Bloodshot Island forges ahead as we enter Bloodshot’s second day in the Bloodshot Squad. Will the squad fare any better after their brutal maiming by Deathmate the previous day?
Bloodshot Reborn #15 begins in Bloodsquirt’s bizarre dream world as the squirt offers a prep talk to Ray while he recovers from the previous issue’s disastrous turn of events. The Bloodshot Squad, made up of Bloodshots from previous generations, seems doomed to be murdered every day by the emotionless Deathmate. Overnight they regenerate just to repeat the cycle again the next day. Of course, this is all some experiment being carried out by Project Rising Spirit, who must have consulted Sovereign from the Wrath of the Eternal Warrior on villain tactics, as he is conducting a very similar experiment on our old friend Gilad in that book’s current story arc “Labyrinth”.
While there is no Afro Eternal Warrior, there certainly is an Afro Bloodshot. He is joined by Soviet Bloodshot, World War II Bloodshot, Brown Camo Bloodshot, and Bloodhound the dog (I may or may not have made up some or all of those names). So what they may lack compared to Gilad’s steely resolve, they make up for in nanite infested pasty white skin. I continue to applaud Lemire’s injection of humor into this series with characters like Bloodsquirt and Bloodhound, who bring a much needed levity to an otherwise grim tale. Grim definitely describes the reality that the Bloodshot Squad has been living in for “many days” now, but is the current Bloodshot joining the roster a variable that could shake things up?
It would certainly seem that way as Bloodshot Reborn #15 brings us the return of Special Agent Diane Festival, who fans will remember from the first story arc of the series. She is hot on the trail of Project Rising Spirit after her run in with Ray in Colorado, looking for answers to the mysteries she was exposed to in that case. It will be interesting to see if Diane will be used as the wrench in Project Rising Spirit’s plans. At the very least it’s nice to see a plot thread coming back that I hadn’t thought about in quite some time.
Mico Suayan’s art is still a perfect fit for this series, his realistic stylization bringing a near Vietnam-era war movie vibe to each page. This also offers a nice contrast when placed next to the lighter hearted art style of Bloodsquirt’s dream realm. The level of detail is impressive in the characters, their clothes, and the environment. These finer details are all the more necessary when you consider there are up to five human Bloodshots in any given panel, and Suayan manages to maintain their appearances as unique. I only have one minor gripe with the art, which is a minor issue with the panel layout on a couple of pages. There seems like an unnecessary amount of unused page in a couple of instances. This is a carry over from the previous issue, and while improved, still slightly bothered me.
David Baron does as admirable a job as always with the colors. He undoubtedly brings life to the island with the vivid tones he uses for the vegetation. That coupled with the dampened neutral colors used in the character’s uniforms truly drives home that Vietnam war movie aesthetic mentioned earlier.
Bloodshot Reborn #15 is an improvement over the already good previous issue. Lemire and Suayan solidify the Bloodshot Island story arc as one to be invested in. There is no reason for series fans to exit and plenty of reason for new readers to jump in. Plus, if this issue is any indication, fans can expect some payoff to older plot threads soon.
- Action packed
- Vietnam war movie aesthetic
- Bloodsquirt and Bloodhound
- Some similarities to Wrath of the Eternal Warrior’s current arc
- Minor questionable panelling decisions