My anticipation for this issue was high when I initially heard Valiant would be relaunching Bloodshot. In the few months since that announcement, we have been treated to two other relaunched titles in X-O Manowar and Harbinger. Both of those titles have gone far beyond my expectations, and if that were all Valiant had planned to this point, I would be a happy camper. But, here we are. Bloodshot has arrived. Will it stand up to all the hype Valiant has amassed behind it? Well, like it or not, I’ll give you my honest opinion!
To start, I read a lot of comics, I mean A LOT. I’m definitely over saturated as any crazy comic book fanatic would be. I’m less patient now with mediocre efforts, and have strayed away from the blatant money drains that company crossovers have become. They used to fool me…I’ll admit it…that buying a copy of She-Hulk #31 would somehow further the whole story. Not anymore! I’m choosing to invest my time and efforts in to good storytelling, which Valiant is doing. Valiant is capitalizing on what has become a flooded market of flat effort, because they have something to prove.
Marvel has become a bit of a crap machine for me. Frankly, I think they are cocky about the fact that we will buy their issues because we’re “Marvel Zombies.” We will take what they print despite quality because “he’s my favorite character” or “I’ve got to own all the issues in the series!” I implore you to stop this nonsense. Stop investing your money in crap and pick up a copy of anything Valiant has to offer right now. Say it with me, I VOW TO NOT BE A MARVEL ZOMBIE.
Like I said, Valiant is trying to prove something here. They aren’t counting on everyone buying their books “just because.” No blockbuster movies or high profile creators on staff. They only have quality storytelling and art along with a bit of legacy. Arguably that legacy is built on not quite reached potential of it’s run in the 1990’s. I’m here to tell you that that potential is finally being realized. Oh hey, speaking of the 90’s, check out this interview I did with original Bloodshot co-creator Kevin VanHook!
Bloodshot #1, written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi, has EXPLODED onto the scene! I’ve poured over and over the pages of this issue, and I seriously can’t find anything glaringly bad to say. From the inside-cover bio to the final page I was completely taken in. The bio gives a sweet summary of what Bloodshot is all about, and then immediately throws us into the fray. What motivates Bloodshot to do what he does? Is he man or machine? Is he a force for good or intended for evil? It’s complicated, but compelling storytelling fodder. I believe Swierczynski has hit a home run.
The pencil’s start with Arturo Lozzi before Bloodshot’s mission, and end when he joins the fight with Manuel Garcia. Lozzi’s style is bright, peppy, and smooth, perfect for the happy moments before the stark reality that is Bloodshot’s life. When Garcia takes over we almost instantly get a taste of the brutality that will be commonplace for our tortured hero as he is hit dead on with a MISSLE. I promise you folks, it only gets worse after that. Normally, I get a little annoyed with split art duties. Here it makes sense. Yes, if either of these artists did the whole issue I still would have loved it. The decision to contrast the two moods of the book with two artists? Genius.
This week I implore you to leave that crossover leaching copy of AVX #4 with it’s 15 pages of ads on the shelf, and instead give Bloodshot #1 a read. Don’t be a Marvel Zombie.
Parental Concern: Some language and a massive amount of blood and guts. It’ll scar your kids for life.
Bloodshot #1 will be available at your local comic book store on July 11, 2012.
I’m a comic book loving fool who runs on geek energy. You’ll find me writing the weekly Kickstarter Spotlight, the occasional interview and entering weekly releases into the StashMyComics database. Follow me on Twitter @ChipReece.