Advance Preview: BLOODSHOT and H.A.R.D. CORPS #18
“Should I go to the comics store tomorrow? (January 08, 2014)”
Are you going to ask me that question every single week? The answer never changes = of course! Wednesday always brings something fresh and different to read on New Comics Day. Why not stop by your local comics shop and see for yourself? Here’s just one of many titles coming out tomorrow that may be of interest to readers looking for something a little different . . . . . .
BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #18 (Valiant, January 08 release date) “Get Some” by Writers: Christos Gage & Joshua Dysart. Art: Bart Sears. Flashback Art: ChrisCross & Victor Olazaba. Color Art: Matt Milla & Allen Passalaqua. Letters: Dave Sharpe.
This issue marks the beginning of a new story arc, and a good “jump on” point for new readers. However, Valiant does such a good job with their opening summaries on the inside credits page that readers never have to worry about being lost in the middle of a story. They are always well written, very concise and bring readers up to speed quickly in just a few paragraphs. You could pick up any random issue of a Valiant title and become comfortable with the story by reading these updates.
BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #18 also features the inimitable Bart Sears taking over art duties, and his work here is a most welcome sight. Sears really knows how to depict musculature, sometimes exaggerated but always interesting to view. His characters all have square jaws and chiseled features, so you don’t mistake them for the regular man on the street. There are plenty of fight scenes this issue to allow Sears to show what he’s capable of.
Briefly, Bloodshot is a living weapon (similar to Robocop, with even more enhancements) with nano-machines in his bloodstream and system that give him strength and speed, allow him to repair himself (auto-immunity) and also infiltrate communications systems. H.A.R.D. Corp members are ordinary civilians recruited from the street and given implants that allow satellites to download mental abilities and grant them various powers.
They are an interesting and curious bunch, not the usual gifted teenagers or former soldiers you would expect to be granted these powers. They include a working-class mother (Granite), a homeless wino/druggie (Vagabond), a developmentally challenged 30-year old man (Genius), a youth minister (Disciple), and a teenage girl with cystic fibrosis (Flatline). They are led by veteran Charlie Palmer, the only survivor of the original H.A.R.D. Corps in the 1990’s. Following a revolt and restructuring at Project Rising Sun, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps are now working together for Project Rising Sun’s new C.E.O. Morris Kozol.
The story this issue is engaging and provides lots of details and background information to help encourage readers to return for more. The action begins in Nigeria where Project Rising Sun’s CEO is asked to accept a job to help curtail thefts of oil along a major pipeline. It’s a trap, led by a disgruntled Simon Oreck (the former director) back to seek revenge against his old agency, and armed with a new group of high powered psiots (natural mental abilities). They are The Specialists with unusual abilities to manipulate cold/heat (Coldwar), radiation (Chernobyl), adrenalized muscular growth (Big Boy) and visual hyper acuity (Sharpshooter). Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps enter the battle and more captors are taken.
It’s going to be a definite grudge match, as we learn in the flashback sequence that both current and former Project Rising Sun C.E.O.s banged heads over implants versus natural mental powers back in the 90’s when Oreck shut down H.A.R.D. Corps and began developing his Specialists. This issue provides a great deal of depth, more than the average single issue provides, and it will take a little more time to read and catch it all. Recommended.