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Review Brew: Bloodshot Reborn #1

Writer- Jeff Lemire

Artist- Mico Suayan

Reviewed By- John Amenta

During my last review, I admitted to not being overly familiar with many of the pulp heroes of the early forties. Today I tell you, faithful reader, that I have never read a book published by Valiant Entertainment. Valiant was founded in 1989 by former Marvel stalwarts Bob Layton and Jim Shooter, but over the course of the last 26 years has been sold, shut down and restarted at various points. At the time I began reading comics again after a hiatus in 2000, Valiant was part of video game giant Acclaim, and I was not drawn in to any of their titles. In the last 10 years the company has refocused their brand back to comic books, and when I saw that Canadian scribe Jeff Lemire would be writing a series based on one of their long time characters, I decided to try it out.

Bloodshot was introduced in 1992, and as imagined in a company with so much fluctuation over the years, his history is convoluted, to say the least. This is where the skill of Lemire comes to play. In the five pages preceding the title page, Bloodshot’s origin as a wounded soldier infected with nanobots that make him near indestructible is covered, as well as events from his recent history. As the woman he loved died, she used her powers to negate the abilities the nanobots granted him, allowing him to leave behind his prior life as a super powered assassin. Five pages is all it takes to start a fresh story, one about a man calling himself Ray Garrison, living as a handyman in Colorado. Ray spends his days keeping busy, and his nights trying to escape his past as a killer, and quiet the voices in his head. As the issue progresses, the line between reality and nightmare blurs, and Ray finds himself interacting with an old ally. A new threat emerges wearing the white skin and red sigil of Bloodshot as this chapters ends, forcing Ray into action.

Lemire made this issue easy to read for someone like myself, unfamiliar with the character and history. In the same respect, he peppered  elements into the story that should please long time fans. Filipino artist Mico Suayan provides highly detailed work here, capturing the mundane detail in Garrison’s day job life as well as the grittiness needed for his nighttime delusions.

Bloodshot Reborn #1 was the first Valiant title I read, but it won’t be the last. First issues, whether they are new concepts or old need to draw a reader into issue 2. Lemire and Suayan weaved an interesting enough story for first time readers and existing fans of this character to at least pick up the next issue to see where this is going. Good start overall.

4 Rising Spirits of 5

About John Amenta (74 Articles)
Born and raised in Central Connecticut. Raised on the good stuff, such as Star Wars, Marvel G.I. Joe comics and a heaping spoonful of Saturday morning cartoons. Many years later, still sticking to the ways of younger life, to counteract the terror of adult existence.
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