Valiant Hits the Bull’s-eye with Bloodshot
Written by Ken of From The Booth
TPB: Bloodshot Vol 1: Setting the World on Fire (2012)
Artist: Manuel Garcia, Arturo Lozzi
Ever since Valiant Comics got resurrected from a decade in obscurity, I have loved their new stuff and have gone in search of their old stuff. My ’92 XO Manowar review details Valiant’s long and complicated history but in short, all of their old titles are back with a fresh coat of paint.
Duane Swiercynski is best known for his crime novels but has also worked in the comic industry since 2007. His credits include Cable, single issues of Moon Knight and Punisher and many X-titles. Both Garcia and Lozzi are both virtual unknowns.
The story opens with Bloodshot being dropped into a warzone and taking out a base where he believes his brother is being held. During the raid, his brain is hacked by a defector from Project Lazarus, the organization that created him. Now flooded by a sea of contradicting synthetic memories, he runs from the government that turned him into a weapon of mass destruction.
The storytelling in this book is fantastic and uses the novel device of having the nanites move the narrative along by having conversations with Bloodshot in the form of his nonexistent wives and children. The art treads that thin line between photorealism and cartoony that works remarkably well here. Facial expressions seem to be carefully crafted and effective at conveying the dark mood of the story.
While I’ve been loudly telling anyone who would listen about how awesome X-O Manowar is, I think Bloodshot might even be better. This is definitely a book for people who are fans of the MAX universe, war comics or science fiction. The genres seem to blend together into a cohesive and believable whole in a way few books can pull off in the first four issues.
Final rating 5 out of 5.