“Some days it feels like the more I try to run away from the world, the more it tries to sink it’s ugly teeth into me.”
The beginning of the end is the beginning
Jeff Lemire’s work on Bloodshot has been a pleasure to read. His work on DC Comics and his own properties have been a pleasure to read. It should come as no surprise that his work with Valiant is just as compelling. He’s crafted a cast of characters worthy of the next read; souls both wandering and found. This would be family is in hiding, thanks to Bloodshot and his wife Magic’s past. Together they hope to protect their child from that world. They will fail.
Lemire’s structuring makes for an interesting narrative. The comic takes place on two timelines. One taking place directly after Bloodshot: Reborn and the other taking place some years later. The timeline seems to hold a reveal or two within itself, as Lemire keeps the age of the daughter a secret. Along for this ride are artists Lewis LaRosa and Mico Suayan as well as colorist Brian Reber. There’s may be the most successful collaboration in modern comics. The story may be too conventional for a #1 issue, but together this team is, like their hero, unstoppable.
There’s a time and place for everything
Lemire’s always had an eye for weird. From his amazing Animal Man run to Black Hammer, he takes simple structures and imbues them with magic. Here he’s taking a step back. Bloodshot is a satirical character who’s both mocking and embodying awesome action stars of the 70’s and 80’s. In Bloodshot: Salvation #1 we greet our hero within a story we all remember.
The hero has retired. His family is growing and in good health. For once, so is he. He’d like to keep it that way.
Unfortunately the bulk of the comic remains parallel to that familiar structure. Even a great character reveal can’t keep the story from resembling a Rambo sequel that never was. The glimpses into a near(?) future give the story enough spice to make it interesting. The dialogue is great, but due to the limitations of pages Lemire has to jump right into the story. Bloodshot has never been known for subtlety, but there should be more of a foundation before it’s cracked asunder.
And the hits keep coming
Lewis LaRosa and Mico Suayan are both longtime Valiant veterans. It shows. Their work is a phenomenal blend of vivid action and ample detail. With Reber’s excellent colorwork the pages are as captivating as any film of the modern era. The panels are use both creatively and classically, and to great effect. This story looks as epic as it feels.
Lemire was a surprising choice for Bloodshot. His works have never starred muscular behemoths or alpha males. Instead he’s taken to loners who long for a spotlight of their own. However, he’s truly hit his stride with Bloodshot. This is a creative team that both knows and cares for the character with which they play.
A simple red emblem adorns his chest; a pale mix of white and grey replaces his skin. These are the cape and cowl of Valiant’s toughest anything. However, just like any costume he’s able to resemble a normal man. With a family surrounding him he hopes to further that disguise. But like any tragic hero, it can remain only that.
Suayan and LaRosa know their way around comic panels and pages, treating readers to a wondrous sight. The copious amounts of detail and emotion make the art almost unnerving. To stare into even the simple, bloodshot eyes of our star can lead one into his emotional state. Bloodshot may be reluctant to begin his new story, but he has an incredible team behind him.
The story that will have him facing darkness once again may not be wholly original, but it’s breathtaking to behold.
- Exquisite Art by Suayan, LaRosa & Reber
- Jeff Lemire's Witty Dialogue
- Clever Story Structure
- Relatively Simple, Recognizable Story
- Needed to Pack more Punch