Not to pick this incredible arc in my top 5 Captain America stories would be a total shame. Considering I was not liking this when it got going, it quickly became one of my favorite Captain America tales.
When writer Ed Brubaker created this story, many Cap fans (including myself) cried foul! After all, Bucky's death was one of the reasons Cap is Cap. Driven by guilt for losing his teen partner, I felt bringing Bucky back was as cheap as the deaths of Jean Grey, Superman, and everyone else in comics!
Boy was I wrong!
'Captain America' (volume 5) # 8 right up to # 25 tells the story of how Bucky Barnes survived the explosion in 1945 and was found by the Russians soon after. Trained as an assassin, he was kept in suspended animation until he was needed for missions. This arc ran right up to # 25, 'The Death Of Captain America!'
Some incredible artists chronicled this adventure like Steve Epting and Mike Perkins, with all issues being lettered by Joe Caramanga.
As i said above, I didn't think this story was going to work at all. I thought it was cheap and foolish to bring Bucky back, but somehow Brubaker not only made it work, but continues to be the best Captain America writer ever!!! And that says a lot.