With the second chapter of The Last Shot, Bloodshot #11 we’re reintroduced to Rampage as Bloodshot and his team try to shut down another nefarious plot from Project Rising Spirit (I didn’t paste that from the preview text, because it was really brief, and I wanted to use the word nefarious).
When it comes to the content and feel of this issue, and indeed the arc itself, I’d be willing to put money on the fact that One Last Shot was originally set to come out a lot closer to the release of the 2020 Bloodshot movie, as the arc feels in some ways as a pseudo sequel to the Vin Diesel movie told through the eyes of the Valiant comic universe. But with the delays caused by Covid 19 and the effective shutdown of the comics industry for a few months (not to mention Valiant’s still-reduced publishing schedule), things haven’t worked out that way.
Writer Tim Seeley takes what worked from the movie (the interplay between Bloodshot, Wiggins and KT) and weaves it into the comics landscape, bringing elements of Lemire’s run in with references back to specific issues. Honestly, it’s refreshing to see that Seeley is taking this approach – one of Valiant’s strengths has always been its universe’s connected continuity, and while at times that can wane a little, Seeley with Bloodshot has found a balance that allows his unique voice to shine without erasing what came before.
There’s a lot of hacking in Bloodshot #11 in one form or another, and that kinda suits a comic about a superhero running on machines, but it also gives Bloodshot and his team a guerilla warfare feel as they take on a much larger and arguably more powerful opponent in Project Rising Spirit (who are almost comically evil at this point).
Pedro Andreo‘s art in the opening pages is really good. Seeley updates us on where Rampage has been since we last saw him, and Andreo’s art helps those few pages deliver a lot more information via visual cues than you’d expect from three pages (this was another book where I had thought that the comic was finished at the mid point – Seeley isn’t afraid to pack the book with content). Bloodshot #11 showcases Andreo’s story telling versatility and willingness to play with the traditional panels and borders, though his tendency to have characters break the confines of the panel is used well for the most part, the cohesion is lost a little toward the end of the comic as the backgrounds tend to be less detailed in what I think is an effort increase the pace of the story – I understand the choice, but the speed increase did leave me a touch lost (though I freely admit this could also be because I got distracted watching hockey while reading the comic for a few minutes).
Seeley abd Andreo are joined by colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe, who add some visual flair to the comic; Dalhouse keeps to a colour palette that emphasizes the shadowy conflicts within the book, and Sharpe adds some panache to the panels with the sound effects popping from the page (I often find that letters get the short end of the stick far too often – when they do their job well you don’t notice because it’s seamless, but you can notice when they don’t do their job well).
Bloodshot #11, the penultimate chapter in the current arc before the series goes on hiatus, is another enjoyable book that gives fans what they’ve come to expect from Seeley’s run with the character; a fun, fast paced story that never quite gives you time to breathe (until it does). Honestly, this isn’t my favorite Bloodshot story, but I’m still really enjoying it all the same.
Story: Tim Seeley Art: Pedro Andreo
Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.