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Review: Bloodshot Reborn #13

BSRB_013_COVER-A_OLIVER“THE ANALOG MAN” slams into a wreckage-strewn showdown that will shatter Bloodshot’s world…or what’s left of it…

I’ve been putting off this review because, honestly, I didn’t want to write it. Not because I wasn’t exactly a fan of the comic (which is true) but because I couldn’t find a way to explain why without doing something I abhor: spoil the story in a review. I’m going to be talking about a fairly major spoiler for The Analogue Man story arc after this paragraph, and while I’ll try and remain vague, for a non-spoilery review: it was okay, but the comic fell apart from the middle on. The artwork remains stunning, as always.

That will be the only spoiler free part of the review.

One of my least favourite literary devices is the “oh shit! It’s all a dream!” revelation, which is exactly what we’re faced with in Bloodshot #13. The Analogue Man was a fantastic story up until that revelation, and one I had been championing, and so once that hit I found myself in a bit of a quandary; did I not enjoy the comic because of the revelation, or because of my own bias against the use of the revelation?

The frustrating part of the revelation twist is that it feels like a surprise – not because of the dream aspect, but because there is next to no foreshadowing in the story that hints toward it until this issue. I assume that the intention was to have a surprising moment where your jaw drops to the floor, and not to take away from the story being told in the earlier chapters of The Analogue Man.

In all fairness, the dream like twist (even when warning about spoilers I’m still trying to avoid giving them) is done fairly well; while there wasn’t any foreshadowing in issues previous to this – that I picked up on – Bloodshot Reborn #13 did contain several well done scenes that hinted toward the eventual outcome. Personally I wish those scenes had begun a little earlier in the series, and had that been the case I likely wouldn’t have been as frustrated as I was when reading this issue.

At the end of the day, while I am not a fan of the “it’s a dream!” device (I believe it’s a cheap way of returning something back to normal after an eventfully epic story), this wasn’t the worst way of implementing the device. I think you can guess that at this point I’m willing to say that it was my bias against the dream device rather than the quality of the comic that hampered my enjoyment.

Your mileage may vary.

Story: Jeff Lemire Artist: Lewis Larosa
Art: 8.5 Story/Overall: I can’t give a fair rating, so I won’t

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review