What Brubaker finds in Steve Rogers is his sense of loneliness, the man out of time quality that has long been with the character but has rarely been exploited for emotional darkness. Brubaker takes a man of innate decency and puts him into the middle of a complicated (and, at points, convoluted) political landscape. The Winter Soldier is as much about crooked backroom political deals and shadow government operations as it is about explosions and fistfights. And this is a world where Steve Rogers doesn’t belong. Brubaker doesn’t give us a hero who easily overcomes this conundrum, he gives us a hero who struggles to find his footing, who reacts with rage and anguish at finding out that he’s being lied to on all fronts. When Steve finally comes face to face with Bucky, the pathos of the moment is that the Winter Soldier is really the only one who could hope to understand him.