Bloodshot U.S.A. #1
Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Doug Braithwaite
Coloured by Brian Reber
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
.Powerless, Bloodshot assumed a new identity. Calling himself Ray Garrison, he met a young woman named Magic and they fell in love. But their tranquility was shattered when P.R.S. recaptured Bloodshot and imprisoned him on a desert island, where he was hunted -- and executed -- everyday by a mysterious creature known only as Deathmate. Bloodshot discovered the former Geomancer, Kay McHenry, had been turned into Deathmate by P.R.S. With this knowledge, he teamed up with The Bloodshot Squad -- outdated Bloodshots from wars gone by -- to defeat Deathmate and escape in a makeshift raft...searching for the love of his life.
Holy Nanites Batman! Okay wrong company but still it applies I mean hello nurse. I can’t believe what Jeff is doing here no sooner does Bloodshot and the Corps get off the Island than they find themselves in the thick of things once again. This time it’s a different Island, Manhattan, New York City. Before we get into that let’s rewind a bit a go back to a year ago where the story really begins.
Jeff does an excellent job with the recap of how things get to where they are right now. Including the whole Deathmate situation. Also it’s a great nod at placing a puppet in the Oval Office that they can manipulate, how they can use the Reborn story arc as weapon they can control and then swoop in to save the day. All of it is wrapped up really nicely in this opening and it explains everything we need to know along with some incredible characterisation on Kozol. I mean Kozol is a megalomaniac sure but the man is truly scary, his vision, the scope the whole thing the man is just plain scary.
So that Bloodshot is found by his ally Ninjak is a great touch. How and why it took so long are explained and it makes sense after all nothing was getting on or off that Island without PRS letting it happen. Again I like the characterisation here and not just with Ray and Ninjak but the other Bloodshots as well. Each one comes from a different point in time and the way they see the world and their situation is clear to the reader.
For what happens in the city well you’ll have to read the issue because it’s the start of a new arc for the series and it’s incredibly well done. We’ve got PRS trying to run America, unleashing a virus of such magnitude that it’s scary to even those who okayed Kozol’s plan. Plus the ramifications of this virus are much more than you could ever hope to imagine.
Doug takes his turn on this series and does a really admirable job. His attention to detail is nice to see. The two page spreads are wonderfully done. The use of page layouts utilising angles, perspective and backgrounds really pack a punch here. There’s great emotion and expression from the characters. Overall it’s a highly thought out and executed story visually.
Bloodshot continues to grow, evolve and change into something so much larger than its premise ever promised. Valiant has taken a character and made him so much accessible and likeable than ever before and each time you think it couldn’t get any better whammo it does!