Bloodshot is back…”Reborn”. And it features the writing of Jeff Lemire with the art rendering of Mico Suayan. Last month, I participated in a group review of this relaunch of one of Valiant’s most memorable characters back in the day. At that time, I had read very little of the original Bloodshot and had looked at this redo as a chance to look at it from an objective standpoint. Bloodshot Reborn #1 was a good beginning to the new series. It covers our once nanite infected hero, post nanite infected. Living a mere mortal existence. But without the one he loved, Kay McHenry who removed his nanites, but was killed. Former Bloodshot suffers from a pretty heavy dose of PTSD, remembering his past deeds and his lost love as he has tried to root out a meager existence as a regular guy, living in a rundown hotel and doing odd jobs. To cope, heavy drug use and hallucinations have become his norm, seeing Bloodsquirt and his Kay in the flesh that are walking with him, talking with him, and giving him guidance. Whether it is real or not, it is real to him (now going by the human name of Ray Garrison). What also is real is that not so far away, a person who looks a lot like a Bloodshot is out wreaking havoc on the general populace. Ray knows what he must do. He must stop this new nanite menace before more are killed.
Issue #2 begins with that quest. Following Ray on his tracking of this menace out in the Colorado wilderness. We see the preparation, the buildup, as well as the eventual confrontation that occurs. We also get to bear witness to the investigation, law enforcement politics regarding a gifted/despised detective, and a little surprise both for the police and for old Ray too at the end. It adds up for a pretty enjoyable second issue that will keep the new reader interested. And I would think, the fan of the old series intrigued as well.
Jeff Lemire is a master at writing about conflicted characters. He excels in guys who question who they are, their abilities, and how they deal with their choices. Not everyone in a Lemire tale makes the right decisions. And it looks like Ray Garrison will be no exception as he thus far has been a little bit sloppy, as well as a little batshit crazy too. But it works well with Lemire’s style.
The nice touch with Lemire’s writing in this issue deals with the blending in of the madness and reality. Ray interacts with Kay and Bloodsquirt, even picking up some fireworks as per request from the little cartoony assassin. It is a nice element that works well to demonstrate that Ray Garrison may be slightly unhinged as he works to stop this Bloodshot wannabe. He ultimately may find that there is more at hand than what he expected as well. What he does recognize is that the nanites are calling him and driving him to them. Maybe they are, maybe there not, but he does find this person and the writing is well done in displaying these elements.
Suayan’s art is flat out sweetness. It is dark and disturbed, with a tinge of grit that makes the tale pop quite exquisitely. I like how he is working on portraying both Ray and the Bloodshot being tracked. It has a real feel to it even though we have a guy hallucinating and chasing a dude with white skin. It feels and looks real.
I was pleased with the open ended feeling that was portrayed in the first issue as the canvas of the story was open to many options. Here in Issue #2, the canvas is still open ended, but a little more of it has been revealed, intriguing the reader to want to see more. There is something quite weird going on. And Ray Garrison is involved or will be involved before all is said and done. My interest has been peaked and I am interested.
Now I don’t know if I am fully on board as of yet. But I believe that all signs are leading into the right direction. Lemire and Suayan are going forward, bringing a positive vibe and building on what has been done before. I am interested to see where the outcome will lead us to once all is complete.
Bloodshot Reborn #2 Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Mico Suayan Colorist: David Baron Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital