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Advanced Review: Bloodshot: Salvation #1

BSS_001_COVER-A_ROCAFORTNow: In the arms of his beloved girlfriend Magic, Bloodshot has finally found hope for the future…in the form of the couple’s unborn child. But when Magic’s estranged family – a cruel and sadistic clan of homegrown criminals – re-emerge to lay claim to their lost daughter, Bloodshot will be pushed back to the brink of madness, mayhem, and warfare…

Soon: Eight years from today, Bloodshot’s daughter has inherited her father’s incredible abilities. Hunted by a high-tech kill squad called Omen, Jessie must hone her powers…and learn how to survive before the world is swallowed whole by the darkness that now pervades America…

Bloodshot: Salvation #1 is a comic of two parts; “now” and, eight years later, “soon” as the two time periods are labelled within the comic. In order to make it easy for the reader to differentiate between the present and the near future the comic has two phenomenally talented artists, Lewis Larosa and Mico Suayan, tackle the present and future – an intentional choice that will continue in the following issues according to the press release – with Brian Reber colouring the entire comic.

BSS_001_008Larosa’s present day story picks up a few months after the events of Bloodshot USA, and finds Ray Garrison apparently in domestic bliss with Magic, their young daughter and Bloodhound (yes, a dog with nanites, and yes, he’s awesome). It’s quite rewarding for those who have followed the character since his reintroduction in the Valiant universe to get to see him as a man of peace, but if this is your first Bloodshot comic then fear not – Jeff Lemire gives you a form of a recap from Bloodshot’s point of view while simultaneously giving next to nothing away about any of the previous Bloodshot stories that have come before.

The man-of-peace Bloodshot is an interesting beast, with perhaps some of the most oddly heartwarming scenes you’re likely to see in a Bloodshot comic, at least until next week, as the former killing machine interacts with Bloodhound and his family. Although there is a potentially prophetic line around half way through that will have you start to get that sinking feeling as you know the peace can’t last (this is, after all, a Bloodshot comic).

BSS_001_002Suayan’s future sequences are just as wonderfully illustrated as Larosa’s present, which is no small achievement as Lewis Larosa is one of the finest artists in comics today. Conveniently, so is Suayan.

His art work is noticeably distinct from Larosa’s, which allows Lemire plenty of room to play about in the sandbox offered by the two artists. Although both Larosa and Suayan deliver great work, their differences allow the reader to easily differentiate between the two time periods far easier than the small “location: now” text that is also on the page. From experience, those little location/time indicators can be easily missed, and so when a publisher splits art duties on a comic with two timelines, it’s always a relief when their styles are distinct.

It’s no mean feat that Valiant have been able to put together such a compatible creative team; there’s no weak link here – each person creating this comic is producing some of their finest work.

Bloodshot: Salvation #1 will be released September 3rd. Don’t miss it.

Writer: Jeff Lemire Art: Lewis Larosa and Mico Suayan
Colours: Brian Reber Letters: Simon Rowland
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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