Ray Garrison, formerly known as Bloodshot, has hit the road in order to put a stop to a murderer, who looks eerily like the original Bloodshot with white skin and a red circle on his chest. The FBI has started their own investigation in order to track down the murderer. Who will get to the copycat first? Is it good?
Bloodshot Reborn #2 (Valiant Entertainment)
Jeff Lemire continues to explore the character of Ray Garrison. Instead of using an internal monologue, he uses Bloodsquirt, a doll half the size of Ray who looks identical to Bloodshot, and Kay McHenry, the Geomancer who Ray fell in love with during The Valiant event to provide dialogue that reflects Bloodshot’s own inner thoughts. It is a unique writing tactic that is extremely effective given Ray’s current state of mind. Bloodsquirt is able to provide plenty of comedic relief. You just have to laugh at lines like “Stopping crimes with our glock nines!” Comedic relief is not Bloodsquirt’s only use; Lemire also uses him to foreshadow Ray’s potential transformation back into Bloodshot where he can blow holes in the bad guys. There is one complaint – that being the ability Lemire gives Ray to track the copycat. It’s a little too easy.
Outside of Ray and his little delusions, Lemire also introduces a number of new characters with the introduction of the FBI agents. He uses a nice setup, letting you think they will be the stereotypical FBI hardasses. However, Lemire pulls a fast one, introducing a young female detective who does detective work a little bit differently than the old-fashioned way. It is an empowering moment as the young detective not only has a unique gift when it comes to analyzing the crime scene, but she is also able to prove her merit with top-of-the-line detective skills when it comes to finding a lead. Special Agent Diane Festival will be a character to look forward to in ensuing issues.
The pacing in the issue is excellent as Lemire switches back and forth between the FBI and Ray, building up to the eventual conflict between Ray and the copycat Bloodshot. Mico Suayan does a magnificent job capturing the lead-in to the action sequence as well as the action itself. His panel layout builds plenty of tension, using a large half-page panel that transitions into three smaller panels and a fourth horizontal at the bottom of the page. The tension is released in a huge full page splash panel. The lead-in is so good the splash panel catches you by surprise.
Replacing the built-up tension, Suayan aims for a full on adrenaline rush as the copycat and Ray go toe to toe with each other. There is one panel that is just begging to leap off the page as the copycat thrusts his knife straight towards the reader, allowing you to feel a tingling of fear. The only issue with the battle sequence is the copycat appears to gain the upper hand and has fully mounted Ray having his knife inch ever closer to a killing blow; however, in the next panel he is feet away from Ray, leaping towards him.
Lemire ends the issue with plenty of mystery. Where did this copycat Bloodshot come from? Are there more of them? How will Special Agent Diane Festival play a role in this? How powerful are these nanites? What is going to happen to Kay and Bloodsquirt? Needless to say, Lemire leaves you with plenty of questions as Bloodshot Reborn begins to stretch its legs.
Is It Good?
Bloodshot Reborn was a very well written comic by Jeff Lemire who used fantastic pacing, switching between the FBI and Ray, and building up character and tension for a high adrenaline combat sequence portrayed by Mico Suayan that stole the show. Lemire is able to explain a bit about why Ray all of a sudden jumped at the chance to go after the copycat. More importantly, he asks big questions that Bloodshot will have to answer in order to truly find out who he is.