View Full Version : The Winter Men
08-17-2005, 01:21 PM
I didn't see this book on too many lists last week, so I hope this gives it a bump, 'cause it's pretty excellent.
Writer: Brett Lewis
Pencils: John Paul Leon
Colors: Dave Stewart
Inks: not sure...
The book starts off with an introduction to the idea of "Winter." This is the code name for a Russian cold war project in which they created super-men and rocket soldiers that would defend the USSR against US nuclear weapons. Today they have been relegated to myth.
In modern day there are 4 rocket soldiers left. Our hero works with the police, and his home life is crumbling. The other three work as a soldier, a body guard, and a member of the Russian mafia.
The story get moving when a baby is kidnapped by team of ex-Spetznaz troops. The case is deemed unsolvable, but someone high up wants it solved, and the hero is chosen as the guy to do it. There are indications that the child has something to do with Winter.
The storytelling is dense and layered, with individual voices throughout. The dialogue reads well and I never once thought that it was too wordy. Leon's art is sparse, while staying realistic. Occasionally he ramps up the details, and it's always convincing. Stewart's colors are almost all flats, which lends to the dreary broken down tone of the book, and they never call attention to themselves. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this book plays out over the 8 issues that it's planned for.
08-18-2005, 01:32 PM
I picked this up yesterday, but haven't read it yet.
08-19-2005, 12:46 PM
This comic is way more than what I expected. This is probably the best pamphlet I've read in a month. Everyone go get it. Or maybe I'm just biased, cause I love Russian stuff. Damn dirty pinko.
08-23-2005, 05:46 AM
I saw an ad for it in one of my rags. Looked neat. I'll keep my eye out.
08-25-2005, 06:38 PM
I finally got around to reading this, and I pretty much agree with what krikkit13 had to say.
The dialogue is spot on, and the exposition is excellent, particularly at the beginning. Top notch writing.
The style of art fits the story perfectly. The sparse lines and toned down colors evoke the mood and bring life to the somewhat dreary locations.
I'll definitely be reading the remaining issues in the series.
09-14-2005, 12:32 PM
Issue 2 didn't disappoint in the slightest. The art was pretty mind blowing - especially a splash page at the very beginning of a Brooklyn street. I don't know if Leon photomanips his backgrounds (it doesn't look like it), but that is damn impressive regardless.
This part of the story involve Kris' (lead character) attempt to infiltrate the illegal organ trade run by the Russian mob out of Brooklyn. It may be a bit talky for some people, but this issue features a bit more action, and this run is looking more and more like a great choice for people who like a good layered story.
09-20-2005, 04:38 PM
Definitely didn't dissapoint. Actually, the only thing that's dissapointing is the lack of people who are checking it out. The art is awesome. The writing never bores. The setting and characters are interesting. C'mon people! You're missin out!
11-20-2005, 11:38 AM
I finally got around to reading issue 3. I actually had to read this one twice to pick up on exactly what was happening - the framework of the story is a briefing, and the main character leaves out a lot of details that are filled in for the reader as flashbacks. It's clever and it works well, but it was a bit confusing the first time through.
If I didn't know better, I'd say the story was wrapping up - a character even mentions this - but we're not even half way (it's an 8 issue mini), which is great because I can't get enough.
However - what's the word on the next issue? I've seen cover art for it, but there's nothing on the DC/Wildstorm sight that indicates it's coming out in the next 3 months. I hope they didn't cancel it...
11-20-2005, 01:33 PM
I'm pretty sure they didn't cancel it. I think I've seen a cover for issue 5 or 6. But yeah, it was a bit confusing at first. Really layered, and it makes you pay attention to everything that's being said and done. It actually seems like all he's putting in isn't just filler and is crucial to the story. It might be a little too detailed at times, but I'd rather choose that than having a bunch of holes.
It's too bad so few of us are picking it up, because I can see a lot of room for debate, conversation, and theories as to what everything means and what might happen next. Oh well.
11-21-2005, 12:12 PM
During most of this issue I was telling myself that I should just start back over and read issues 1-3 and see if it would make a little bit more sense. Not that I don't have an understanding of what's going on, but like you guys mentioned it is heavily layered. I want to pick up on the small stuff. I supposed that tonight I'll reread them all.
11-21-2005, 07:49 PM
Dang, I'm 2 issues behind. :(
04-06-2006, 02:50 PM
I just read issue number 4, and it was great. This issue takes place over a single day with two characters just going about their business. It's an awesome issue with some of the best dialogue and character development that I've ever read. There's no real action to speak of, but the pacing is great and it never gets boring.
The bad news...
It took a hell of a long time for this issue to come out, and the cover says "#4 (of 6)" when it previously read "(of 8)." This makes me think that the long wait was because they had to edit the hell out of these issues in order to shorten the story - presumably because the sales aren't there. On the DC/Wildstorm website it still says "(of 8)" so I guess we can always hope they decide to keep the whole story.
I'm having a very hard time believing that this story can be wrapped up in two issues at this point, and since it's a limited series anyway, I really wish they had let it run it's course. If they don't, well, maybe they'll issue the graphic novel as a director's cut with the full story. Hey, I can dream, can't I?
04-09-2006, 06:52 PM
You know, I came dangerously close to buying issue four, but it was so crammed full of dialogue on just about every page that I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I'm not the type of guy to shy away from a "wordy" book at all (be it of any written medium), but this issue seemed a little much in regards to dialogue.
04-21-2006, 06:03 AM
i've read the first three so far, and being my english far from perfect and my concentration even feeble most of all when it comes to conspiration/spy/crime/fantapolitique stories, i've not enjoyed them. the art is gorgeous and i think it's an insightful story, still i give up.
01-12-2008, 10:37 AM
Did they ever complete this?
Last I heard they were gonna condense the last few issues into one final issue to tie it up.... never turned up in my standing order though...
Anyone know if they finished the run?
01-15-2008, 08:45 AM
I don't think they did, unfortunately. It jumped from 8 issues down to 6, then back to 8, then they stopped saying how many they were going to publish altogether. Like you said - in the last issue they were talking about wrapping it all up in one final double-size issue.
A said victim of low sales I think. The solicitations at the DC website mentioned a ton of things that didn't happen in the issues I read, so I'm holding out hope for a "director's cut" graphic novel, although I doubt we'll ever get it.
01-15-2008, 03:12 PM
I guess no obvious market for the trade beyond us (few) who stuck with it....
01-29-2008, 12:44 PM
I picked up issues 1-5 thanks to this thread and enjoyed them quite a bit.
02-05-2008, 06:21 AM
I picked up issues 1-5 thanks to this thread and enjoyed them quite a bit.
Same here. Loved the art but the story is confusing to me. I mean I get it but it's just kinda bleh. I was confused for a long time on hwat happened to the body guard until one issue she turned up alive? Is alot of this a flashback or present day? Some pieces of plot just kinda disappear without a trace and the story gives you this interesting filler stuff but the main plot is kinda hanging. I really hope they still have plans to finish this. Even if for no other reason than so Ican get more of Leon's art!
02-05-2008, 11:47 AM
I haven't read it in a while, but if I remember correctly, it's almost all flashback. He's giving a deposition for the Americans, so there are some parts that are being left vague or explained differently from what occurs in the issue... if that makes sense. I think that goes for issues 1-3, while 4 is all in the present.
I get the sense that the first 4 were all released untampered with, while issue 5 suffers from what appears to be some severely compressed storytelling, which is pretty at odds with the way the story had been told.
Take a look at the solicit for issue 5 - the only thing listed in the solicit that was in the comic is the first sentence:
It's the holiday season and Kris and Nina must attend Zuko's Christmas party. Too bad the Boy Scouts decide to spoil the festivities by attacking and killing most of Zuko's men. Drost turns to the Siberian for help, but will even he make a difference?
The Siberian never even made an appearance before the series was cut.
02-09-2008, 10:53 AM
I read in an interview that 5 and 6 were being cut right down in a condensed version to finish the job instead of the planned eight...
02-10-2008, 02:43 AM
Actually, I do remember eading the solcit for the next issue and how was very weird. the last part was supposed to come out late 07 but that's been passed with no word....
03-20-2008, 05:41 PM
Pardon my ignorance if the answer to my question is already common knowledge, but has Winter Men been officially cancelled or cut short? I own the first five issues and have been saving them to read in one go when the entire series is out.
10-15-2008, 02:35 PM
I'm almost certain that they did cancel it.
The last issue released was #5, and that was about 2 years ago. It seemed heavily edited at the time, and at the back there was a solicit for a double size special that would wrap things up. I can't find any indication that it ever came out, and last I checked there's nothing on either the artist's web page or writer's myspace to indicate that they are still working on it. I think it's a sad case of an awesome book getting cancelled due to low sales volumes.
Sad but true. :(
The wrap-up issue is due in December:
10-16-2008, 11:05 AM
That's awesome news. Thanks F!nch.
01-04-2009, 02:42 AM
The final issue is out! I haven't read it yet but it's on it's way.
01-12-2009, 12:57 PM
The Beat has a good wrap-up article on The Winter Men with some good links to responses.
01-12-2009, 01:17 PM
Any word on a possible trade? I was flipping through the last issue or winter special whatever it is at the LCS, and loved JP Leon interiors, but I really want to read the whole thing from the begining.
01-12-2009, 03:32 PM
As far as I know, nothing has been announced yet, but here's to hoping that Wildstorm does do a trade. I'd buy it for sure.
01-12-2009, 08:18 PM
I've got to pick up the finale. It's too bad to see that Dave Stewart isn't on colors, although the colorist looks to be doing a pretty good job of aping his color palette. It's probably too much to hope that the trade is a "director's cut" because everything really points to some significant editing down.
I'm just glad that Wildstorm let it come back for a conclusion. This far down the road it's nothing but fan service for the few of us that picked it up, and you've got to appreciate that.
Lost-Spartan - Leon's interiors on this book are amazing - I saw a bunch of back issues in an LCS fairly recently, so I wouldn't be surprised if your shop still had some. Definitely worth digesting as a whole, so keep your fingers crossed for the trade.
03-05-2009, 04:45 AM
I finally got an read my copy of the finale. it was really really good. I hate how they tease you about some of the stuff that got cut and how a sequel could happen. JP Leon keeps up his incredible art, Melissa Edwards didn't miss a beat with Stewart's colors, and the writing stayed top notch.
If a trade came out, I would pick it up immediately despite having all the single issues.
03-24-2009, 09:01 PM
Man, I'm pretty late to the party on the last issue, considering that I championed this book for so long.
I FINALLY picked up the Winter Special, and loved it all the way through to the end, which popped a couple of surprises on me that I definitely didn't see coming (and I even dug up the back issues and read the series straight through).
Like Johnny Blaque said, it kills to see some of the trimming on this.
For example: There's a story thread here about a character called the Siberian - we were promised him in a solicit for issue 5 way back when, but he never showed (I think issue 5 is where the trimming began). He plays an important part in this issue, but it's pretty clear that we're only getting a glimpse of what was written about him. It looks like issues 5, 6, 7, and 8 were completely re-written to work as issue 5 and the double-size Winter Special, and I bet that JP Leon had to re-draw a bunch of it too - the cover art for issue 5 is dated 2005.
That said, Lewis maintains some remarkably clear plotting considering everything this story has been through, and his awesome dialogue never misses a step. Melissa Edwards does a great job of continuing Dave Stewart's colors, although I noticed right away that it wasn't his work. JP Leon just kills it - this guy is easily one of my favorite artists working, and his work on this book has been phenomenal all the way through.
It's too bad that such a great story had to go through all this, but I'm so psyched to see it end on such a great note (and to see it end at all!). The funny thing is how it almost ties in as a counter part to a certain philosophical mini series that's getting a lot of press right now (featuring a blue superhero) hint hint...
I'll be picking up the trade for sure, and I can only hope that we get to read/see some of the stuff that didn't make it into this finale.
The trade came out yesterday. Go pick it up. The writing and story is great and JP Leon is amazing as always.
I'm in the process of reading it right now. Just wanted to bump this.
11-27-2009, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the heads up Vim, Im gonna haved to pick it up while Im home.
This was a great story. The art obviously blew me away. JP can do no wrong in my eyes. The story starts off a bit dense. Takes a while to read some of those pages, but the overall story and feel of the writing and characters is unique and well done. Glad I picked up the trade now, rather than copping the single issues as they were being released on that cluster #$% of a schedule.
03-22-2012, 02:33 PM
its great,awesome story!
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