Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Manuel Garcia & Arturo Lozzi
Cover: Arturo Lozzi
This is a tale of double crosses, military conspiracies, and violence, as Valiant reintroduces Bloodshot to the masses! Swierczynski gets this title off to a pretty good start as the title character is sent off on a mission to save a friend. But what starts off as a pretty straight forward assignment begins to unravel, and it becomes anything but ordinary.
What needs to be said first is that this is the best looking book to come out of Valiant so far. Understand that the artwork in both Harbinger and X-O Manowar is great, but Garcia and Lozzi really make this book stand out. There are several tender and quieter moments in the beginning that are done very well, and give you a sense of who Ray is as a regular guy. Then you’re hit with these awesome action sequences, and this nice level of detail during some pretty visceral scenes. Seeing Bloodshot heal after being hit by a rocket was a great way to visually show how the nanites work in his system. Ian Hanning’s colors do Garcia and Lozzi’s artwork serious justice, and very well illustrate the shifts in the mood when Ray is with his family and when he’s blowing holes in his enemies.
The story that Swierczynski is starting here lays the foundation that Bloodshot is nothing more than an empty shell of a man and a puppet to be used by his handlers. We don’t know which life is real and what is false, though that is not a bad thing. He also does a fine job of establishing some humanity in the Ray/Bloodshot dynamic. The reader is also treated to quite a bit of information about the nanites themselves on the inside cover, which explains how our title character can take the beatings he receives throughout the issue.
If you were on the fence about getting this, then you should go over to the side that ends with you buying this issue. So far Valiant is three for three, as Bloodshot is another title worth picking up and delivers with the combo of a good story and very good artwork. Just understand that after you read it, it’s going to be hard waiting for the second issue to hit the shelves!