Ever since Harbinger Wars I have become a bigger and bigger Bloodshot fan. I think the reason why is due to his regeneration processes having a real weakness. There is a real chance that Bloodshot could be killed, though I doubt he ever would be. He has so many traits of other comic characters that regenerate, but rather than being annoying or over used, Swierczynski has him continue being the character he’s been from the start. He’s a killer with a heart of gold! What I really dug about this issue was that it expanded upon one panel shown in Harbinger Wars #3. That one panel was the bases of this entire issue and it’s marvelous. The story actually kicks off in the past with Bloodshot hooked up to machines and “shut down.” Over him stands Kuretich. He begins talking to Bloodshot, letting him know he’s going to leave and that he’s going to rescue him one day. It’s strange because instead of it being a father and son moment, it’s more like a doctor and Frankenstein moment; the creator talking to his creation and all. Then there is an unnecessary look at where the issue ends up and then it finally heads into the present.
There we find a still faceless Bloodshot talking about finding Kuretich and killing him because he sent Harada after him and the kids. One half of the annoying fucking twins harasses Clem to take her to Vegas because she doesn’t care about anyone else’s safety only her freaky twin connection. I still agree with Bloodshot that I hate her the most. In fact I hope both twins receive a double tap to the head. They decide to find a place to eat before pursing vengeance and frankly that’s exactly what Bloodshot needs what with his face being missing and all. They roll up on a slaughterhouse and let’s just say the kids aren’t getting happy meals and Bloodshot is about to get more than he bargained for.
The thing about the story in this issue is that Bloodshot doesn’t do anything physically. It shows the range of his character that after basically being dismembered and unable to regenerate, he’s forced to use his brain. The “kid” as he calls him has disappeared ever since the Harada Protocol engage so Bloodshot has to enter his brain and yell at the nanites. What’s crazy to me is that inside of his brain he’s still hooked up to machines and laying on an operating table. What a terrible mind scape to have. The psiot kids also play a big role in the story which was a nice change of pace. Previously they had only demonstrated their powers and gotten their asses kicked.
I think the next issue is Swierczynski’s last issue on the series before it becomes Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps, but I’ll be looking forward to his send off. He’s done an incredible job relaunching this character and helping craft the Valiant Universe. Though he’ll be missed on the series, he’s leaving it in good order and at the top of its game making it easy for Dysart to come in and take the reins. Swierczynski has infused a brand of humor onto Bloodshot that keeps him interesting and fun to read and there’s plenty of that in this issue.
Kitson’s art continues to be the right choice for this series. His action sequences are easy to follow and very dynamic. Bloodshot has his body mangled by chainsaws and meat cleavers and the whole bloody mess is wonderful due to his art. Personally, I enjoy Bloodshot’s faceless look and I’m glad that they kept that for as long as they could. It really shows that the story is more important than the design.
The strange thing about this issue is that it reads like a one-shot. It’s not be any means as a huge plot point pays off in this issue, but even if it was your first time reading it you wouldn’t be lost in the story. Much of the previous eleven issues are masterfully recapped throughout the story so that it’s like you’ve reading it without even being there. That’s some real skill. Check the series out and look for the amazing conclusion of Harbinger Wars next month as well.
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Artist: Barry Kitson
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Release Date: 6/19/13