Bloodshot Reborn #3 (Valiant)
STORY : Jeff Lemire
ART : Mico Suayan
The man formerly known as Bloodshot was no more. He was human again, a parting gift from Kay, a Geomancer he was protecting and the woman he loved. She did it to give him a chance at being human again, at having a life.
Except that once he got himself a new name – Ray Garrison – and found a quiet place, he was lost. Drinking, doing drugs and basically burying himself away from the world. In his isolation and delusion, he started getting visits from what appeared to be Kay and a cartoonish little representation of his former self that calls itself Bloodsquirt. And then hell broke loose when a new Bloodshot was caught on film killing people – feeling responsible and under pressure from his two hallucinations, Ray went and took him out, absorbing back the nanites in his blood.
And now there’s a second new Bloodshot that was just caught by the F.B.I, who are also slowly starting to find out hero in their cross-hairs.
The story progresses and Lemire has been doing a good job playing with Bloodshots state of mind – the fact that he has two characters talking to him and all, it can be very easy to get lost in that, but thus far I find their presence and interaction with Bloodshot to be quite interesting. This reaches a tense moment this issue as Kay pushes him to see that he cannot keep trying to go back into hiding – he needs to make a choice – and she points out that not only is he neither facing the very real danger that only he can deal with, nor is he dealing with embracing the humanity and life that he keeps saying was his parting gift from her.
The other good part of this issue for me is the slow yet steady unravelling of the mystery of the new Bloodshots. Between the two parallel stories of the F.B.I investigation and Bloodshots own journey to hunt down the imposters there is enough information coming to be a tease and at the same time be somewhat revealing.
Project Rising Spirit comes up again this issue as does a burst of information for our hero as he confronts the second of the Bloodshots and absorbs yet more of his former nanites, inching closer and closer to what he used to be – to being the thing he most fears.
The interplay between what he has to do, what he was, what WE the reader know he became until most recently and the thing that he can’t help but fear he might become again – it is very engaging and like other Valiant books like the recent Divinity, it becomes less about the action and more about the evolution and journey of characters.
There is very little I found to complain about this issue – the story is top-notch, as is the art.
My only complaint is more of a worry, specifically that of the ending. As happened with the aforementioned Divinity miniseries, the whole thing was an amazing ride, but they built up so much and then the ending came so suddenly, so abruptly and so strangely quietly that it leaves one wondering what the hell just happened.
Granted there are huge differences in the two series, but traditionally I find series with too much mystery and too much conspiracy styling can actually end up hurting themselves in the long run. That and the possible re-emergence of P.R.S as the big-bad, for me at least, seem like they are steering this ride toward Wolverine+Weapon X territory and that would be a bit sad to do so soon after he just got done with them.
Read this comic.
While I have my reservations, they are more in line with what each issue shows me for further down the line – BUT for now, 3 out of 3 issues have been exceedingly well-crafted and enjoyable to read.
For people who think Bloodshot is just another unkillable super-soldier, badass – you’re right – but he’s that and so very much more.
Valiant continues their production of good, solid reading with this comic and series as a whole and Jeff Lemire continues to show why he is one of the most respected writers in the industry today.
STORY SCORE: 9 / 10
ART SCORE: 9 / 10
OVERALL SCORE: 9 / 10