Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Mico Suayan
Coloured by David Baron
I don’t want to be insulting but I got bored by the previous Bloodshot series, I really did it just seemed so much of the same to me that wasn’t really going anywhere character wise. Now however Jeff’s taken Ray someplace new, fresh and interesting and i’m totally captivated by it. He’s kind of going crazy seeing Kay and Bloodsquirt while trying to adjust to life without the nanites which it seems isn’t going well making him a real person again. Then there’s Mico and David who make him both handsome, frightening and bring the world to life with such attention to detail you almost feel the sweat forming on his brow.
If you have any questions about the intensity about the artwork or why I admire and appreciate it so much then open the first page of the book and look, look at those eyes, Rays face and the look of concentration and then his passengers who represent two other styles of artwork along with his and you’ll see this is the work of some very talented men. As a matter of fact throughout the book their work is simply amazing and the emotion it evokes is so intense you can almost sense the texture of the elements they are bringing to life.
Jeff is doing something I hadn’t expected here and that’s using Ray’s fractured mind and having Bloodsquirt and Kay help guide him on his way. He understands that the nanites call to him and want him back whether that’s logical or his own desire i’m not quite sure of right now but regardless they act like this beacon to him helping him find this new Bloodshot full of the nanites he cannot control and have driven him mad. There’s the inner conflict of him wanting the nanites back and his desire to see them destroyed completely or to have them stopped being used on those who cannot control them. This kind of complexity while is absolutely wonderful to see wasn’t something I had expected so soon.
Welcome Special Agent Diane Festival who appears to have some powers of her own here. I love that the two men who were leading the case are being pushed down the ranks by this young woman who is now their boss on the case. I like the aspect this adds to the story because there seems to be something not quite right about it as if she’s there to track progress and keep rogue Bloodshots from going public and has some weird abilities that lead me to believe she works for someone other than the government as well, like Project Rising Sun. Still the characterization is perfect complete with boys club, agism and all that jazz mentality.
Ray really is going off the reservation here but he’s still managing to do what he needs to do and the fact that he misses the nanites and detests them at the same time is great writing. That he seems to be a player on a chessboard being moved around taking out pawns so that his end game isn’t really in his hands intrigues me, more so since we aren’t seeing if anyone else is really pulling strings and I wish it stays that way for quite some time.
This is how you start a new series with a character who has to find and redefine himself and trust me it doesn’t get any better than this.