Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Colour Assists by Borja Pindado
Despite moving to Colorado and living under the name Ray Garrison, Bloodshot could not forgive himself for his violent past. Instead Ray squandered his second chance at humanity by drowning himself in drugs and alcohol. But upon hearing reports of mass shootings across Colorado by gunmen who looked just like Bloodshot, Ray felt responsible and hunted down the killers. He quickly discovered the only way to stop the imposters was to kill them and reabsorb their nanites. Ray is now also responsible for the well-being of a young woman named Magic, who was almost killed by her nanite-infected boyfriend.
As if all that weren’t enough, there’s the still the matter of the demonic visions of Kay and a cartoon Bloodshot that continue to haunt Ray. But are they drug-addled hallucinations or something more…..?
Jeff really has managed to turn my opinions on this character around and made him incredibly interesting. I think this issue solidifies that for me on a few levels and the way Jeff wrote the ending really hit that home. He’s been freed from his former life thanks to Kay’s sacrifice and now is having trouble finding a balance between who he was and who he is and that struggle is beautifully portrayed here.
Struggling with the effects that the nanites are having on him Bloodsquirt takes this opportunity to sink his proverbial teeth into Ray’s mind and takes him on this journey. We finally see the kind of character this hallucination can have on him and it’s both frightening and crazily illuminating at the same time. I also have to hand it to Raul, Patricia and Borja for the distinct look of Bloodsquirt and the world he draws him into. In the beginning they were there to seemingly guide him but now it appears that this cartoon version of himself is a much more menacing entity than we thought. That he’s become more dangerous and seemingly unstable in his actions with Ray make for a much more intense and volatile read.
With Magic’s help could we finally learn the secret of who Ray was before he became Bloodshot? What will the file he’s having her read reveal and how will ultimately change his life is something to look forward to. Magic’s right though regardless of who he was who he is now is much more important and how she’s sees hims is very telling. Still seeing this kind of emotional struggle from him and in it’s own way admitting this weakness that he can’t seem to overcome by reading the file himself really does make him so much more than he’s ever been in my eyes.
Valiant has really gone and made this more about the man behind the identity or the search for that man anyway and in the process has made him a far more interesting character worthy of your time. With such varying artwork inside to match the different moods and emotions he feels this really has become something of a standout series and is right up there with what I think of Ninjak.