Hard to kill!
When a walking weapon of war like Bloodshot goes completely missing, you need the toughest of the tough to do the dirty work of bringing him back. Luckily, Project Rising Spirit has just such a team at their disposal – a black budget strike force with capabilities no ordinary soldier could ever conceive. Enter…the H.A.R.D. Corps!
In the interest of full disclosure, I read this comic before I found out that Valiant had given Graphic Policy an exclusive preview. This needs to be said because after being unduly harsh on the previous issues, I actually enjoyed this one. I feel the need to say this directly to address any potential elephant in the corner because up until this point, I’ve been less than impressed with the series. Bloodshot: Rising Spirit is the only Valiant book not on my pull list. It has, up until this point, been less than it could be.
Surprisingly, and thankfully, that’s not the case here.
Possibly because we don’t have to fight through the constant memory implant stories that don’t seem as engaging as they could, and possibly because the art is consistent enough to mask some of the short comings of the issue’s plot (though since this is much more of a straight up action comic, the plot is fairly simple and ultimately makes for a much smoother ride).
Because the comic has a more polished and consistent art direction (despite once again being divided between two artists), it adds to the overall ease of enjoyment for the reader. With Harvey Tolibao and Isaac Goodhart dividing the art duties between them, you can look at the comic as a two part story within the issue (or you can look at is as a complete comic, either way), with each artist adding his own unique flavour to the issue; Tolibao gives us a great splash page of Bloodshot unleashing a hail of bullets, whereas Goodhart is able to impart a sense of character and threat to the H.A.R.D. Corps soldiers that are (re)introduced in the series.
At the end of the day, this is isn’t the best Bloodshot comic that Vlaiant have published in the last few years, but it does reverse the trend of the past couple issues; this is an enjoyable comic, and I am hopeful that it represents a new direction in quality for a series that’s struggled to find its footing as it mires itself among flashback and memory implant sequences.
If you haven’t been reading the series thus far, then this is as good a place to start reading as any. Largely because it’s one of the better issues thus far, but also because you don’t need to know much about the previous events to enjoy an action packed Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #4.
Story: Kevin Grevious
Art: Harvey Tolibao (Pages 1-10) and Isaac Goodhart (Pages 11-20)
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.2 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.