Bloodshot Reborn #1 Review


Bloodshot Reborn #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Mico Suayan
Colored by David Baron
Published by Valiant Entertainment

When last we saw the former Project: Rising Sun assassin Bloodshot, it was at the conclusion of the miniseries The Valiant. He had just watched the woman he loved die in his arms and the nanites that gave Bloodshot his abilities had been removed from his body, turning him into an ordinary human being.

As his new monthly series Bloodshot Reborn opens, things really haven’t gotten any better.

Living in a run-down motel and using drugs and alcohol to deal with the memories of what he had done as Bloodshot, Ray Garrison (the name he has taken for himself) lives day to day. He is haunted by visions of his lost love Kay, who also happened to be the Geomancer, and a bizarre cartoon version of his alter-ego called Bloodsquirt.

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This is the world Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan drop the reader into in the first few pages of Bloodshot Reborn #1. It’s dark, twisted, gritty, and possibly the best Valiant comic book I’ve had the privilege to read.

Proving once again why Lemire is the thinking man’s super hero writer, he has crafted a story that on the surface is pretty straight forward and direct. It says right in the title of the book that this is a story about the rebirth of Bloodshot. But on a much deeper level, it’s more a story about if a man who was forced to perform evil deeds can change everything about himself and become something better.

Lemire’s characterizations are brilliant, layered and complex. By the end of the first issue, you’re really aware of what’s going on inside the mind of Bloodshot and feeling what he is feeling. You almost don’t want to see Garrison become Bloodshot again and instead want him to somehow be free of his memories and old life, because you already care about him and his future. Yet Lemire also makes Bloodshot Reborn #1 a perfect entry point into this corner of the Valiant Universe. Never read a Valiant or Bloodshot comic before? No problem. It’s all right here in the pages of this book. Have at it and enjoy.

The art … wow, where to begin with the art? Stunning, amazing, detailed, evocative … these are just a few of the words I can think of to describe it. Suayan has worked on previous Valiant titles, as well as books for both Marvel and DC, but you take one look at the art for Bloodshot Reborn and you can see that Bloodshot and Suayan were meant to be together. Each panel includes more detail and information than entire pages of other comics I’ve read. The colors by David Baron perfectly compliment the art and help to give Suayan’s pencils added depth and richness. I find I’m already hoping Valiant does an oversized hardcover of this book, just so I can see the art in a larger size.

As a bonus, Lemire, who is known as a pretty great artist in his own right, is doing the pencils for the Bloodsquirt character. Here’s hoping we see a lot of the little guy over the course of Lemire’s run, because whenever Bloodsquirt shows up, you can expect some dark, dark humor to follow.

The Bottom Line: When I reviewed Ninjak #1 last month, I honestly thought that was about as good as a first issue from Valiant could get, but was I wrong. Bloodshot Reborn #1 marks the start of an amazing new era for Bloodshot and his story and I hope it never ends. Ever.

Highly, highly recommended. This is the kind of comic you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss.

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