Tag Archives: bloodshot

Review: Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1

BSRS_001_COVER-B_MACKBefore a weapon is deployed in battle, it must be designed, refined, field-tested. Bloodshot was no exception.

In the early days of the private military contractor Project Rising Spirit, the nanite-infused super-soldier who would one day become their most violent and valuable asset was a resource to be mined – and it was up to one enterprising employee, the Memory Weaver, to ensure he did what he was told. But memory is a tricky thing…and the man Bloodshot used to be won’t let go of his past so easily…

Valiant Entertainment return to Bloodshot’s origin with a new first issue. It’s not uncommon for first issues to see a sales bump in the modern era before settling into a more regular pattern. Although some fans decry the renumbering of a character’s series as a cheap cash grab (and in some cases that’s entirely justifiable), Bloodshot: Rising Spirit would have required a lot of finagling to carry on as a substory within the previous Bloodshot led series so it only makes sense that the writing team of Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, who handle the story, and Kevin Giroux who’s taking on the actual scripting of the comic, have been given a new number one.

With that out of the way, Bloodshot: Rising Spirit  is a very pretty comic. There’s a hell of an art team on the book, and not once in the issue does the imagery suffer because of all the hands involved. If you’ve ever heard the old “too many cooks” phrase, then it doesn’t ring true with this issue. It is an astonishingly wonderful comic to read from start to finish.

In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t fond of the idea of going back to the origin of Bloodshot after Jeff Lemire’s run across Bloodshot Reborn and Salvation, and came into this comic wanting to like it but genuinely nervous about my perception of the intended direction. I needn’t have been, because by the time I had finished the comic I understood. Not only that with the Vin Diesel helmed movie on the horizon an easy jumping on point for new fans would be needed, but the writers’ direction had much more in common with Barry Windsor Smith’s Wolverine origin story Weapon X. The similarity lays more in the feeling and overall theme of the two stories – two men changed by science into killing machines. The homage to a Valiant great, whether intentional or not, is fantastic.

This comic has surprised me. Obviously I hoped to enjoy it, but I never honestly expected it to turn into a must read book. Next month is too far away…

Story: Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler Script: Kevin Giroux
Pencils: Ken Lashly Finishes: Ryan Winn with Brian Theis and Olivier Broges
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Valiant Reveals the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Variant and Pre-Order Edition Bundle!

Valiant has released a first look at Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1, the FIRST ISSUE of a PULSE-POUNDING NEW ONGOING SERIES by acclaimed writers Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson and legendary comic artist Ken Lashley – including a new cutting-edge innovation in comic publishing, the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Cover Variant!

Following in the footsteps of Valiant’s ultra-successful run of Brushed Metal Variants, the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Cover Variant will be printed via a special multi-colored process on a carefully devised pane of glass, with artwork by superstar creator Doug Braithwaite!

Retailers, take note: the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 Glass Variant Covercan be obtained for every qualifying order of 250 copies of Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1. There is no limit per store. Orders will open in late August through Diamond Comics.

But that’s not all! Valiant has also announced the Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1-8 Pre-Order Edition Bundle – eight massively expanded issues packed with trade paperback-style extras and bonus content, plus exclusive covers by renowned artist Ken Lashley! This bundle can only be obtained by pre-ordering all eight issues with your local comic shop by the final order cut-off date of October 22nd, 2018 – no more copies will be made available beyond that date and subsequent issues will not be offered in later solicitations!

Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 is out November 14th featuring covers by Felipe MassaferaDavid MackStaz JohnsonDoug Braithwaite, and Ken Lashley!

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #12

BSS_012_COVER-A_ROCAFORTBloodshot has traveled from the depths of the Deadside to the far-flung future of 4002 A.D. to save his daughter’s life…and spare her the murderous inheritance of the nanites that flow through both their veins. Now, stranded at the crossroads of the 41st century with one last mission between them and freedom, the question will finally be answered: Was it all for naught?

That’s a question that you’ll be asking yourself after reading this comic. It’s not that Bloodshot Salvation #12 is a bad comic, but it’s a comic that takes the series out on a half-hearted bang rather than the explosive finale that we as readers were expecting given all the build up and tension layered through the series thus far. Maybe the issue wasn’t long enough, maybe Jeff Lemire had too many loose ends to wrap up fully and still allow room for the action to fully percolate. Maybe I expect more out of Lemire than I do any other writer (which is true) and so when he delivers a comic that’s not as good as some of his other work on the character it’s noticeable. Either way, although this is a good comic, it’s not a great comic.

Reservations with the comic’s plotting aside, there are several scenes that, while they could have benefited from further expansion, are still worth reading the comic for; Doug Braithwaite and Jordie Bellaire send the comic off on a high note, with the action easy to follow with some gorgeously brutal set pieces (or the results of off screen violence) that leave the reader with a moment of satisfaction as one plot thread after another is smoothly wrapped up into Lemire’s Bloodshot tapestry. Yes, there are a couple threads left open for further exploration in the future, but never at the expense of a complete story being told here. The world and the people in it will move on, and whether we get to see their next adventures all depend on the direction Valiant want to take with the next chapter in Blodshot’s life coming later this year.

Ultimately, Bloodshot Salvation #12 just doesn’t have the page count to allow it to end as well as it could have, with the standard number of pages leading to a truncated ending, and the unanswered question of what could have been had Lemire and the others been allowed another five to ten pages.

Story: Jeff Lemire Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.8 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Underrated: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado

bs colorado.jpgJeff Lemire has been writing Bloodshot across various series for a long time. Longer, even, than I have been reading. Two days ago, I picked up the first volume of Bloodshot Reborn as despite reading from around the eighth issue of the series on, I had never actually read the opening to the series. The blurb on the back of this book gives you a pretty good idea of the book’s plot, but what it doesn’t do is tell you that this book is so much more than your typical superhero story.

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit — a private contractor trafficking in violence — very well. Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving head-long into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

Picking up after the events of The Valiant (expect spoilers for that book if you haven’t read it), Colorado opens with a monologue telling you who Bloodshot was juxtaposed against images in stark contrast to who he is now. Lemire wastes no tie in showing you that a  man who was forced to kill for others has, seemingly, wasted his opportunity at a second chance for a normal life. Within a page or two, you’re hitting rock bottom with the man formerly known as Bloodshot. You can feel his guilt and shame emanating  from the paper as you turn the page, and not once do you blame him for what he’s going through.

This is a man who was broken, and who doesn’t know how to move past what he was. Who woke up from a nightmare only to understand that he was the monster, and now wears the question of whether he deserves to move on as an armour.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is an origin story, of sorts, for Ray Garrison. Which means you don’t need to have read Bloodshot prior to picking up this comic (and, really, although the first series post Valiant relaunch is good, it pales in comparison to the more psychological horror take on the character that Lemire presents us with). This first volume in the series is a brilliant read; I devoured it in one sitting and immediately wanted to read more. I am a huge fan of Jeff Lemire, and think his take on the character is a vastly underrated one when looked at in the grand scheme of the comics read world.

Lemire’s take on Bloodshot is my favourite version of the character, but the opening of his story takes more from the horror genre than one would initially expect. The character’s inner turmoil is obvious and very clear to the reader as Ray Garrison struggles to discover who he is now that he’s no longer a monster; and his biggest fear, and one he must confront as the volume progresses, is that he’s nobody. Without the monster, he is a shell of a man.

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado is a book I can’t speak highly enough of (were this a review I’d be giving it a solid 10; the art is every bit as impressive as the story), and it genuinely surprised me that I hadn’t heard much about it prior to reading it myself. Maybe that was part of the magic, that unexpected kick in the teeth, but this first volume of Bloodshot Reborn needs to find its place on your shelf – whether physical or digital.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #11


To save his daughter’s life, Bloodshot brokered an unthinkable bargain…and has been thrown forward two thousand years in the future to 4002 A.D.! But preserving life requires a sacrifice…and now, he’s on the hunt to take out the one man standing between him and the safe return of his family! Too bad the only thing standing in his way is…Bloodshot? When the 41st century’s Bloodshot finds out Ray Garrison has come to town, all hell is bound to break loose!

I’m going to dispense with any meaningful introduction to this review, and get right to what bothered me about Bloodshot Salvation #11; parts of it felt very familiar. Almost too familiar…

Indeed, they felt familiar enough that I had to go back to earlier issues in the series to find out if a little under a third of the book was a truncated recap of Magic and Jesse’s adventures from the first to the fifth issue in the series. Which is great for those who didn’t read them – like I said, it’s a giant recap, but it feels a little cheap if you’ve been following the story from the beginning to this point. The earlier scenes aren’t reproduced as Doug Braithwaite recreates the original art with subtle differences, which is nice because at least we get a full comic of new art, but the plot those scenes depict is nothing new. 

That being said, despite my earlier reservations about the older material, it is interesting to see it parallel to Bloodshot’s story – something we’re only now seeing for the first time.

Despite my misgivings about the repetition, Jeff Lemire still delivers a top notch comic book as Bloodshot, sent to the future, seeks to kill a man to save his daughter at the behest of Baron Samedi. It’s the question, and the way Lemire phrases the answer, that brings the book back from the brink from of annoyance and throws it forward into a truly interesting read. After all, would you kill a person to save the life of your child?  The involvement of the Bloodshot of 4002 AD adds another dynamic to the comic, and seeing the two Bloodshots on the page at the same time is quite entertaining.

Bloodshot Salvation #11 does stumble out of the starting gate, however upon reflection some form of recap was needed (I just don’t think we needed as much of it as we got),  but the penultimate issue of the series leaves us with a great set up for an explosive finale. For me, the good far outweighed the annoyances in this issue (I’m not saying “bad” because nothing here was bad – just a little too familiar), which leaves us with a compelling comic chock full of some amazing artwork and a few eye opening moments as Lemire brings the series home.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Doug Braithwaite
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire Letter: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.1 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy if you’ve come this far

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Bloodshot Gets a 1/6 Scale Action Figure

Valiant Entertainment and Phicen have announced that pre-orders are now open for the Bloodshot 1/6 Scale Action Figure, based on the likeness of Valiant’s most unrelenting and unstoppable hero!

Brought back from the dead and infused with cutting-edge nanotechnology, Bloodshot is a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon. After defying his programming and escaping his masters at Project Rising Spirit, Bloodshot now fights to rediscover the secret of his true identity…but remains haunted by the past that nearly destroyed him.

In addition to being super-poseable and fully articulated, the  Bloodshot 1/6 Scale Action Figure also comes packaged with the following action-packed accessories:

  • Samurai sword and sheath with carrying strap
  • Three handguns with accompanying holsters and thigh strap
  • Assault rifle with underslung shotgun
  • Two pairs of interchangeable hands
  • Belt with two additional magazine pouch sets
  • T-shirt, pants, and boots
  • Naturalistic figure base and fire hydrant

Available starting in September for $159.00 USD, the Bloodshot 1/6 Scale Action Figure can currently be pre-ordered on Phicen’s website or through select retailers like the Big Bad Toy Store before the deadline of July 23, 2018!

Revew: Bloodshot Salvation #10

BSS_010_COVER-A_ROCAFORTTwo thousand years in the future – in the year 4001 A.D. – the man once known as Ray Garrison is no more…but the microscopic nanites inside him live on. Enter Bloodshot 4001 – a strange, gunslinging echo of Bloodshot’s mind, body, and soul that is now more machine than man. But when our century’s Bloodshot finds himself delivered to the dawn of the 41st century with one last mission to fulfill, two Valiant legends will finally come face to face…just as the secret revelation that binds them together across the ages will forever reshape Bloodshot’s place at the center of the Valiant Universe!

The beginning of the end is here as Bloodshot Salvation enters into the final arc for the series, in which Bloodshot has been sent to the year 4002 A.D. in order to kill somebody to save his daughter’s life after having made a bargain with Baron Samedi (whom you may recognize from the current Shadowman series). Now, with Bloodshot’s daughter, Jesse, returned from the Deadside to the present aged around eight years from when she entered, Magic and Jesse have a much different problem to focus on beyond Bloodshot’s disappearance: Jesse’s rapid aging, and what that could mean going forward.

As for Bloodshot, his mission in the future boils down to finding a contact, and find the person whose life he traded for Jesse’s amongst the ruins of New Japan (see 4001 A.D. for the reasons why there are ruins of New Japan on Earth). Jeff Lemire kicks off his swan song in style, evidenced by the absurdity of Bloodshot fighting dinosaurs with a sword; it shouldn’t work, but it does (and is a personal highlight for me). Although a lot of that would be due to Doug Braithwaite’s wonderfully clean lines coupled with Jordie Bellaire’s colouring work. The scenes set in the future have a vibrantly desolate feel, with the art jumping from the page and threatening to smack the life from you in an over enthusiastic moment of glee; whereas the scenes set in the present have a deep sense of foreboding as Braithwaite draws in an appropriately claustrophobic manner, and Bellaire uses a sterile colour pallet of blues and greys to convey the military headquarters of G.A.T.E.

This obvious dichotomy in colour schemes and spaciousness within the comic help the reader to easily differentiate between the two time zones, but leave the question hanging of who is really more alone; Bloodshot and Bloodhound stranded thousands of years in the future, or Magic and Jesse who face an uncertain future together?

Although this is a new arc, and as such technically a new jumping on point, the story is a heavy continuation of the series thus far and may push away readers who are starting with this issue. That being said, I really enjoyed reading this comic – and would highly recommend you start reading from the beginning if you choose to do so. Even as the series winds to a close, Bloodshot Salvation shows every sign of going out on a high note.

Story: Jeff Lemire Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Simon Bowland

Story: 8.8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bloodshot Salvation #9

BSS_009_COVER-A_ROCAFORT“In the wire-strewn trenches of World War I, witness the true story of a good boy gone bad, as Eisner and Harvey Award nominee Ray Fawkes joins New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and astonishing artist Renato Guedes for a special one-shot tale chronicling the never-before-revealed history of Project Rising Spirit’s first prototype in nanite enhancement: the indestructible canine weapons unit codenamed Bloodhound!

Before he found his place at Ray Garrison’s side, Bloodshot’s loyal companion learned the depths of mankind’s inhumanity toward brother and beast alike on the battlefields of France. Now, as the Kaiser’s war machine approaches, find out firsthand how a beloved comrade with four legs and a soul full of fury inspired a legacy that still stands after nearly a century!”

Just like it says on the tin, this is a story about the origin of Bloodhound. Effectively a standalone interlude, Bloodshot Salvation #9 takes us back to the World War I where a mad scientist is desperate to help the men and boys on the front lines in the Battle of the Somme by using an unstoppable weapon that could turn the tide of the war  – yup, you guessed exactly what that weapon is: Bloodhound.

Bloodshot Salvation #9 is written by Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire who take no prisoners in the depiction of the futility of war, and the chronic waste of life that was the Great War. Although one can argue the necessity of Bloodhound’s origin at this point in the Bloodshot Salvation run, one should not argue that we got the story at all. Especially as there’s a chance that the deeper understanding of the hound and his struggles during the conflict will play into the future issues of the series.

When it comes to the art, Renato Guedes is firing on all cylinders as he delivers an artistic performance that will have you smelling the mud, blood, sweat and fear of the trenches. Guedes uses a lot of earthy tones during the quieter moments of the comic, with the muted browns and greens mixing with the subtle greys to add a palpable sense of foreboding before the colours explode out of the page in a horror of action and carnage.

As an interlude issue you couldn’t ask for any better, because although having to wait one more month to find out what’s happening in the Deadside isn’t the most ideal scenario for the less patient among us, Bloodshot Salvation #9 more than makes up for having to wait. Whether it’s an anticipation building move that will drive some crazy or a cunningly placed interlude to allow more time to finish the next comic doesn’t worry me. This is a beautifully brutal comic with a level of darkness and horror that lies just below the surface as the scientific experimentation is only just beginning for the men who will become Bloodshot.

It’s not a must-read comic in terms of the story, but  you will kick yourself if you miss this wonderful example of sequential art.

Story: Ray Fawkes with Jeff Lemire
Art: Renato Guedes Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.4 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Harbinger Wars Compendium TPB


Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (MAR182017)

Presenting the best-selling crossover event that redefined the Valiant Universe for a new generation, now in the most complete collection yet. From the first salvo all the way to the very last shot, follow the complete saga from its beginning in the first issues of HARBINGER and BLOODSHOT and see what set them on the road to a collision in the pages of HARBINGER WARS!

When an untrained and undisciplined team of super-powered test subjects escape from Project Rising Spirit and onto the Vegas Strip, Bloodshot and the Harbinger Renegades will find themselves locked in battle against a deadly succession of opponents – and each other. As the combined forces of the H.A.R.D. Corps, Generation Zero, and omega-level telekinetic Toyo Harada all descend on Las Vegas to vie for the control of Rising Spirit’s deadliest assets, the world is about to discover the shocking price of an all-out superhuman conflict…and no one will escape unscathed. Who will survive the Harbinger Wars?

From acclaimed writers Joshua Dysart (HARBINGER) and Duane Swierczynski (BLOODSHOT) and an all-star cast of artists including Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Khari Evans (IMPERIUM), Manuel Garcia (Black Widow), Barry Kitson (Fantastic Four), and more!

Collecting HARBINGER (2012) #1-14, BLOODSHOT (2012) #1-13, and HARBINGER WARS #1-4.

$59.99 | 768 pgs. | T+
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 978-1-68215-261-4

Those Two Geeks Episode Twenty One: Take Two!

On the docket this week: The geeks use fancy editing to splice in a returning segment recorded a few days earlier, have a half dozen tangents and talk about a bunch of other movie related things.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

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