Review Brew: Bloodshot Reborn #10
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Lewis Larosa
Color Art By: Brian Reber
Comics are in a weird state right now. Marvel is more or less in the first phase of a soft restart for a lot of their titles, and DC is looking like a reboot or something of the sort is on the horizon this year. The constant superhero universe, and really the most cohesive, continues to be Valiant. After Lemire’s first long form arc came to an end, we were promised a somewhat different direction starting with this issue 10, and that certainly was an apt description.
From jump, Lemire launches us thirty years into the future. After the end of the last arc, usual story would dictate us following Bloodshot and Magic around as they more or less traverse the desert. Thankfully, Lemire threw a wrench in that, and with it we get a new world to pull us in. This new world is more or less run off of “Goo-tech”; think Bloodshot’s nanites but 1000 times more advanced. Under what appears to be an oppressive state, Bloodshot is the leader of a group of outcasts, who talk about him in legend status. The biggest draw I got from first glance of this issue is when Bloodshot is being chased down by a gang of Shadowmen, which is straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road. Even though that scene has been done recently, it still worked here, and it was interesting to see the use of the Shadowman name thirty years in the future. We also get a glimpse at the X-O Manowar armor in this world, which are Goo-tech controlled drones that patrol the supercity of Los Angeles. Lemire still gives us the Bloodshot we know and love from previous issues, and Magic is there as well, thankfully still a good foil for Ray. With the nod at a well known Valiant character making an appearance on the last page, this story is looking to be a strong one.
With the previous arc, we got some incredible artwork from Butch Guice. Here, Lewis Larosa steps in, and, without knowing much about him, I was a little hesitant. Even though I didn’t think it was Guice strong, I still enjoyed the art from page to page. While being a TINY bit stiff, the storytelling panel to panel was apparent. My biggest gripe was in the muddiness of the panels. At first, I thought this was a color art situation, but in seeing the process pages in the back, this becomes present in the inking stage. It’s not overly muddy, a la Ultimates 3, to the point of being jarring. Just a small amount of tightening up, and this will be very high quality stuff. That said, the color art really stood out to me in this issue. This was the first time I noticed a sense of tone cohesiveness in the colors across many of the Valiant books I’m reading. I know he also does Ninjak, but even with the books Reber isn’t on, it just gives the line a grounding feeling for the universe. Really well done production wise from Valiant.
As always, I urge all superhero fans to check out Valiant, and this book is a great jumping on point. This is especially true if you’re feeling a little jaded on the big two.
4 ROADS TO VALHALLA out of 5