Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bloodshot #1

Bloodshot #1
"Dunk Tank"
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Pencillers: Manuel Garcia with Arturo Lozzi
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
July 11, 2012

Bloodshot #1 marks the return of one of Valiant's most successful characters, and a strong debut from writer Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey) and his art team of Garcia, Lozzi and Gaudiano. 

There are about five or six different plot twists in this first issue, constantly keeping readers on their toes, but making it difficult for anyone to talk about it without revealing some spoilers

For those who are unfamiliar with this character, here are the basics: Bloodshot is a man whose blood has been infused with billions of nanites, microscopic robots that enhance his strength, speed and reaction time, heal wounds, communicate with computers or computerized machinery, and change his physical shape for a short period of time. 

These nanites obviously give him a huge advantage over his enemies, and in Bloodshot #1 Swierczynski and co. show us just how effective an elite solider like Bloodshot is. 

This issue has Bloodshot called in from reserve duty to rescue an American P.O.W. from a Afghan terrorist cell, but he is blown out of the sky by a rocket almost as soon as he parachutes out of his helicopter. To say much more about the plot of this book would be spoiling too much, but needless to say, this is a complete reboot of the character that will not only appeal to fans of the original, but will bring new readers in without needing to know anything else. Readers are also likely to know about as much of Bloodshot as he knows about himself, if that tells you anything. 

One of he things I loved about this comic was how the first page on the inside cover gives a detailed description of the nanities and their various capabilities. It instantly informs the reader what the character is capable of, and makes watching those powers in action all the more exciting.That this book can give you so much information on the first page and yet keep you guessing how it will end all the way through is a testament to Swierczynski's skill as a writer, and I'm very excited by the plot he is constructing with this title. 

The art in this book was also very good, and I have to commend Valiant for pairing their writers and artists together so well during this relaunch. The action flows really quickly between the panels, and more than a few pages left me just admiring the art direction. 

My only gripe was that sometimes the figures were rendered in this somewhat realistic, very smooth style, and then at other times the characters had a much more gritty texture. It wasn't a major issue, but it took me out of the book momentarily. 

Bloodshot #1 is an action-packed comic with some cool sci-fi concepts, inspired plot twists, and clear connections to other relaunched titles in the new Valiant Universe. 

If the second last page of this issue doesn't leave your jaw hanging open, I don't think Bloodshot is for you. 

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