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Winter Soldier #18: Review

May 2013
Jason Latour, Nic Klein

Story Name:

The Phantom Limb Technique

Review & Comments

4 stars

Winter Soldier #18 Review by (May 14, 2013)
Review: A very difficult issue to synopsize with its heavy philosophizing and unusual structure. The former is quite heavy, and I can only hope to have given an idea of it in the summary (assuming I got it right; such nihilistic musings find no resonance in my soul). The structure was much harder to describe: Tesla’s terse narration is counterpointed by the images from her past; a simple recounting of her thoughts is meaningless without the pictures. Example: as Tesla explains how she was treated as special yet dreamed of escape, we see her being beaten by a bully in the washroom, then seizing a shard of broken glass—then the bully with stitched scars on her face. The art is a success, with Nic Klein giving it his all in making the central character’s memoir resemble the rough and brightly colored drawings of a child in a notebook. Yet in the end I’m not sure what is going on or why. This issue therefore can be described as either a literary and artistic triumph—or a pretentious pile of junk. I’m stuck in the middle, inclining toward the positive for the art, the negative for the writing. Your mileage may vary.

Comments: Master Murder Mouth from issue #16 appears in the flashbacks.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Winter Soldier #18 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Tesla Tarasova, the Electric Ghost, relates her secret origin to the gravely wounded Winter Soldier. After her father was killed by Bucky, she was taken by Father Hammer to The Orphanage, where children were trained to be killers for the Soviet cause. There she was taught to be cold and ruthless, with the test being that she had to slay a wounded friend—that day she became the ghost….

Now she holds cosmic power—and desires to show all men they can live without far. Continuing her story, after that grim day, she closed in on herself, honing her intellectual and antisocial gifts, to the point where she became defined by what was absent in her life. On graduation, she was sent to work for Warren Van Owen, recruiter of children for The Orphanage, and she became his lover. Van Owen then sent her to assassinate Father Hammer but she failed, and was nearly killed. She earned her way back into hammer’s graces by killing Van Owen, only later learning that he was a deep cover agent for SHIELD. She studied her scientist father’s research and came to be powered by cosmic radiation and adopting the philosophical principle of the phantom limb—that reality is subjective: it both exists and does not, feels and cannot be felt. She took revenge against all her enemies, finally killing Hammer and recruiting LMDs to her cause by her philosophy that we are nothing. She tells Bucky that his murder of her father was what put her where she is today: on the verge of limitless potential. She heals his wounds, then releases him from his pain—with a kiss….

Nic Klein
Nic Klein
Nic Klein
Declan Shalvey (Cover Penciler)
Declan Shalvey (Cover Inker)
Jordie Bellaire (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier

(Bucky Barnes)

Plus: Electric Ghost.

> Winter Soldier: Book info and issue index

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