Winter Soldier: Bitter March #5 brings us to the end of our 1966 adventure. Rick Remender and Roland Boschi introduced us to a young and idealistic Ran Shen, a man who no longer holds this idealism. Now I think we can understand the villain Iron Nail and part of the path that got him to the dark side.
Agent Ran Shen and an aware Winter Soldier protect scientist Mila Hitzig in a snow covered forest from those who would want her Alchemy Formula. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has grown to fall in love with the scientist and he has dedicated himself to protect her, despite any directives he may have from his superiors. Agent Fury seeks his friend, hoping to find him before anyone can uncover his fellow agent. The action comes to a head with a confrontation in the forest between Mila’s protectors and hunters. The story ends with a brief epilogue that sets up Winter Soldier’s life until his return and Agent Ran’s storyline in Remender’s modern age stories.
Level Seven Analysis
Yet again I will compare this story to a vintage James Bond story. We have the girl, we have danger in an advancing enemy and we have snow (for some reason my favorite Bond stories have snow or water). It also reminded me of portions of The Bourne Identity. So yes if you like these type of movies you will like this tale.
What do we know about Nick Fury? Well, he can make the tough decisions. And tough decisions are not always the easy or popular ones. In many ways this reinforces the Nick Fury that we see in Original Sin. And since the secret history of S.H.I.E.L.D. includes this timeframe, we know that Fury is already involved with The Unseen. And this Fury has one priority, protect the Earth. And his actions clearly are in the best interests of the human race as he sees it.
Agent Ran Shen, I get how you would evolve into a super villain. And I understand how the Agent Ran we see in Captain America: Loose Nuke is sad and less confident. That Agent Ran is somewhat broken down and did not give you the impression of being a Sean Connery type. He is on his road to becoming Iron Nail. And I understand now how this agent could turn from one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s best to someone who could challenge Captain America.
If you did not follow Winter Soldier: Bitter March I would suggest getting a copy once it is collected. This is especially true if you like spy adventures such as James Bond. It is a fun action story with further implications in the pages of Remender’s Captain America. It is the double threat of enjoyable action and macro-plot implications for the Marvel 616.
Agent Fury, Agent Ran, Agent Dugan
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