BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #2 of 4 (Valiant Entertainment, November 23 release date) Story: Jeff Lemire. Art: Doug Braithwaite. Color: Brian Reber. Letters: Dave Lanphear. Main cover by Doug Braithwaite with Brian Reber.
One of the great features of every Valiant book is the summary page, which makes it possible for new readers to jump in at any time and still have a good understanding of what’s going on. That’s a big plus here, as BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #2 skips the formalities and goes for action in a big way, even more so that Issue #1. However, there is a nice capsule summary and head shot of each of the major characters that accompanies the updates and credits page. Also, you can read our review of Issue #1 in the BC Archives for October 27, 2016.
The dynamic abilities of artist Braithwaite are put to good effect here, allowing him to showcase what he can do when handed the assignment to illustrate a city-wide battle. The opening pages where Bloodshot gets revived in bloody fashion, and then demonstrates to his fellows warriors how to remove nanites from an infected person are especially graphic and hard to forget.
There is another side to Lemire’s writing that we are seeing here: he can script some great action sequences, enough to fill a whole book with balls-to-the-walls adventure. Prior to this, we recognized Lemire more for his ability to bring small-town atmosphere and sensibilities to anything he writes. He’s also a magician when it comes to revealing character insights. Add another strength to his resume now: fast paced action and battle. Still, we’re so used to his style that we’re feeling cheated here. However, we have a feeling there will be more character drama in the final two issues based on some things that occur in Issue #2.
Issue #2 focuses on the battle for Manhattan between nanites-infected residents and heroic forces. It’s not looking good for the heroes as several more become infected with the virus. The government is getting impatient and sends in the military, which may only add to the problem. Bloodshot comes up with a potential solution that will depend on the other versions of Bloodshot chipping in to help. Behind the scenes Agent Diane Festival and Maggie attempt to break out, locate P.R.S. leader Kozol and stop him. Deathmate shows up and heads to a confrontation with Bloodshot. In-between all this, Lemire does get to sneak in at least one humorous scene involving a borrowed SUV and a humiliated Ninjak.
BC RATING SYSTEM:
STORY: Very fast paced and engaging. Things are happening that will lead up to an interesting final two issues. We expect more surprises. This story may not have the same impact on readers just jumping in. They may not realize the extent of the corrupt plan that is in play. They’ll need to read Issue #1 to get the big picture. 2 POINTS.
ART: We are loving the Braithwaite art. Great battle scenes. 2 POINTS.
COVER: We love all these covers. However, we base our rating on the appeal of the main cover more than the variants. 2 POINTS.
READ AGAIN: Definitely worth a second reading, and a third. We can’t wait to read all four issues in one sitting after this story ends. 1 POINT.
RECOMMEND: It’s an epic worth following, and events this issue may lead to big changes in the future of Bloodshot. Should be interesting. 1 POINT.
FINAL RATING: 8 POINTS — More of the premium quality we expect from Valiant books.
More covers and interior art below . . . . .