Valiant Entertainment 2017
Writtenby Eliot Rahal
Illustrated by Khari Evans
Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
For the first time in over 30 years, two nanite-enhanced soldiers once controlled by Project Rising Spirit – codenames: “Tank Man” and “Viet Man” – have finally earned their freedom and some government-sanctioned downtime, courtesy of Uncle Sam. After enduring a lifetime of war, blood, and gore, all these two semi-retired commandos want is a little vacation. But how long can this pair of highly trained tourists unwind and enjoy the sights of New York City… before they find trouble in the city that never sleeps?
I know i’m not the only person who was instantly curious about the backgrounds of these Bloodshots found on that Island. So it’s really nice to see that these two are getting the spotlight this issue. Give Eliot a lot of credit here too because he really does manage to capture the tension that’s built up in both these men. While they are from totally different wars and eras that we can still see such similarity in their stories is universal when it comes to those who have given up their lives to serve their country.
The way that this story is paced and how it flows through the pages is really well done. I think a key factor of storytelling is not only getting your reader to enjoy what they reading but the ability to get them invested in the characters and feel like they are a part of the story. Eliot is able to do that here in an extremely personal way as he takes us into the backgrounds of these two very different men from very different upbringing. That we can feel the loss they are experiencing at this point in time of their lives left me wanting more. To know the other Bloodshots and these two men further.
Khari and Andrew make these interiors run the gamut from the classic superhero to the everyman look that makes this so successful. Not only does this encompass all that but we also get all the emotion we can handle and then some. The way page layouts are used with their angles, perspective and use of backgrounds are beautifully utilised to convey not only the deeper meaning but control the ease of flow of the story. I have to admit that the softer stuff is really more attractive to me this issue and the care and dedication seen in the Temple, with young man studying for his Bar Mitzvah and then the cemetery not to mention the ending was stunning work.
Not only do we get to see the boys in a new light, their personal lives and what drew them to Project Rising Sun and the Bloodshot program but we also get to see the kind of men they were and are now. Plus then there’s the ending itself and the message we get from that alone is worth it’s weight in gold. These two men, Winston and Dell, who profess their angst at being cooped up together for so long who have so much in common and don’t realise it well yeah it’s perfectly done.
Honestly this is how i'd like to get to know the rest it's got the right blend of past, present and future to that appeals to everyone.