Get ready, True Believers – Captain America is back, with Bucky Barnes carrying the shield and the legend of Steve Rogers with him. Bucky is feeling nostalgic in this trade paperback, Forever Allies, and takes readers on a journey through his past with the Young Allies. In addition to Bucky, the Young Allies included Knuckles, Wash, Hank, Geoff, and the Human Torch’s sidekick, Toro; their one goal: fighting and defeating the Nazis. Readers will enjoy the origin story of the Young Allies which leads into a fast-paced and thrilling story of Bucky closing the Young Allies very last open case. Lady Lotus seems to be back from the dead, and she certainly didn’t come back to be friends. She’s looking for something more powerful than anyone can imagine, and it’s up to Bucky to stop her in her tracks.
The Power Gem that Lady Lotus is determined to get her hands on will bring her power like no one has every seen. Mind control, hypnotism – these are just the tip of Lady Lotus’ powers, and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. When she originally had the gem, she was able to control men from miles away. These men that she controlled helped her in keeping the Young Allies and Bucky Barnes out of her way. Now that all of the Young Allies are dead, and Bucky has been missing for years, Lady Lotus knows it’s her time to find the gem and keep it with her for always. Little did she know that Captain America has a new name…Bucky!
As Bucky gets a little help from friends like Black Widow and Mr. Jack Muldoon, an old friend of Steve’s, he gets closer to Lotus and her insidious plan. Yet, when he reaches her, he feels the old mind control taking over! Will Bucky be able to resist her hypnotic plans or will the last open case of the Young Allies never be solved? Stay tuned!
As alluded to in the main story line, the Young Allies had their own comic book series that was highly offensive to the Young Allies themselves. Wash was portrayed as a minstrel character, and all their names were changed so as not to give the Young Allies the royalties they deserved. Young Allies #1 is included at the conclusion of the Forever Allies story.
In this trade paperback, which collects the Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special as well as Forever Allies and Young Allies #1, both new and seasoned Marvel readers will enjoy the stories of Bucky’s past. Those not entrenched in the Marvel Universe will still enjoy the suspense and intrigue of Bucky’s past with Lotus and his never ending quest to capture her once and for all. The 1940s art, done by Nick Dragotta, is wonderful. It is beautifully colored, and the drawings are very distinct from the art that is reflecting the current day in the book. This was a great idea – it makes it so much easier for the reader to see what time period the story is in, since this book goes back and forth in time quite liberally. The art of the present, pencilled by Marco Santucci, is just as good – crisp, clear, and expressive. The story itself is fast-paced and exciting. This book would be perfect for those new to Marvel Universe or those who want to read a book that’s basically its own stand alone story (although it does help if the reader knows that Steve Rogers has died). A great historical action story that will keep any reader waiting to see if Bucky gets his woman.