Bloodshot Reborn #1: It’s Jarring, Beautiful & CreativeApril 15, 2015
There has been an awful lot of hype about the new Bloodshot Reborn series from Valiant.
Written by Jeff Lemire (The Valiant, All New Hawkeye) and drawn by Mico Suayan (HARBINGER, Moon Knight), it’s the story of the man who used to be Bloodshot, a mind-controlled, unkillable assassin doing the dirty work of a sinister organisation named Project Rising Spirit.
Freed from the nanites in his blood that healed him from any wound and allowed him to be their puppet, the man now known as Ray Garrison is struggling to deal with his past actions, the death of the love of his life, and what he should do with the second chance he’s been granted.
I’m completely new to Bloodshot, so I cannot emphasise enough how great the opening few pages of this comic are at catching you up on his backstory. Seriously, it’s just phenomenally well done. I’m always a little anxious picking up a new series, wondering just how many blank spots I’m going to have to fill in after the fact. There’s none of that here, and it’s a brilliant move. You immediately feel not only that you have some understanding of who Bloodshot is, but also real empathy with Garrison’s plight.
I’m not sure there is another writer around who does inner turmoil better than Jeff Lemire. From Essex County to Underwater Welder to Animal Man (yes, Lemire even turned me into the sort of person that will unashamedly buy Animal Man comics), he is the master at writing characters trying to get a handle on their past actions or future responsibilities.
He is also brilliant at surprising readers with the completely unexpected, which is what happens here with the appearance of a bizarre supporting cast member. It’s not a million miles away from the team up at the heart of the Image’s Happy, from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, a couple of years ago. It’s a jarring, utterly weird twist in the story that left me both confused and seriously intrigued as to what happens next.
The art also deserves a mention. The lines from Suayan are just beautiful, and there’s some fantastic creativity in the panel layout, particularly in the opening pages. The colours from David Baron are perfect too, with the reds throughout the book absolutely striking. Lemire’s own art is just so utterly different to Suayan’s work that when the weird sidekick pops up, it does feel suitably jarring.
This is an absolutely top class comic book and comes heartily recommended, whether you’re new to Bloodshot or a long-standing fan.