Writer Ales Kot’s got a plan to heat up the month of October with his all-new series, BUCKY BARNES: THE WINTER SOLDIER, and when he does, he’s taking no prisoners.
Spinning out of major events in Original Sin, BUCKY BARNES will forge a new path for Captain America’s one-time sidekick, one that Kot promises will launch him into realms that might even make a Winter Soldier step lightly through. But, with Barnes’ rich past as a guide, Kot’s agenda is clear: solid storytelling teamed with one of the best of Marvel’s superstar characters.
Get Kot’s take on Bucky and also see mind-blowing preview art from series regular Marco Rudy!
Marvel.com: Ales, Bucky's really going to be going "out there" in the new series—what about him makes him adaptable to all the places you'll take him? Is he a chameleon, or does he shape things in his own image?
Ales Kot: Oh my! I believe we inevitably do both, always. It's not a simple case of either/or. We as human beings—and any beings, really—constantly influence the universe around us, and the universe around us constantly influences us.
Bucky’s survival skills are also excellent. He got through so much. He learns, he adapts, he works with what he's got—but that’s just survival, and I want to explore living and the way we move from just surviving to being of the universe.
Marvel.com: When you sat down to write BUCKY BARNES: THE WINTER SOLDIER #1, what kind of a book did you want it to be? What's the one thing about it that you believe will really grab readers?
Ales Kot: I wanted it to be the kind of a comic I would love to read myself. I always write from that position, because I can’t pretend that I know what other people want. I don’t know it! I do know what I want, though, and that’s a mind-blowing story that will be respectful to the legacy of the Marvel Universe, that will be telling me new things about the characters; a story that will be inventive on every page, a story that will be beautiful and artful and thrilling, a story that will surprise me.
That’s what I’m in for, and I believe that will communicate to other readers as well.
Marvel.com: If you had to say what was the one most important thing Bucky's learned from Steve Rogers that will benefit him the most in your series, what is it and why?
Ales Kot: Being kind. Because that’s what matters.
Marvel.com: How are you approaching adversaries in this series? What makes for the very best Winter Soldier opponents? Likewise, what about allies, too?
Ales Kot: I go by feeling. I don’t perceive people or characters as heroes or villains, it’s all about our actual acts—we can do heroic or villainous things. The same goes to picking the best allies or opponents in the story; they all present themselves through the story speaking to me, and through my dissection of it. Sometimes it can be great when a character is mischievous, challenging rigidity—such is a case with Loki in WINTER SOLDIER #2. Other times it can be someone much closer to Bucky—but to say more would be to spoil the ending of the first issue.
As for Bucky’s new friends, we invented entire new worlds! Ventolin in particular is quite interesting; a princess who doesn't want to be a princess, a fluid gender being connected to the entirety of her race through telepathy.
And then there’s Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake, Bucky’s friend and collaborator. I love the way we introduce her in the first issue. On a planet, alone, with a plan; Namor stops by in #1, too.
Marvel.com: Alright! Wow! So, does Bucky in any way want to be Nick Fury, or is there a drive to be unlike him in some ways? In what ways did Fury impact Bucky most?
Ales Kot: Bucky wants to be himself! And he’s going to find out how that works, perhaps. That’s the beautiful thing about the world: we have to be ourselves. Everyone else is already taken.
As for Fury’s impact—well, he tried to make a case for his way being the right way. “The universe is a threat,” basically. How Bucky copes with that and works with it is a big part of our story.
Marvel.com What about all that tech that fans love? What part will it play and what cool new things can we expect?
Ales Kot: Expect tech from the Marvel Universe 200 years from now! Biotechnologies in particular will play a huge part. Fusing ourselves with machines, that’s one thing—Bucky is already on that, with the arm and all—but fusing ourselves with other organisms?
We do have plenty of organisms that are alive inside us at any given moment. Mushrooms, bacteria, and so on...we extrapolate and go further. What if we become conscious friends with some of these things?
Marvel.com: What kind of reactions will Bucky encounter, say, in Asgard in issue #2? Does he immediately command respect, like Steve, or is there a definite impact he'll have on others going forward?
Ales Kot: Bucky sneaks into Asgard, so the immediate reaction is ideally no reaction at all—but I’ll admit that Loki meets him by page four and then it’s all off to the races.
And then there are the mythical Frozen Wolves of Niffleheim, hunting Bucky throughout the majority of the second issue as he hunts Loki. As to why he’s hunting Loki exactly, you'll find out in the first issue.
Marvel.com: Cool. You've said before you're stoked to be working with artist Marco Rudy; describe one page from #1 that really knocked your socks off, maybe even surprised you with what he did with your script.
Ales Kot: I’ll describe two.
There’s a conversation scene between Bucky and Daisy. I wrote it as a simple conversation scene set in the bar, with things happening around them and such and such and such, things in the background, details, and so on; and then Marco took it and basically redrew it so half of the detail got erased and/or turned into other detail, previously not in the script on a conscious level.
Now, there are many ways of approaching something like this, and I’m all about collaboration and us taking the inspiration and going with it. Which is why I’m into it. Most of the conversation in that double-page spread is now comprised of circular panels that are getting smaller, so I rewrite the dialog, because the shrinking circular panels beautifully connect with the next page, which is a full spread of a black hole turning into a white hole…
Actually, no, there's nothing to describe about that one. You just have to see it.
Pick up ORIGINAL SIN #8 for a major turning point, and then follow the thread into BUCKY BARNES: THE WINTER SOLDIER #1 by Ales Kot and Marco Rudy this October!