Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Doug Braithwaite
Coloured by Brian Reber
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
As the Bloodshot Squad arrived in NYC, they were quickly besieged by the infected. Ray Garrison, meanwhile, freed Kay McHenry — a.k.a. Deathmate — from her PRS programming. Before the two can head back into NYC to help quell the virus, they encounter magic…
So here we are with the final issue of the story and we get to see not necessarily the completion of Ray’s transformation but most certainly a huge step in it. While it was Kay who set him on the path to the man he’s becoming it’s Magic who really helped him get there so seeing his past and present collide in this way is great drama. Some may argue but first loves usually never last they are important to let us know it’s possible and we can find love but they just prepare us for the one we’re really waiting for. I see that here from Jeff and it’s strong and powerful to me.
So the Bloodshot Squad plays a major role in this and at the end of the story leaves us with a new realm to discover. These characters could have their own arcs moving forward as they too try to find a way to fit into a world that has passed them by. They have varying degrees of the nanites inside them and while they are nowhere near Ray’s level they are now a unit. The potential there both for the Project Rising Sun experiments and the characters themselves to be explored is huge.
While i’m not sure who’s idea it was to bring Kay back it’s nice that they did. We really haven’t seem much of the Geomancer lately and while she’s passed that mantle on with her death her resurrection as Deathmate again opens up a world of possibilities. Where does she go from here? Is she going to work with the Bloodshots or strike out on her own heck even hook up with Unity. There are endless scenarios that can be explored now thanks to the story Jeff brought us here.
The interiors here are extremely well done. The use of page layouts through their angles, perspective and use of backgrounds are so nicely utilised. The attention to detail here is amazing to see and the use of colour here really makes moments pop. Between all the action and the faces/facial expression the way that this story is told visually really helps the reader get more into the story.
So what’s next for Ray? With how this issue ends that too is left wide open. Sure he’s Bloodshot but he’s beholden to noone but himself, well and Magic, they have the dog and it would seem he’s ready to face whatever comes his way. Personally Jeff’s done such amazing things with this character that I cannot wait to see what’s next for him.
Valiant has a lot more to offer thanks to this four issue arc. The way they can continue to bring us these amazing stories and are able expand the universe in ways that make us thirsty for more.