Bloodshot’s definitive origin story races forward!
Bloodshot’s handlers have a problem: Their valuable asset isn’t quite the blank slate they’d hoped for and keeps rejecting the false memories they attempt to implant into his mind. Can Project Rising Spirit recoup their losses and produce the perfect supersoldier at last – or is their new prototype at risk of being shelved permanently?
I’ll lay my cards right down on the table – I am not fond of the concept of Bloodshot: Rising Spirit. This series is an origin story for Bloodshot that isn’t really needed if you’ve read any of the previous Bloodshot series published in the last few years (Bloodshot, Bloodshot: Reborn, Bloodshot USA and Bloodshot Salvation) because you already know how the story will end.
I understand why Valiant feel the need to revisit the character’s origin with a movie scheduled to hit theaters sometime in 2020, just as I understand that I may not be the target audience for this story as I already have some familiarity with the character.
The story aims to delve deeper into Bloodshot’s past, his creation and his training, but unlike another character with a mysterious past, we’ve already seen glimpses of what led to Bloodshot’s creation. We hadn’t seen any of the build up to what happened to Logan during his time at Weapon X, so the Barry Windsor Smith story was exciting, fresh and gave readers a new level of understanding for the character. Conversely, after two issues, Bloodshot: Rising Spirit is none of those things.
Kevin Grevioux seems to lose himself in the false memory implants that the story is shoving on Bloodshot, which has the effect of leaving the reader doubting just what is, and what is not, real. Although this could be, and quite likely is, an intentional choice to further immerse the reader in Bloodshot’s journey, it left me waiting for the end of the comic.
Artistically, the comic is solid. Which is something that I was somewhat pleasantly surprised about after realising the art was handled by three different artists (all of whom are very talented); one was a touch worried that there may have been too many cooks in the kitchen, but in this case there seems to be just the right amount to produce a really good meal.
There are better Bloodshot stories out there. If you’re looking for an idea of where the character was before he breaks free from his masters, start with the 2012 Bloodshot. If you want to read a fantastic character breakdown and exploration of what it means to be human, superhuman and the bonds of responsibility that comes with that then start at Bloodshot: Reborn. Jeff Lemire’s run through to the end of Bloodshot: Salvation is a modern classic, and is arguably some of the writer’s best work. But if you do want to check this series out, rest assured that it isn’t a bad comic; it’s just not as good as what came before. At this point there’s very little here for existing fans, whereas new readers will have a wealth of things to discover with the character – and if Bloodshot: Rising Spirit is their gateway to Bloodshot and Valiant in general, then that’s no bad thing.
Story: Kevin Grevioux
Art – Breakdowns: Ken Lashley Finishes: Ryan Winn and Oliver Borges
Colours: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Simon Bowland
Story: 6.8 Art: 8.4 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review