There’s a big changing of the guards happening on this series and during that transition we get a one-off zero issue. Valiant has done an incredible job with their zero issues and so we have high hopes going into this issue. Also Matt Kindt is writing it so there are high hopes anyways. Since there are two of us reviewing this issue it means double scores and lots of opinions! We’re going to start with a blurb about the issue from Valiant: Discover the declassified secret history of Project Rising Spirit's Bloodshot program and its most successful soldier - as told by superstar creator Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT, Justice League of America) and fan favorite artist ChrisCross (Superman/Batman)! From the darkest days of World War II and Korea, and through the hell of Vietnam and Afghanistan, Bloodshot's origin leaves a bloody trail of discarded lives and forgotten families. But which memories are real? Which families? Which children? Is Bloodshot many men...or no man at all? Is he simply a soulless killing machine or something more? Who is responsible? And why have the engineered the most dangerous weapon ever conceived by man? This issue holds the answers… but also reveals that we may have been asking the wrong questions all along…
Here is what I say is wow… just wow. You get some answers what is behind Bloodshot, the core of everything the project is; from all the problems and all the solutions to try to come up with the perfect soldier for Project Rising Spirit. The black and white of everything Bloodshot is to his core. This issue tackles a big step and handles it nicely.
I love how this gives a history and timeline of Bloodshot. It moves from the Frankenstein Bloodshot to the secret agent to the super soldier. It outlines every point that makes up Bloodshot and trying to make him as human as possible. This marks the story of one architect trying to give Bloodshot a soul and conscience he was missing for years. It outlines everything perfectly. The art is very detailed and tells the story very well with the narrative. It captures the emotion or lack of the emotion of Bloodshot and the hardness of him. The stress and worry of the architect comes alive. I’m not too sure if I can say enough about this book; pick it up and pick it up now.
Well, being a huge Matt Kindt fan I loved this issue instantly. It had his flair all over it, but still fit with the Valiant Universe. No offense to the creative team taking over the series, but I’d love to read more of Kindt on Bloodshot. He uses a very simple, but affective narrative technique for the issue. It’s narrated through the notes of the scientist that we’re following throughout the story. It’s clever because he even explains what will happen to his notes in the event of his death. The story itself is amazing. Kindt has found a way to work Bloodshot’s past into this new universe by having previous designs of the character become different stages in perfecting the ultimate solider. Did I mention that it’s clever?
I miss seeing ChrisCross on interior pages. He has a fantastic style and while I never would have thought of him and Kindt as the perfect pairing, they are. They are. Since the narrative and story are basically contained to the notes of the character we’re following, ChrisCross has to make the visuals interesting and hold our attention almost on his own. He does a great job of doing just that and the calm narrative is complimented by the action and violence of the art.
It’s a fantastic zero issue and the perfect jumping on point for any new reader, but if you miss it you’ll get another shot next month… but really don’t miss this issue it’s great.
Scores: 5/5 and 5/5
Writer: Matt Kindt
Release Date: 8/21/13