself despite Crimson Dynamo being the team leader. As it is, they have been tasked with stopping Red Guardian, not many of them are very happy about it as they still think of him as a hero but do it they must. There is quite a bit of action in the book which really keeps the pace going and it is during the latter half of the story that it really picks up and readers see the team doing what they do best. Be that as it may, the Red Guardian has not come unprepared for the encounter and he both sabotages Crimson Dynamo’s armour which may or may not see the man dead and delivers a message that there is a traitor on the team. It is exciting stuff that is only hampered by a bit of the artwork, specifically that by Morissette-Phan which looks a little rough at times during the prologue and clashes with the pages of Bazaldua which follow afterwards. A strange choice on the part of Marvel to go with two different artists but it is what it is and thankfully the story by Cady overcomes any inconsistencies present. All of this with a fair amount of mystery wrapped up within makes the first issue of Winter Guard a book to keep an eye on.

Worth It? – Yes.

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