As the Harbinger Wars continue, we flip back over to Bloodshot’s side of things. I really enjoyed this issue. Even though it overlapped a lot with Harbinger Wars #2, it told the story from a different perspective. It also makes Bloodshot look more badass if that’s even possible at this point. The story begins a month prior to our events with Bloodshot setting up the safe house in the ghost town that he and the second half of Generation Zero are staying in. He’s rigging the entire town with C-4 as he prepares for a worst case scenario. As he’s doing this he’s talking to Kara and she’s busting his balls about what he’s doing and how violent things could get. I mean, come on Kara, the guy’s name is Bloodshot not “Cuttle Bug”.
The story then catches up with the events that played out in HW #2, but this time we’re taken into the mind of Bloodshot. It was a really cool way of flipping the script and showing the other side of the events. Bloodshot’s narration is great as he says that the fact that they can fly has him scared. He calls Kara using his nanos and tells her to get the kids up and out. The Harada Protocol activates and even Bloodshot is confused by what’s happening. It’s a great sequence as we see him strapped to a table with machinery above him and suddenly the “kid” is talking strange and ignoring him, all while inside his mind. Most of the issue is then spent seeing the damaged done to Bloodshot’s body also happening to him in his head which is pretty jacked up.
This was a very interesting issue and thankfully the perspective and extra details made it worth reading. As far as the events that happen in HW #2 and Bloodshot #11, they’re pretty exact, but they have to be. It’s still a very good issue and being inside of Bloodshot’s mind was a cool change-up. The extra level of mystery of what other protocol’s may be installed ensures that future storylines will be full of surprises as well.
The art was actually the only thing I wasn’t crazy about. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t up to the high standard I’ve come to expect from the series and publisher. I don’t know if it’s the inking or coloring, but it didn’t look the same as the last issue and that’s a real shame. While the action sequences are great, they don’t hold a torch to HW #2 because of the struggles with the art. I’m sure that it will improve with the next issue and it could very well be that I’m judging it too harshly against the other series.
Overall this was a very strong issue for the series and managed to build the Bloodshot storyline, while still tying in and developing the Harbinger Wars story at the same time. I’m still finding this crossover to be incredibly well handled as even the overlapping scenes end up being so different that becomes a fresh read again. This issue really paves the way for new and great things for Bloodshot. Swierczynski might be leaving the book, but he’s left this series in a great spot for the Valiant Universe.
Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Barry Kitson Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/15/13