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The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat
Fluco Journalism
Mackenzi Lee’s novel “The Winter Soldier: Cold Front” for sale on Photo courtesy of Fluco Journalism.

“Cold Front” Takes New Spin on Winter Soldier

Marvel fans of Sergeant James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes and feel like the character has gotten scant attention in the Marvel movies are in luck. Young Adult author Mackenzi Lee, known for writing books inspired by Marvel characters such as Loki or Gamora and Nebula, has recently released a book last year called “Winter Soldier: Cold Front,” a book about Bucky during his time as the Winter Soldier.

The Winter Soldier is the Soviet Union’s greatest weapon. Assigned the most dangerous covert missions from the USSR’s secret military branch, “Hydra,” this one-man force is overseen by someone who knows him better than he knows himself due to his frequent brainwashing. Dubbed the Winter Soldier, he functions almost like a machine with a single purpose: to obey orders. However, he wasn’t always known as the Winter Soldier.

For those of you who need a recap of how Bucky became the Winter Soldier, here goes. In 1941 at the start of America’s entrance into World War II, 16-year-old Bucky Barnes wants to enlist in the U.S. Army and soon joins a training program led by the British Special Operations Executive, the UK’s secret service, Bucky jumps at the chance to become a hero.

He has hardly landed down in London when he finds himself accompanied by an English chess champion fond of double-crossing others while trying to escape from a mysterious assassin. The chess champion is in possession of an item every huge secret military organization is desperate to get their hands on. If only they knew what it was…

Now, the Winter Soldier finds himself struggling to solve a mystery that intersects with the same mystery Bucky was trying to uncover back in 1941. As their missions converge across time, their lives merge in a way that is expected, that makes both Bucky and the Winter Soldier question the concepts of hero and villain, and that will change the course of what they are fighting for.
This was a book that I was really looking forward to since I am a die hard fan of the MCU, though I’m not all that familiar with the comic version of Marvel characters. The book is a fanfiction, alternate universe version of Bucky which changes up a lot of stuff about his history, or past. His character is a combination of the MCU’s interpretation and the comics’ iterations of the character. Turns out, it changes a little bit too much of his character for me. All the pieces I particularly enjoyed about his character from the movies have either been completely changed or are non-existent, specifically the 1941 scene where Bucky defends Steve from the bullies in the alley. I also heavily wish his interactions with Steve weren’t cut back so much. And Steve’s (a.k.a. Captain America’s), presence is negligible.

Another thing that really ticked me off more than I expected was making Bucky younger and putting him at about 17 in 1941 rather than as in his early 20s. It just doesn’t make sense; the whole point is that it was simple for him to get into the military because he was built, lean, and smart. He’s not like pre-serum Steve where he’s small and skinny and basically useless. With that said, I did like how the Winter Soldier sequences were handled. The brainwashing, remembering, and forgetting sequences work better in the novel than I feel it did in the movie just because the book can be more descriptive than portraying the scenes live in a film.

This book wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I really wanted Bucky and Steve to have more interactions since I’m a heavy advocate and defender of their friendship or brotherhood. However, I understand that this is just a side story and not MCU Bucky. It was still a bit sad and disappointing. I did love the way the author perfectly described his trauma and suffering while as the Winter Soldier, and how he perceived that pain. This book would have been so good if I wasn’t so attached to MCU Bucky and didn’t expect this book to be about him.

Overall, I give this book a 7.5/10 thanks to its excellent writing and storyline. Dedicated Bucky fans may rate it higher. You can purchase the hardback for less than $13 on Amazon where it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

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