By: Duane Swierzcynski (Writer), Barry Kitson, Stefano Gaudiano (Artists), Brian Reber (Colorist)
The Story: Bloodshot is moving toward a new destination with the psiot kids as he tries to defend and take care of them.
The Review: This title is something that is actually quite uncommon these days, with many noir, criminal, super heroes, sci-fi and other genre being completely covered with a multitude of books, it seems that there is one genre that is not as widely covered as we would think: pure action.
Sure, there are plenty of actions to be found in most other books, but it seems that the ratio found in Bloodshot is pretty high. It is after all easy to make the main character participate in most action when his power sets include regeneration, tough skin and many other things that involve the comic book science known as nanomachines. Here, we see him get shot an cut deeply as he shoots, bash some skulls and otherwise destroys his enemies in what could be the epitome of testosterone that most action movies hope they could manage to do this well. With the addition of psychic kids with a multitude of abilities, it even bring the first half to a whole new level as we get inventive and even analytical ways of seeing how the kids around Bloodshot reacts to people wishing them harm.
It is specifically that analytical part that makes this issue and the book as a whole more than mere action, because as much fun a big explosion and guns parade is cool, it’s worth nothing unless you’re invested in the story and the context behind it. While it is pretty easy to sympathize to the fact that Bloodshot is doing his best to protect the youth around him, it is the reasons why he do so that makes it much more compelling, as Swierczynski delves into the psyche of a man that had countless different identities, each with their own wife and kid. I have to say that I rather liked the way Bloodshot is written like a man who knows very well that all of his memories are fake, yet still cannot himself to just ignore the fact that he had indeed loved his imaginary children as if they were real. Another good characterization on the part of this character would be the fact that during the whole issue, he keeps on moving forward, as he has nothing else to do and that would mean being much more introspective. That may be pure speculation on my part, but it did feel a lot like that and I do hope that it will be further developed. For a character that has a name that would fit very well in the infamous dark age of comics, Bloodshot is actually a compelling main character with surprising depths.
What might be lacking in depth, though, may be the actual plot, as there is not exactly a lot going on in this issue. With Harbinger Wars going on, we get to see just what happened to Bloodshot and his band of young psiots taken from Project Rising Spirit and how he went from there to threatening Toyo Harada in the final page of the event’s first issue. While we do get some character moments and some very nice interaction with the supporting cast, it does not amount to much right now as the actual meat of what will be happening to the character himself will be shown in the main event. This could be considered a bit like filler, yet I cannot deny it is interesting filler nonetheless.
Even though the plot seems a bit unimportant, it seems that the artist they chose to illustrate this book was a very important deal, as it’s none other than Barry Kitson who draws the whole thing. Here, he shows just what he can do and it is very good indeed, as the action scenes are brimmed with busy yet clean panels and with very expressive poses from the whole cast. While the characters in the background get treated with less care than those on the forefront, it cannot be denied that most of what we see here is drawn rather well. With the skills of Brian Reber as a colorist, the whole things gets rather higher in quality as we get the sense of light from the fire and explosions which works rather well with the story set during the night, creating a nice contrast.
The Conclusion: While the story itself is not exactly the most exciting or important aspect of the book, the issue as a whole is elevated thanks to the art, the characterization and the absurdly good action.
Hugo Robberts Larivière