Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bloodshot: Reborn #14 (2016) Review

The Bloodshot Squad

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Mico Suayan, David Baron and David Lanphear
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 29, 2016

As our site branches out a little from are all DC all the time, each of us has run into an experience like I have with this book.  I love Jeff Lemire and have been intrigued by the character of Bloodshot for a while, but because we painted ourselves into a specific corner, there was no time or reason to read it. That has changed now and when I saw Valiant declare that this issue was an "ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT!", I figured I'd dive right in.  So, was Valiant telling the truth and did I know what was going on enough to be comfortable reviewing it?  Yes and and big Yes!  Here is my review...

After a nice little series recap, we jump right into the action and that's not just a generic phrase to start off my review.  This issue is packed to the gills with action and it starts with a cold opener that was confusing, exciting and intriguing all at once.  After bidding goodbye to Bloodsquirt, Ray finds his way out of the jungle he's running through and on a beach.  Desperate to figure out where the hell he is, he instead runs smack into a force field and let me tell you, that's the least craziest thing that happens in this entire issue.

Jeff Lemire starts off the issue in such a great way.  It doesn't matter what kind of reader you are; first time, long time (no, I'm not calling into a talk radio show) or some time...everyone is on equal footing including Bloodshot.  By that, I mean that nobody knows what is going on.

Suddenly, things start exploding and Ray takes off back into the jungle and comes across a cache of weapons.  Odd, but useful.  As more explosions go off, we meet a couple more inhabitants of the Island...Bloodhound the dog and another Bloodshot.  What What?  Soon we find that there are even more Bloodshots and they are all being hunted.

The Bloodshot Squad (I didn't name them) are pretty damn awesome and it made me laugh to see Ray stammer when they ask if he really thought he was the one and only Bloodshot.  We don't get a whole lot of character development with the Squad, but it's enough to learn their names and their basic personalities.  We also learn who is hunting them...they call her the Angel of Death, but her real name is Deathmate.

The issue continues with the Squad we just met being totally annihilated by Deathmate who is overpowered and cold in her killing precision.  Before you can blink an eye, the only ones left are Ray and Viet Man (obviously, the Vietnam era Bloodshot) and that includes poor Bloodhound who gets impaled on a tree.  The worst part is that this battle replays itself each and every day.  If that doesn't make sense when we first find out, it becomes clear by the end.

That is because the issue ends with everything opening up and revealing its all another "Project" and while it's not a huge shock, it's exciting and has me looking forward to continuing on with the series.

Jeff Lemire is just a great damn writer.  I loved the last time a series of his went to an Island and this one is starting out to possibly top that.  I can't speak for longtime Bloodshot fans, but as a newb, I now consider myself a fan and am upset that I didn't jump on earlier.

This is also my first experience with artist, Mico Suayan.  Coming from mostly books with tights and capes, Suayan's style is more gritty and realistic than I'm used to and I loved it.  It had a war comic vibe but updated for the times.  The character models stole the show and the page with the full Bloodshot Squad was just awesome!

Bits and Pieces:

In the press release for this issue, Valiant promised that this issue was an "All-New Jumping On Point" and they are not liars.  I came into this issue with a very limited knowledge of Bloodshot and his Universe, but by the end, I was a big fan.  Jeff Lemire may not ease you in more than throw you to the wolves, but everyone get thrown in equally.  The story is exciting and intriguing and it ends with the curtain being lifted enough to make it even better.  If you've been waiting to read Bloodshot Reborn, this is the issue to do so.


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