Valiant Entertainment 2015
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Mico Suayan
Coloured by David Baron
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
When Bloodshot awoke from his dream turned nightmare, he found himself stranded on a seemingly deserted island--until he ran into other Bloodshots! Each one was from a different
era. Ray quickly learned that these Bloodshots are part of a horrific exercise in brutality:
Every day the Bloodshots are hunted and murdered by an unstoppable creature known as
Deathmate. After they’re killed, their bodies are returned to containment units — where they
heal overnight — until the hunt begins again the next day. But there’s something familiar to Ray
about Deathmate. And if things couldn’t get any worse, Ray’s hallucinations of the demonic
cartoon Bloodsquirt have returned…
First i’m absolutely blown away by what Mico and David do with the interiors here. Bloodsquirt and the dream sequence aside the attention to detail and the way these characters look, like they have this depth and substance to them is visually mesmerizing. The way Mico using the pages with panel layouts and the use of backgrounds to flesh out the scenes is amazing. The way the clothing looks on the bodies has this quality that you know what material it’s made of and it’s crazy just how incredibly good the work they do here is. Then there’s the guy at Project Rising Sun and wow I can’t get over that he and his men just look like real people you’d pass on the street.
The story Jeff’s been telling since way back when Kay first died before Reborn even began continues on here as Ray keeps getting more and more complete as a character. That Jeff continually uses references, characters and people from that time and throughout this run the way he does tying them all together to create an even larger story is one of the reason why we keep coming back to what he writes.
With multiple angles of ongoing stories seeming on a course to converge all the while an even larger story is unfolding around that keeps the scope of this series in a class by itself. That Project Rising Sun has been making Bloodshots out of various components over the years and then has brought them all back and given them the upgrades that presumably Ray has to do exactly what Ray thinks is going was something interesting for him to puzzle out. Still while these other Bloodshots may have had their own experiences none of them have what Ray does in his time as a Bloodshot. I do like how each is a product of their time and can’t see things for what they are now as their world view hasn’t caught up since stranded on this island.
The level of characterization all around is extremely impressive. That and how Ray keeps evolving and growing as both a man, leader and fighter is remarkable to see. The revelations of what is happening on this island was something I hadn’t expected to learn so soon but it does add a level of intrigue and how this could possibly happen. Could that character have been infused with the nanotech and being controlled in some way and only being able to retain a partial feeling of her past? Could they have used the tech to reanimate the dead and combine powers in ways that Rising Sun sees as their future? It’s definitely intriguing and the mistake lies on both brining Ray and underestimating Diane Festival. Who is now on their radar so her imminent inclusion should be fascinating to watch.
This is the version of Bloodshot that’s been the most diverse and interesting of any incarnation i’ve seen. The writing is leaps and bounds above what else is out there and the interiors are in a league of their own making this an all around stellar read.