Hulk: Winter Guard One-Shot #1: Review

Dec 2009
David Gallaher, Steve Ellis

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Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Hulk: Winter Guard One-Shot #1 Review by (January 25, 2022)

Review: A bit misleading: Two new Hulkless stories surrounding a reprint of an older Hulk issue. And the Soviet heroes turned Putin-era heroes never really struck me as heroes since, well, the Soviets and Vladimir Putin weren’t exactly allies of the USA. That aside, the second Darkstar’s tale is quite compelling though I fear I don’t know enough about the character to catch all of the nuances. And again, her story could have stood on its own so I’m not sure what the Hulk reprint in the center was for—linking the book to a better known hero is all I can imagine, though Winter Guard would get a couple of unHulked series later, including a showcase for this third Darkstar called DARKSTAR AND THE WINTER GUARD. The action scenes were entertaining and the heavily lined art stood out, giving the comic a more solid appearance. Pretty cool. 

Comments: First story: Originally published on Marvel Comics Digital. Second story: Reprint from THE INCREDIBLE HULK #393. Issue includes a reprint of the cover of THE INCREDIBLE HULK #393.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hulk: Winter Guard One-Shot #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Winter Guard have been captured by the Presence and he has a grudge against Darkstar for daring to impersonate his late daughter, the original Darkstar. She provides the distraction for Red Guardian to escape from the tentacles of Presence’s monster and attack the villain, while she frees Crimson Dynamo and Ursa Major. CD learns that the tentacled monster is Igor Drenkov, the man who created the Hulk but the creature then kills CD, biting his head off. Darkstar then absorbs the monster into herself at great pain, ending its existence. Presence is captured. The Winter Guard meet the press in Moscow, accompanied by the new Crimson Dynamo, a woman named Galina Nemirovsky. But Darkstar is still uneasy, thinking about Drenkov….

“The Closing Circle”
Reprinted from THE INCREDIBLE HULK #393.

“The Winter Guard”
Writer: David Gallagher. Art: Steve Ellis x 3. Letters: Scott O. Brown.
Sasha Roerich a/k/a Darkstar is troubled by her discovery that she has the DNA of a dead woman, the first Darkstar, in her; she goes to Dmitri Bukharin, Winter Guard liaison (and former Crimson Dynamo), for advice and he tells her not to worry about it….

In their civilian identities, Red Guardian, Ursa Major, and the new female Crimson Dynamo are shooting pool and kibitzing with one another. Bukharin enters to tell them that Soviet revolutionaries—the Remont 6—have raided and A.I.M. facility and the Winter Guard needs to defeat them without Darkstar….

The heroes jet down to the Forbidden Zone to face a band of criminals including Titanium Man, Iron Maiden, the Snow Leopards, Unicorn, and Volga. A huge battle ensues….

Sasha, still troubled in mind, confronts the imprisoned Presence, demanding to know what he did to her. The villain reveals that the medallion that gives Darkstar her powers has bonded with Presence’s daughter and that Sasha is doomed to fail for her own weakness. She takes off to join her comrades against the Remont 6. She arrives on the scene just in time to keep Ursa Major from falling to his death but she is attacked by Titanium Man. She morphs into a massive tentacled creature and clobbers the villain but she is out of control. Her gamma-charged powers threaten to absorb all light and radiation in the vicinity. Red Guardian flies to her center and removes the medallion; Sasha burns out and vanishes. The team meets the press and a replacement Darkstar is presented with the medallion and she begins to hear Darkstar’s memories…. 

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ellis (Cover Inker)
Steve Ellis (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Scott O. Brown.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Red Guardian
Red Guardian

(Alexi Shostakov)
Ursa Major
Ursa Major

(Mikhail Uriokovitch Ursus)

Plus: Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko), Titanium Man, Winter Guard.

> Hulk: Winter Guard One-Shot: Book info and issue index

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