Review: Bloodshot Reborn #1

I’ve been giving Valiant Comics more of a read lately. Even so, I would not have given this series a second look, as Bloodshot has never been a favorite of mine, as he is a symbol of everything that was bad about the 90s. The combination name, the healing factor, the many, many guns, and the propensity to kill opponents. However, I read The Valiant #4 and was instantly intrigued with this interpretation of the character.

BSRB_001_COVER-A_DOE1BLOODSHOT REBORN #1

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by MICO SUAYAN with DAVID BARON
Cover A by JUAN DOE
Cover B by MICO SUAYAN
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover D by LEWIS LAROSA
Valiant Next Variant by MICO SUAYAN & TOM MULLER
Variant Cover by JEFF LEMIRE
Variant Cover by BUTCH GUICE
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA
Blank Cover also available
$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 15

Solicitation:
From New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT, Green Arrow) and red-hot rising star Mico Suayan (HARBINGER, Moon Knight), VALIANT NEXT delivers an all-new ongoing series for Valiant’s most unrelenting hero!

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit – a private contractor trafficking in violence – very well.

Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving headlong into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

BSRB1-17

Review:
Jeff Lemire really impressed me with this book in a way that he didn’t on his Justice League/Legion storyline on Justice League Unlimited. Perhaps its the amount of freedom he has with Valiant’s characters a s opposed to a cast that ended up being nearly three dozen characters, all begging for a moment to shine. We get Bloodshot dealing with being ordinary again and even hallucinating the person he failed to save. Without spoiling anything we see him seek his purpose out. All along this he makes me feel something for a character that two months ago, I really didn’t care for, and most of that comes from this issue.

The artwork by Mico Suayan was very refreshing in its realism. It seems very heavy on the photo reference, but still telling the story and maintaining a level of aesthetics, especially in the scene I’ve placed above. Too often when artists use reference the storytelling gets lost and the life vanishes from the characters’ eyes. I may feel different about the artwork here in a month, but it strikes me as a little different than other artists that rely on reference, like Greg Land, in that the storytelling seems to be the first step in the process instead of finding reference.

I’ll be back for the second issue and isn’t that the most important job a first issue has?