Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trade Paperback Tuesday: BLOODSHOT REBORN VOL.1

Bloodshot Reborn, Vol 1: ColoradoTrade paperback Tuesday is an initiative of Previews World, a comics and associated paraphernalia magazine/catalog/online news resource which promotes the hottest trade paperbacks newly collected and published in the comic book industry. I'm borrowing the theme to focus on regular reviews of my favorite trades and/or comic story arcs.  
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Mico Suayan (#1-4), Raul Allen (#5)
Published: 2015
Contains: Bloodshot Reborn #1-5

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit — a private contractor trafficking in violence — very well. Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving head-long into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

My thoughts
(review of collected issues) BLOODSHOT REBORN shows just how good a series reboot can be whilst still maintaining a solid semblance of character continuity. 

The opening issue of COLORADO sets the tone for an all new yet familiar hero who claims he's anything but while also introducing Bloodsquirt and Kay as unconventional sidekicks of sorts. Bloodsquirt adds a creepy comedic spin to Bloodshot's typically violent sojourn throughout the Valiant universe, while Kay, the late Geomancer who died fighting the Immortal Enemy in THE VALIANT serves as a reminder to Bloodshot aka Ray Garrison of what he's lost and the broken path of self destruction that's led him to a sleazy hotel in the middle of nowhere. 

The middle issues (#2-3) don't do much to progress the story, rather showcasing the violent and brutal side of Bloodshot that readers have come to expect - albeit a slightly skewed take with Project Rising Spirit replica Bloodshots causing murder and mayhem across the US. It's a natural way to progress Bloodshot, as a character from being more than a mortal man to the evolution of the killing machine he's destined to return to. 

Agent Festival is a nice addition in the middle of the story arc and adds another dimension that's been strangely absent throughout a lot of the Valiant books - providing a law enforcement element focused on tracking down the 'red circle killer'. 

Issue #4 introduces Magic, a little know character who looks set for a big role not just in Bloodshot Reborn but possibly the broader Valiant universe. The narrative teases her influence though the reader only catches a glimpse of her as a damsel in distress of sorts. 

Mico Suayan's art on issues #1-4 is flawless and took me back to the first Bloodshot (2012) iteration written by Duane Swierczynski. 

Rounding out the arc is the Bloodsquirt feature issue that is a nice change of pace and is a little psychedelic as the Bloodshot is thrust into the world of BloodSquirt. I really liked this more having reread it as part of reading the arc in its entirety. The art here deserves special attention, Raul Allen does a great job at inking a definitive look and feel to the change of pace intermission. 
COLORADO is a point of no return for Bloodshot, a very enjoyable introduction to a new path that pays tribute to what's come before and teases the future.

While COLORADO can easily be read without having prior knowledge of the character below are some comics which add that little bit extra and make COLORADO all the more enjoyable: 


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