The aftermath of The Valiant mini-series has given Bloodshot a second chance at life. The nanites that “gave him enhanced strength, agility, and speed” have been removed. Bloodshot is no more; just a man by the name of Ray Garrison working at the Red River Motel stands in his place. Is it good?
Bloodshot Reborn #1 (Valiant Entertainment)
Writer Jeff Lemire creates a fantastic jumping-on point for new readers looking to get involved in the Valiant universe and learn a little bit more about Bloodshot. He details who Bloodshot was before The Valiant, letting us in on what drove him and how Kay McHenry, the Geomancer, gives him a second chance.
After providing a brief history on Bloodshot, Lemire decides to introduce us to who the man behind the white skin and red eyes has become. It is not a pretty picture. Lemire, with the help of artist Mico Suayan, depicts a downtrodden and depressed human being who has lost his purpose. The depiction of his dramatic plummet into the depths of the human condition is a little hard to believe, especially after Lemire details certain emotions he had for Kay and how she gave him a second chance by making him a man once again. I feel Lemire is using the idea of the Fallen Hero to garner sympathy to begin a story about overcoming one’s weaknesses. However, I just don’t buy that Bloodshot would fall into the recesses of his own mind after being given a second chance. He would want to make the most of it, live up to the gift Kay had given him. The focus on his descent takes up a majority of the issue and just falls completely flat with me. It is unbelievable and seems only to serve a plot
The plot purpose is made even more apparent by how quickly he is jolted out of his stupor. He is beset with multiple delusions, plying himself with drugs and alcohol only to watch a news report and decide to stop wallowing in his own misery and instead make a difference in the world.
Mico Suayan’s artwork matches the tone Lemire is attempting to set with Bloodshot’s descent as he allows his past to eat him up from the inside. He creates a doll delusion who is a mirror image of Bloodshot. Suayan is able to capitalize on the creep factor of movies like Child’s Play and books like Puppet Master to create a character that mentally torments Bloodshot, going so far as to pop out of the television. I really enjoyed how Suayan is able to capture Bloodshot’s facial expressions that range from despondent to furious.
David Baron’s colors accentuate the tone Suayan creates with his artwork. Baron uses quite a bit of blacks and when the panels are not being depicted at night he adds mellowed filters of yellow and red to reflect Bloodshot’s dejected state of mind.
Much like The Valiant, Jeff Lemire offers an inside look at the making of the comic going so far as to revealing the script for the first three pages. It is a nice touch allowing readers to see the detail and communication required to bring together a comic book.
Is It Good?
If you can get over the fact that Bloodshot descends into a melancholy state after finally having the nanites removed from his body, you will be able to enjoy it. The book tells an interesting story of falling into despair and realizing you have been given a second chance to make a difference and the mental hurdles he has to overcome in order to realize the life of a handyman is not for him. Mico Suayan’s artwork was good. There were some exciting splash pages and good detail in the close-ups; however, it was not jaw-dropping or overly exciting. David Baron’s colors helped set the darker tone using a lot of blacks and mellowed yellows and reds. Bloodshot Reborn #1 is an average story that sets the stage for hopefully much greater things to come.