Tag Archives: bloodshot

Marc Laming talks about Bloodshot and How it Differs from His Previous Work

Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition

Bloodshot #7 kicks off an action-packed story that basically unleashes hell on Earth as Bloodshot must hunt down monsters, living weapons, and other threats after they’re set loose from a top-secret facility. Written by Tim Seeley, Bloodshot #7 features pencils and inks by Marc Laming and he’ll provide the same for Bloodshot #9, the final chapter of the storyline. A new “Fully Loaded Edition” is on sale August 12 and features 8 bonus pages of content including an interview with co-creator Kevin VanHook.

Marc Laming is a British born artist who has worked on a plethora of characters ranging from Judge Dredd to the Incredible Hulk over a career spanning three decades.

We got a chance to ask Marc a few questions via email about his work on Bloodshot #7 and #9.

Graphic Policy: Hi Marc! How’s tricks?

Marc Laming: Good thank you, I’m keeping good and busy during these difficult times.

GP: With Bloodshot, you’re both pencilling and inking the book. Do you approach the art differently when doing both verses when just penciling?

ML: I haven’t just pencilled a book since the early 2000s when I was working for DC/Vertigo. Since then the market has tended to prefer hiring artists that are self-contained units and I had to learn really quickly to ink my own work so I was happy with the results.

GP: You’ve drawn a large variety of characters over your career. How does drawing Bloodshot differ from others you’ve drawn?

ML: Bloodshot gives you the opportunity to draw so many different things! It covers the obvious action and adventure but there are sci-fi elements across all of the Valiant universe that make it loads of fun and Bloodshot being a very different kind of hero allows for quiet more personal moments too.

GP: Can you take us through your process when you take on a new character?

ML: The writer’s script and the story’s requirements come first and then it is a question of deciding if they are larger than life or something more real world based. Then it is just a question of doing some research based on the script and starting to draw character sheets in my sketch books and on the Cintiq until we are all happy with the look of the new character.

GP: We’ve seen with other artists and publishers that a film can influence the look of a character or comic. Has that factored in at all?

ML: It depends on the project but on Bloodshot I was taking much more inspiration from the incredible work done on the series by artists such as Lewis Larosa, Brett Booth, Paolo Rivera and Dougie Braithwaite than I did on the movie spectacular as it is. 

GP: With Bloodshot #7, you were able to add a lot of nuance to an action packed story by way of Bloodshot and Eidolin’s expressions and body language. I might have forgotten my question… Oh – when it comes to the visual storytelling, do you prefer the subtle moments or the big bombastic ones? 

ML: I like them both but those quiet more tender moments really allow you to put all the emphasis on character and acting in the drawing.

GP: When it comes to drawing locations you may or may not have visited, do you use a lot of visual reference or just kinda wing it?

ML: I use probably much more reference than I really need – In issue nine for example all the buildings and streets in the Russian city are real and you could visit them if you went there. The same of course is true of the London locations including the sewers which were fully researched too!

GP: You’ve worked on Ninjak (with Eternal Warrior) and Archer & Armstrong in the past; what other Valiant character would you like to get your hands on?

ML: I’d love to do a historical Eternal Warrior story and I love the characters from Divinity so any of those would be great to work on in future, oh and Livewire.

GP: What have you got in store for us in the near future after Bloodshot #9? Anything that you can tell us?

ML: I’m currently working on a large graphic novel but that’s all I can say about that right now, but I’m sure I will be shouting about it on my social media soon.

GP: Thank you very much for your time!

Check out an early look at Bloodshot #9!

Valiant has Revealed its Updated Summer Publishing Schedule

Valiant Entertainment has revealed its updated publishing schedule for Summer 2020 after consulting with comic retailers and partners throughout the industry.

Through August, Valiant will complete the fun and critically-acclaimed limited series Doctor Tomorrow and Quantum & Woody! The ongoing sci-fi series RAI is back with a brand-new story arc and a trade paperback collecting the first fan-favorite story for only $9.99! Plus: a new edition of Bloodshot #7, which kicks off a thrilling new story, arrives with eight pages of bonus content, including an interview with the hero’s co-creator Kevin Vanhook!

DOCTOR TOMORROW #3 (of 5)

Written by AJELANDRO ARBONA
Art by JIM TOWE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by  CLAYTON COWLES
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT

The entire world vs. a madman… the world is going to need more heroes!

It’s the can’t-miss clash of 2020 as Hadrian stands against the Valiant Universe!

On sale JUNE 24th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

DOCTOR TOMORROW #3 (of 5)

QUANTUM & WOODY #4 (of 4)

Written by CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
Art by RYAN BROWNE
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by  HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is JUNE 15th

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits!

What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed!

On sale JULY 8th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

QUANTUM & WOODY #4 (of 4)

DOCTOR TOMORROW #4 (of 5)

Written by AJELANDRO ARBONA
Art by JIM TOWE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by  CLAYTON COWLES
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is JULY 6th

The true origin of Doctor Tomorrow is finally revealed!

Can Bart Simms ready himself in time to rescue the Universe from complete annihilation?

On sale JULY 29th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

DOCTOR TOMORROW #4 (of 5)

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is JULY 13th

Welcome to the 41st century: New worlds, new characters, new adventures.

The cyborg ronin named Rai embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future. Side by side with his prototype and predecessor – the robot boy called Raijin – the spirit guardian of the fallen nation of New Japan will journey into the wastelands of Earth to set right the wrongs of their onetime overlord once and for all.

Multiple New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) joins forces with breathtaking artist Juan José Ryp (X-O MANOWAR) to begin the essential sci-fi series of the next two thousand years!

Collecting RAI (2019) #1–5.

On sale AUGUST 5th | 208 pages, full color | $9.99 US | T+

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

BLOODSHOT #7 “FULLY LOADED” EDITION

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by MARC LAMING
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is JULY 20th

An explosive new story starts here

Featuring Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot on the cover, the BLOODSHOT #7 “Fully Loaded” Edition is packed with eight epic pages of bonus content that includes new artwork, classified information, and commentary from Bloodshot’s co-creator KEVIN VANHOOK!

On sale AUGUST 12th | 40 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

BLOODSHOT #7 "FULLY LOADED" EDITION

RAI #6

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover by NETHO DIAZ
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is JULY 27th

A brand-new arc of the critically-acclaimed series begins here!

Rai and Raijin are drafted into the positronic Roman legions to face a savage threat.

On sale AUGUST 19th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

RAI #6

DOCTOR TOMORROW #5 (of 5)

Written by AJELANDRO ARBONA
Art by JIM TOWE
Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK
Letters by  CLAYTON COWLES
Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Final Order Cutoff (FOC) is AUGUST 3rd

After a universe-spanning journey, Doctor Tomorrow must face his greatest foe yet — himself!

Will the combined forces of the Valiant Universe be enough to avert total annihilation?

After the epic conclusion will there be a tomorrow?

On sale AUGUST 26th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

DOCTOR TOMORROW #5 (of 5)

Valiant Villain Of The Week: Toyo Harada, Master Darque, Eidolon, and Father.

Valiant Hero of the Week

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Toyo Harada, Master Darque, Eidolon and Father. The week’s hero villain will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Toyo Harada

Who is he? One of the most complicated and interesting characters in comics, this is a man who has lived through utter horror and who just happens to be one of the most powerful people in the world. Toyo Harada is the kind of character that lives in the moral grey area; more often than not, I’ve found myself actually agreeing with and rooting for him, because his entire raison d’etre is to secure peace and improve the lives of people at any cost. Initially, he’s subtle and manipulates world events behind the scenes… but eventually Toyo Harada wages war on the world. He’s introduced in Harbinger, and so a lot of the stories that you’ve seen recommended in Peter Stanchek‘s spotlight you could expect to see for Toyo Harada.

I’m hoping against hope that the fans vote for Toyo today, because I would love to explore his characterization a lot more.

What should you read?

Harbinger: Omega Rising

A better future. Or no future at all.

Super-powered teenager Peter Stanchek is on a dangerous path. Skipping across the country in a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, Peter is quickly realizing that he’s a psionically-charged “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. But Peter’s plight has not gone unnoticed. Respected philanthropist and fellow harbinger Toyo Harada is about to offer Peter the chance at the things for which the boy has always longed — family, inner peace, self-control — and induct him into the sprawling, secret network of conspiracy and subversion known as the Harbinger Foundation. Now Peter begins his long road towards a destiny that will shake the very foundations of the Valiant Universe. His first lesson? All power comes with a price.


This volume kicks off an epic tale by Joshua Dysart that spans Harbinger and Imperium, and because I devoured the first twenty issues in two days I don’t really remember exactly what happened in the first volume, so I took the above text directly from Valiant’s website.

Purchase: Amazon – Kindle – comiXology – TFAWBookshop

Master Darque

Who is he? Nicodemo Darque is the Valiant Universe’s most powerful necromancer. Initially introduced in the Shadowman series, he’s also popped up in Ninjak and as the antagonist in Book Of Death. Unlike toyo Harada, there isn’t much to Master Darque beyond his lust for power,; there’s not really an angle that allows you to root for him, but he does make for a high level threat for the heroes of Valiant to come up against. Arguably one of the more traditional villains in Valiant’s line up, Darque always elevates the stories he’s in.

What should you read?

Shadowman: Darque Reckoning

The true price of becoming Shadowman is always paid in blood…and Master Darque intends to collect…

Jack Boniface has just been to Hell and back. After surviving the horrors of the Deadside, Jack is taking his new abilities to the limit and discovering more about the legacy of the Shadowman with each passing night. But what if he wasn’t the only thing that managed to escape back to Earth? Something dark has arrived in New Orleans, leaving death and madness in its black wake. What’s more, the city’s deadliest cartel assassin is after Jack, and he refuses to die – literally…


I was going to suggest another book that has already been recommended here, but seeing as how I’m hoping you’ve read Book Of Death by now, why not look back to one of Darque’s first appearances?

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAWBookshop

Eidolon

Who is she? Anything that I say about the character here will only be a spoiler for the book recommended below, so I’ll be intentionally vague here; the newest character on the list, Eidolon’s story isn’t a happy one. Does she have ties to Bloodshot? Well, obviously. Because she’s in a Bloodshot comic…

What should you read?

Bloodshot Book One

Once, he was the perfect living weapon, created to follow orders. Now, Bloodshot works alone, using his lethal skills to protect those who cannot protect themselves. But a mysterious and powerful organization is watching, and they’re not about to let something as dangerous as Bloodshot remain free…


There’s really only two options for folks to read about Eidolon, and the other is the sequel to this one. Bloodshot Book One is a lot of fun, and features some pretty intense action sequences throughout the book. The sequel is where we’re really introduced to Eidolon in detail, but this is where you’ll want to start.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop

Father

Who is he? The artificial intelligence responsible for keeping New Japan afloat, Father is also the creator of Rai. Guess what book you’ll want to read?

What should you read?

Rai: Welcome To New Japan

The year is 4001 A.D. – led by the artificial intelligence called “Father,” the island nation of Japan has expanded out of the Pacific and into geosynchronous orbit with the ravaged Earth below. With billions to feed and protect, it has fallen to one solitary guardian to enforce the law of Father’s empire – the mysterious folk hero known as Rai. They say he can appear out of nowhere. They say he is a spirit…the ghost of Japan. But when the first murder in a thousand years threatens to topple Father’s benevolent reign, Rai will be forced to confront the true face of a nation transformed…and his own long-lost humanity…


Father is largely a disembodied voice throughout this series, and rather obviously isn’t the main focal point of the book, but seeing as how this story eventually leads into one of my favourite Valiant runs (Dan Abnett on Rai from 2019), and also kicks off a pretty damn phenomenal story in its own right, then I’ll take any chance I can to recommend this series.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Ninjak, Faith, Roku and Ivar, Timewalker

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Ninjak, Faith, Roku and Ivar, Timewalker. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now. My money would be on Ninjak taking the week.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer. This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven. It’s a spy thriller in the vein of James Bond, but starring a character who is closer to Batman than most other agents.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Faith

Who is she? Valiant’s resident comic book fan who develops super powers, Faith Herbert is all of us in some form or another. Her alter ego, Summer, is based entirely on what Faith thinks a superhero should be. She uses the codename Zephyr as a superhero, which means that Faith is trying her best to be who she things she should be, rather than who she is – which all comes to a head in a certain scene in Holywood and Vine. For a time, Faith was being pushed as Valiant’s Next Big Thing, and I totally understand that, but unfortunately she didn’t resonate as well with readers as she perhaps could have.

What should you read? Faith: Hollywood and Vine is the character’s debut miniseries, and has one of my all-time favorite scenes in the book. Jody Houser takes every comic trope regarding secret identities you can think of and the laughs. It’s the single thing I keep thinking about when rereading this book, and her act makes me question other heroes who won’t do the same.

Despite Faith featuring in the utterly phenomenal Harbinger series, it is her solo miniseries that really propels the character forward – and it doesn’t hurt that the story is really cool.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshop

Roku

Who is she? One of Ninjak’s rogues gallery, Roku is an assassin with the ability to control her steel-like hair. A former MI:6 agent, she has a deep history with Ninjak that she barely remembers.

What should you read? Honestly, the best thing you can read actually prominently features Ninjak because up until Roku had her own miniseries, she was used as a villain in the Ninjak series. That miniseries… well it was okay, but it isn’t one I’d recommend as the best thing to read featuring the character, so instead check out Ninjak: Weaponeer. Yes, that’s the same book I mentioned above, but because Roku isn’t the protagonist, her story isn’t the focal point of the series, so if you want to at least enjoy what you’re reading of her, it helps to understand the story itself.

Purchase: Amazon (Hardcover)Amazon (Paperback)KindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW

Ivar, Timewalker

Who is he? The older brother of the immortals Armstrong and Eternal Warrior, or Aram and Gilad Anni-Padda, Ivar is an incredibly intelligent man who has the ability to hop through time portals from one era to the next. Ivar reminds me of Doctor Who in someways, done only as Valiant can. Ivar’s time travelling can mean he visits his brothers every couple of jumps, which could easily mean a good couple hundred years between sights of Ivar if you’re Gilad or Aram. It’s a fun aspect to the brother’s relationship that’s played well in the below series.

What should you read? Ivar, Timewalker: Making History is the only real series that features Ivar with anything more than a cameo or featured appearance. It also happens to be one of my favorite comic book stories from Valiant or any publisher. It’s definitely the best time-traveling comic I’ve read, in part because you can start with any of the three volumes and still get a fantastic story so long as you read in consecutive order. Whether you’re reading 1, 2, 3, or 3,1,2 you’re in for an absolutely fantastic piece of comic book storytelling.

Purchase: AmazonKindlecomiXologyBookshopTFAW


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Underrated: Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado (Redux)

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.jpg

I wanted to revisit this book, because I’ve recently reread and still don’t think it gets the attention it deserves. This originally ran in July of 2018.

Jeff 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.

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Bloodshot

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices – this week, the poll featured Bloodshot, Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Quantum & Woody. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

This week’s winner, perhaps unsurprisingly, was…

Bloodshot

Who is he? A dead man brought back to life with billions of tiny machines in his blood that grant him enhanced strength, stamina and an incredible ability to heal from anything. This dude makes Deadpool look frail. Bloodshot is also the only Valiant character to be featured in a major motion picture with Sony’s Bloodshot released just before North America began to shut down due to the pandemic. You can find it digitally now if you didn’t see it in theaters, and because of that, I won’t go too much into his background because the movie does a pretty solid job of capturing the essence of the character.

What should you read?

Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado. Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Mico Suayan, this is the beginning of one of my favorite runs in comics that stretches through Reborn, USA and Salvation. Picking up just after Bloodshot has regained his humanity after being freed of his nanites, the former super-soldier finds himself a shadow of what he was. So why does he feel so guilty about a string of murders he has no connection to? You’ve really got to read this to appreciate how well Lemire toys with your emotional connection to the character – and Suayan’s art has to be seen to be believed. This is a great starting point for a different kind of superhero story that’s more horror noir than capes and cowls, and it doesn’t require you to learn an extensive history about the character if you don’t want to. But if you do, then this won’t ruin any of the previous stories the character has featured in other than part of The Valiant‘s climax.

Buy Now: AmazonKindlecomiXologyTFAW

Bloodshot: Definitive Edition. This book contains the first baker’s dozen plus a zero issue of the 2012 Bloodshot series. With all but the zero issue being written by Duane Swierczynski (Matt Kindt handles the zero issue), this is the place to go if you want to learn more about the Bloodshot you’ve seen in the movies. The Definitive Edition takes Bloodshot from the character’s first appearance in the relaunched Valiant universe and fleshes out a lot more of the character, with much of the movie being inspired by what you’ll read here. There are other stories in the list I’ve enjoyed more, but none give you as clear a starting point to the character as this one.

Buy Now: AmazonKindlecomiXology

The Valiant written by Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire isn’t strictly a Bloodshot story, but the character does feature prominently in the book. You’ll probably see this book featured in a couple different character’s reading lists over the coming weeks because the book does feature a lot of the major Valiant heroes.As an introduction to the Valiant universe as a whole, this is brilliant, but it’s also the bridge between Bloodshot and Bloodshot Reborn and is a pretty key moment in Bloodshot’s story as it transitions between series. The premise is centered around a loose group of allies headed by the Eternal Warrior trying to stop the Immortal Enemy from murdering the Geomancer, the person who speaks for the planet. For over ten thousand years, the Eternal Warrior has protected the Earth and her chosen voice from countless threats. He has failed only three times at the hands of the Immortal Enemy, with each failure ushering in a dark period in humanity. With the Immortal Enemy returning once again, the Eternal Warrior has gathered the heroes of the Valiant Universe to protect the Geomancer.

Buy Now: Amazon Hardcover/PaperbackKindlecomiXologyTFAW

Bloodshot: Book One Contrary to what you might be expecting, this is actually one of the newest books that Valiant have released as it collects the first three issues of the 2019 Bloodshot as well as the Bloodshot Free Comic Book Day Special from the same year. This book is a frantic, fast paced story that will give you barely half a second to breath throughout the duration. We find a fresh take on the character here courtesy of Tim Seeley that doesn’t wipe away the previous work other writers have done on the character, but it also doesn’t rely on said work. If you’re new to the character then this one of the best places to start that isn’t the beginning (which you can find in The Definitive Edition), and it’s especially ideal if you want an action comic that’s pure fun. There’s less substance here than in some of the above books, but this is the one to read if you want to turn your brain off and just enjoy the comics.

Buy Now: AmazonKindlecomiXologyZeus Comics

It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better value, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts).

The above options are all good starting points for you if you’re wanting to learn more about Valiant’s unstoppable killing machine.


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Movie Review: Bloodshot

The very first feature-length film based on a Valiant property was released on digital this weekend after spending a short time in theaters; Sony PicturesBloodshot starring Vin Diesel as the title character. I was able to get to the cinema a few days ago to check out the film, and have been thinking about it on and off for a few days. I wanted the film to sit with me so that I could really mull my thoughts about the movie.

Before we get anywhere, there won’t be any plot specific spoilers in the below review assuming you’ve watched the trailers released.

The character originated in the 90’s, created by Kevin Van Hook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton, is a recently deceased man brought back by a shady weapons tech corporation for their own use by the use of billions of tiny robots in his bloodstream. it’s these little machines that give him an ability to heal from pretty much anything, enhanced physical attributes, the ability to “talk” to other machines and ghost-white skin with a never healing open wound on his chest.

Bloodshot takes the core concept of the character and throws in an equal blend of Vin Diesel, an A to B plot with a twist that’s revealed in the international trailers (or, you know, is in the comics), of well-paced action. And humor – most intentional, some not. But that’s as far as the movie uses its comic book inspiration. For the most part, this is a straight action movie that just happens to be based on a comic book. It’s a break from the MCU movies we’ve seen over the last few years and their somewhat formulaic (but no less enjoyable) superhero stories. Bloodshot is more Terminator and Pitch Black that it is Iron Man.

Bloodshot movie poster

It’s refreshing in its simplicity, and while I saw the twist coming long before my arse was in the chair, there’s a chance that those who aren’t readers will be taken by surprise. It’s a very well-orchestrated film.

It feels disingenuous to say that this movie is a pretty straight forward action film, but it really is. Despite the potential to really explore the themes of a man being manipulated by technology and corporations to do things he’s barely aware of, the film requires less of your grey matter than it could have. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that Bloodshot needs to stand on its own as a competent action movie, and it does just that. There’s no real Easter Eggs in the movie that’ll alienate moviegoers, and there’s absolutely nothing here other than Bloodshot. The film doesn’t try to introduce characters for the next movie in a potential Valiant Cinematic Universe. I get the sense that if that happens, then this was a good starting point. If it doesn’t, then we still get a solid action flick.

The only issue I had with the comic book adaptation part of the movie was honestly an aesthetic choice. Bloodshot’s two most defining aspects are his white skin and the bloody circle on his chest. Neither of which are present for any great length of time in the movie and certainly not long enough to make a lasting impression. Other than that, though, I’ve no real complaints about the movie. It took a comic book I enjoyed, honored the core concept of the character and touched on a couple of themes that could have been explored further. Which brings me to this; letting go of the past to embrace the future and the manipulation of humanity by technology and corporations are great backdrops to this film and fit the source material very well.

Bloodshot isn’t on par with Endgame, but then to compare the two is like comparing a tomato with Stonehenge. They’re just two totally different things. What Bloodshot does incredibly well is telling a story that translates very well as a comic book adaptation to the big screen (or to a streaming service near you now that the movie has been released digitally already). It never strays too far from an action movie formula, which isn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed the hell out of this movie as a fan of the comics and the character when I saw it in theaters, and I’m enjoying it again now.

Bloodshot isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s damn fun. And that’s what matters.

Valiant Hero Of The Week: Bloodshot vs. Ninjak vs. Punk Mambo vs. Quantum & Woody

Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on their Twitter feed to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the Hero Of The Week from four choices – this week, the poll features Bloodshot, Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Quantum & Woody. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways and more.

At Graphic Policy, we’re going to be running a spotlight on the winning character all week through various features depending on the character, but at the very least you’ll see our favorite covers and stories.

But Valiant has a lot of great characters, and it’d be a shame to not let you know which stories to read to get to know some of them a little more in case they don’t end up winning the fan vote. This week’s characters are a prime example of this, and the exact reason that we wanted to shine a little light on all four ahead of the week. Today’s poll is between Bloodshot, Ninjak, Punk Mambo, and Quantum & Woody.

Below you’ll find a brief snapshot of the character and a trade paperback or two to check out. For fun, I’ll also note who I think is most likely to win (bear in mind this is being written on Sunday).

Bloodshot

Who is he? A dead man brought back to life with billions of tiny machines in his blood that grant him enhanced strength, stamina and an incredible ability to heal from anything. This dude makes Deadpool look frail. Bloodshot is also the only Valiant character to be featured in a major motion picture with Sony’s Bloodshot released just before North America began to shut down due to the pandemic. You can find it digitally now if you didn’t see it in theaters, and because of that, I won’t go too much into his background because the movie does a pretty solid job of capturing the essence of the character. If I was putting money on anything, it’d be that Bloodshot wins this week’s poll.

What should you read? Valiant have published a lot of really good Bloodshot comics over the years, but if I had to tell you to read just one story arc it would be Bloodshot Reborn: Colorado. Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Mico Suayan, this is the beginning of one of my favorite runs in comics. Picking up just after Bloodshot has regained his humanity after being freed of his nanites, the former super-soldier finds himself a shadow of what he was. So why does he feel so guilty about a string of murders he has no connection to? You’ve really got to read this to appreciate how well Lemire toys with your emotional connection to the character – and Suayan’s art has to be seen to be believed.

Ninjak

Who is he? A blend of Batman and James Bond. Colin King is at the peak of human conditioning, both physical and mental, has access to near limitless financial resources, and also works on contract for MI6 as a high tech ninja operative. If you’re looking for something familiar from Valiant, then you’d think that Ninjak would scratch the Batman itch, but unlike Batman, Ninjak has no problem using his weapons to their full deadly potential. Although Ninjak has yet to feature in a movie, he was the star of Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe, a webseries produced by Bat In The Sun that you can probably find on Youtube now.

What should you read? Ninjak: Weaponeer. This collection covers the first five issues of Ninjak’s Valiant Entertainment relaunch, and is written by Matt Kindt and features Clay Mann, Butch Guice, and Juan Jose Ryp‘s artistic talents. This is where you’ll want to go for your introduction to the character, despite his first appearance coming in an issue of X-O Manowar a couple of years prior. We’re (re)introduced to Colin King and discover how he became Ninjak in flashbacks that twin with the present as King hunts down the Shadow Seven.

Punk Mambo

Who is she? A sarcastic biting magician in the vein of John Constantine, Punk Mambo has very few figs to give about anybody. Her complete disregard for authority is fitting given the character’s name, and as such she works incredibly well against characters with a more straightforward motivation seen in books like Rapture or her self titled miniseries.

What should you read? Of all the characters in today’s poll, Punk Mambo is the one who hasn’t had that many appearances I’ve actually read. She first appeared in Shadowman #13, which is a series I haven’t even come close to finishing yet (I’ve got the first eight issues, so haven’t seen her introduction). My introduction to the character came in the story I’m going to recommend to you; Ninjak: Operation Deadside. Watching Punk Mambo and Ninjak interact with each other is one of the absolute highlights of the story as she ends up being the foil to everything Ninjak says and does. It was this story that got me hooked on the character, so I’m hoping you’ll have the same result.

Quantum and Woody

Who are they? Yes, they. While one can wonder about the technicality of including two characters as one, Quantum and Woody are inseparable. Including one and not the other would make as much sense as playing football without a ball. It’s just not the same. Quantum and Woody are adoptive brothers who must touch the golden bracelets on their arms once every 24 hours or they’ll explode into nothingness – potentially taking the planet with them. That the brothers are polar opposites only makes the comics even better; Eric Henderson, aka Quantum, hides his identity to protect those around him because he wants to be a hero. Woody Henderson doesn’t. He’s all about the fame.

What should you read? Honestly, the Quantum and Woody story I’m the most taken with is the one being released currently. However, that’s not ideal for you if you’re looking to check them out now because the last two issues will be released…. eventually. Instead, then, I’ll point you to Quantum And Woody: The World’s Worst Superhero Team because it’ll introduce these guys to you in the most honest way possible. The title alone should give you an idea as to what you should expect; this book isn’t dark and moody but is injected with humor as it deals with the estranged brother’s relationship and their new place in the world.

You Can Stay Valiant at Home with the Valiant Hero of the Week

VALIANT HERO OF THE WEEK

There’s a new way to stay Valiant while you stay home: Valiant Hero of the Week!

We want to offer some entertainment and escapism for Valiant fans during this challenging period. Every Monday for the next several weeks, Valiant will post a poll on Twitter that features four heroes, and the fans will determine who becomes the Valiant Hero of the Week! Once a hero is selected by the end of Monday, they will be celebrated throughout the week with:

  • Engaging social content encouraging fans to share their favorite art, covers, stories, and more
  • Free PDFs featuring the hero
  • Videos from Valiant staff saying why they love the hero and suggesting ways to celebrate
  • Giveaways
  • And more!

Valiant Hero of the Week kicks off on Monday (March 30th) and the first poll will feature Bloodshot, Punk Mambo, Quantum & Woody, and Ninjak. Who will you vote for?

An Unknown Box Office Leads to On Demand Boom

Bloodshot

It’s unknown when and if weekend box office results will be released. Major chains like AMC and Regal have shut down due to coronavirus leaving thousands of screens dark.

That has lead movie studios to shift their strategies either forgoing theatrical releases or crunching the time frame when movies are released for On Demand consumption early. It’s a massive shift in the industry and unknown if it’ll continue once the crisis has abated.

We’ll have an update when/if the weekend box office numbers are released but below is when you can watch some recent releases from the safety and comfort of your own home.

Emma
Original Release Date: Feb. 21
On Demand Plans: Universal has made the Jane Austen adaptation available as a 48-hour rental for $19.99 through numerous providers.

The Hunt
Original Release Date: March 13
OnDemand Plans: Universal has made the Betty Gilpin thriller available as a 48-hour rental for $19.99 through numerous providers.

The Invisible Man
Original Release Date: Feb. 28
On Demand Plans: Universal has made the Elisabeth Moss thriller available as a 48-hour rental for $19.99 through numerous providers.

Onward
Original Release Date: March 6
On Demand Plans: Disney has released Onward for digital download beginning this past Friday (March 20) via numerous providers; the Pixar film will begin streaming on Disney+ starting April 3.

The Gentlemen
Original Release Date: Jan. 24
On Demand Plans: Guy Ritchie’s return to the crime thriller will arrive via digital download on Tuesday, March 24.

Birds of Prey
Original Release Date: Feb. 7
On Demand Plans: Warner Bros. will make Margot Robbie’s R-rated superhero movie available for digital purchase beginning Tuesday, March 24; the film is expected to release for rental in early April. It’s unknown when it’ll arrive on the DCUniverse digital platform.

The Way Back
Original Release Date: March 6
On Demand Plans: The Ben Affleck film is set to arrive via digital purchase download beginning Tuesday, March 24 courtesy of Warner Bros.

Sonic the Hedgehog
Original Release Date: Feb. 14
On Demand Plans: Paramount announced on March 20 that the hit video game adaptation would arrive to digital platforms for purchase beginning March 31.

Bloodshot
Original Release Date: March 13
On Demand Plans: Sony will release the Vin Diesel superhero movie onto digital platforms beginning Tuesday, March 24.

I Still Believe
Original Release Date: March 13
On Demand Plans: The Christian rock biopic starring Riverdale’s KJ Apa is set to become available via digital download on Friday, March 27.

Trolls World Tour
Original Release Date: April 10
On Demand Plans: The film will release on the same date but will do so digitally instead of in theaters.

The Lovebirds
Original Release Date: April 3
On Demand Plans: The movie was pulled from theaters and has found a home at Netflix. A release date hasn’t been announced.

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