Art: Doug Braithwaite, Brian Reber and Dave Lanphear
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray (@bmur3660)
I have a little disclaimer before we start... I have no history or knowledge with Bloodshot prior to this comic book. I'm not talking series, I mean THIS COMIC BOOK! Now, there is a good chance I could be way off, which would really just be par for the course for me and how things tend to go in my life, but I'm going to give this the Ol’ Junior Campers try anyway. I encourage everyone who reads this and knows more than myself to call me out in the comment below. I hope I don't embarrass myself, but please don’t say I didn’t give you my "I don’t know shit" disclaimer prior to continuing.
Now with all that being said, we kickoff this event one-shot tie-in (get all that?) by getting thrown into the future, specifically, the year...4001 A.D. This is a future without the Bloodshot, a.k.a. Ray Self and that kind of sucks. The nanites that used to posses Bloodshot’s body are traveling this future landscape looking for a new acceptable host body to complete “their mission”. Luckily for this hive of mini robots, they find an Organic 3-D Matter Printer lying around to help get them at least the partial body they need to aid them on their quest. I think we can all agree that a 3-D Matter Printer is awesome and should never be left lying about!
I say partial body because it appears before our nanite buddies can finish their little mani-pedi makeover, they’re interrupted by a couple of unsavory characters. A typical good versus bad fight breaks out which leads to some cool looking clobberin’ time on both sides before our hero pulls a sneaky Irish goodbye and gets away to continue his "mission".
That is "mission" because while it is referenced multiple times throughout the entire issue, it is purposely kept a shadowy mystery from the reader. Something cool we do find out, through some Ice Road Truckin’, is that our little nanite robots are dredging up memories of their past host Ray Self. Its at this point in the story that we get the sense they must complete a task to allow these memories to be put to rest. It's like Bloodshot Can Wait or It's a Wonderful Bloodshot Life...well, maybe not, but it does add a good amount of tension to the story and ultimately leads to a scene built up to a touching conclusion. When we finally get to take the quotes away from the mission, it ends up connecting and tying together the story nicely.
As someone using this issue as a jumping on point to get into Bloodshot, I can tell you that this is not a #1 issue that I can recommend for someone looking for a jumping on point to get into Bloodshot. That is not a knock on it in anyway since it isn't intended to be anything close to that. That being said, I enjoyed what was presented here and appreciated the one-shot format. I'll quote podcast legend, Eric Shea, “If any comic can make me feel something, it accomplished its goal” … or some crap like that. (Jim's Note: Eric never would have said something that sounded that intelligent, I must have said it!) Frighteningly enough, in this case I think he (Jim that is) might actually be correct.
The story was well constructed and had a massive amount of heart. It was classically written by comic veteran Jeff Lemire who is working way too hard these days. I have no idea how he can keep track of all the books he puts out on a monthly basis. I would not have faulted him if Old Man Logan (Jim's Note: Who?!?) suddenly appeared in the background of a panel here. Does this guy sleep? Ever?
Anyway, like all Valiant books I’ve had the pleasure of reading this week, it looks absolutely amazing. The art team of Doug Braithwaite and Brian Reber deserve props for art and colors respectively and for how this book just looks so kick ass!.
Bits and Pieces:
While this book may not have been written for a guy interested in seeing what all this Bloodshot hype is all about, I’ll definitely be back to check up on the title going forward. Jeff Lemire can't write a dud and Doug Braithwaite and Brian Reber make it all so nice to look at. I fully realize that this is and event book for Valiant and Bloodshot fans in the know, but I liked it enough to tell anyone interested to give it a shot.