Bloodshot Salvation #1
Even if you have not been reading Valiant comics, (shame on you) you may already know who Bloodshot is. And most everyone knows Jeff Lemire. Picking up a year after Bloodshot Reborn and USA, Salvation is the third relaunch since 2012. And it’s actually justified. This is the kind of book we want from comics.
In case you have not heard, a Bloodshot movie is in the works, Bloodshot Reborn was one of the best comics of 2015 and 2016, and as of this week, he will be receiving his own Build-a-bear at NYCC. He’s come a long from being just a stereotypical 90s action comic and we can all thank Lemire for that. Up until the mini-series “The Valiant”, Bloodshot was a soulless killing machine with frankly nothing special about him. That changed with Lemire’s previous series Bloodshot Reborn. Our titular assassin had to fight to get his nanites back, met the love of his life, and defeated his former masters, the mysterious Project Rising Spirit. A lot has happened, but that will not stop you from picking up this issue and enjoying it.
Relaunches are typically met with criticism, especially when the same creative team is still attached. Salvation is one of those exceptions. The opening issue is actually very quiet, taking time to introduce Jessie, and let us peek into Ray and Magic’s relationship. There’s nothing that new readers will need to know, as the issue does a great job of catching us up to speed.
Of course, Lemire doesn’t seem to like a happy story and your heart is going to be torn by the last pages. Gotye said, “You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness”, and that is absolutely true of Bloodshot. But this time, the blame seems to fall on the shoulders of alter-ego Ray Garrison himself. Readers of the previous series will note his wife, Magic, never received a lot of panel time to explore her character, a problem that Salvation seems intent to fix. The dialogue feels human and fuels the natural conflict better. You can believe their reactions are more than a plot device to sell a story. There is a reason Jeff Lemire is at the top of everyone’s favorite current writer’s list and it is personified in this book.
With any emotional story, you need an artist who can convey it. Both Mico Suayan and Lewis Larosa are at the top of their game, expertly conveying the varied emotions this story requires. There is no evidence of “dueling artists” as the art styles compliment each other very well. I would wager there will be some who will not realize there are two artists. Of course, that would be attributed to the fantastic colorist, Brian Reber.
The hype for Lemire’s Bloodshot is real. “Reborn” was one of the most consistently good books on the stands, and Salvation looks to be even better. If you have been hesitating about the series, this is your perfect chance to jump on! It would be a crime if you didn’t!
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