Before 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