Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Mico Suayan
Coloured by David Baron
Believing his old nanites to be the cause of the murders, Ray sets out to find the imposters. But the months of self destruction have taken their toll. Kay and a cartoon version of Bloodshot keep following Ray and can’t tell if they’re real or not. Even worse, the FBI is hot on Ray’s trail, believing him to be behind the recent killings…
Jeff really has gone and made Bloodshot a lot more human so far and the fact that we see his struggle with the idea of who he was and who he is now has never been portrayed as well as it is right here. That Ray has been trying to cope with everything he’s done and using oxy, cocaine and alcohol to dull the memories and feelings really make him so much more accessible to us than when he was just this lost and seemingly broken individual. He has so much more personality now that I find myself much more interested and involved in his story.
The fact that Ray’s having such a hard time adjusting to his new life since he still has his memories of what Project Rising Spirit has put him through has really been the key factor to redefining this character. Jeff’s ability in giving us this kind of characterization through the drug and alcohol use alongside his hallucinations of both Kay and Bloodsquirt all the while struggling with the reality that he needs to take the nanites back from those who posses them has catapulted this book in a true must read.
That Ray is probably creating in his mind both Kay and Bloodsquirt it’s pretty amazing at how clearly he sees himself and is using Kay to put that it into words which will spur him into action. He really has become broken and afraid after Kay took the nanites out of him. Finally human again you’d think he’d relish the chance to find out who he was and create a normal life for himself but the PTSD he’s got isn’t helping. That he had feelings for Kay when she died is the reason she’s here and this duality in him is coming across beautifully, that desire to do what is right against the fear of finding out he’s someone he doesn’t like.
Agent Hoyt is a complete tool but then he’s supposed to be right he’s an F.B.I. guy with a chip on his shoulder and a desire to prove that he shouldn’t have been replaced by this woman, Festival. Yeah that I think hurts him more that she’s taken over from him if it were another man he might not have as big a problem but ya never know. That they are on Ray’s trail is weird considering he hasn’t been involved in the shootings but he’s involved in the aftermath and the anonymous phone call Special Agent Diane Festival gets telling to look into Project Rising Spirit will hopefully be something she takes seriously. Ray needs allies and while Hoyt wouldn’t be one Festival could be and it’s a development we need to keep an eye on.
Mico and David do some incredibly good work here. The attention to detail in the characters faces, expressions and in basically everything we see is really amazing. I mean when the agent walk into his old room at the motel he worked those disheveled sheets are what i’m talking about here you just don’t see this level of work. Or the vein work in Ray’s arms either for example this really is the world being schooled in some of the most intense work i’ve ever seen.
It’s no wonder that this rebirth is on everyone’s lips it’s strong, powerful and relatable not to mention superbly rendered. Valiant’s return continues with another award worthy series.