Bloodshot Reborn #13 Review: The Analog Man Gets Strange


Bloodshot Reborn ends the amazing story arc of The Analog Man with a swerve into the surreal, a smart change that will win over action fans and literature buffs alike.

Bloodshot Reborn #13
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Lewis Larosa
Published by Valiant Entertainment

Bloodshot Reborn #13 doesn’t go on sale until May 25, so beware of spoilers below!

Cover by Ben Oliver

For the last three issues, Jeff Lemire and Lewis Larosa have put Bloodshot to the test, defending a wasteland settlement from marauders in a Mad Max setting thirty years in our future. This has brought out some of the finest vehicular action sequences in a title already known for tense gunfights, and the tragic loss of Bloodshot’s wife has maintained the tender heart Lemire has consistently written beneath that iconic red circle. Now, in the final episode of The Analog Man arc, Lemire makes it weird.

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As Bloodshot and Ninjak work their way into Los Angeles, a nightmare zone controlled by high-tech “goo” and patrolled by drones in X-O Manowar armor, Bloodshot starts noticing strange surreal items, clues that link his present quest to take out The Man In The Tower to memories he has of a time that he and his wife were attacked. By the time Bloodshot encounters two shocking guest stars, the reader will be able to figure out the truth behind this entire peek into Valiant’s future. And the final pages link beautifully into the highly-publicized Bloodshot Island arc, bending time in a way that feels earned.

What has set Bloodshot apart from the brainless bullets of the 1990s comic landscape has been its intelligence. The first few writers on Valiant’s relaunch have emphasized the science fiction of the nanotechnology behind Bloodshot’s unstoppable arsenal. Under Lemire’s direction, the character has developed into the emotional core of the Valiant Universe, a man seeking and fearing his true identity, a man shaped and scarred by loves lost. The dystopian setting of The Analog Man has carried these themes forward, and with the twists of the final chapter, they’ve enriched the present-day version of the character as he moves to the next challenge. These four issues would stand alone for new readers, but they’re wonderful development for a character fans have been following for the last five years.

Cover by Mike Choi

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The Bottom Line: The strange ending could have been seen as a cheap cop-out to an otherwise solid action arc, but the move feels earned and consistent with the character so far, making the whole story even better in retrospect. Readers will want to go through these issues twice, and they’ll enjoy both of their wild rides.