Bloodshot Reborn really earned its namesake during last month’s issue when Ray Garrison (The Super Killer formally known as Bloodshot) snapped the neck of one of the Bloodshot wannabes who have been waging a terror campaign on the public recently. That wannabe was a real piece of homicidal work named Ray Chester. Who did get what he deserved if Ray’s visions can be trusted. But, everything is still up in the air related to Ray and his sanity at this point. But I digress… During that issue, Ray sucked up enough nanites to make a brief transformation and to know that there are others infected as these lesser Bloodshots, intent to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting populace. That is, unless Ray doesn’t get to them and take them out first. Issue #4 sees Ray taking on a new nanite menace who appears to be a mixture of old time religion, fringe politics, and pure country. He not only has the nanite power flowing within him. He also seems to have a little bit of a delusional/psychosis edge on him too, making him the most dangerous of the Bloodshot imitators to date. This issue plays out that battle, introduces us to a new character with a magical name, and hits some backstory through a flashback and good old fashioned detective research regarding two of our primary characters portrayed.
I particularly liked Jeff Lemire’s writing touch in this issue as he has coined the best line of the series so far… While tracking our newest nanite predator, Ray states,
Boo Yah! Beautiful line from a wonderful writer. That one wordy wittism had me hooked into this issue right there. But unfortunately, a comic is more than some amazingly well placed lines. Things must happen to make a comic truly great. Though the story of Bloodshot Reborn has been mostly good. It still has not quite reached its stride propelling it over to the side of “classic” status. It is skirting around the edges, but not ready to jump over yet.
Lemire is bringing the story along an even line, portraying Ray Garrison’s slow and painful transformation into Bloodshot again. We are seeing the signs. He is becoming angry. His hallucinations are becoming angry. He is arguing with his hallucinations more, even throwing some blame over to his lost love Kay McHenry’s motivations regarding the removing the nanites from him. He also chokes Bloodsquirt. But if that is not enough, yes, his hallucinations are becoming a little more nasty too, especially Kay.
All of this slow dissent into the inhuman Bloodshot is broken however, as Ray elects to do a human act in reference as to should he slay or should he go after a witness to his battle with his latest nanite infested felon is spared. Things are still up in the air as to where Ray will still remain as that human however as the story continues. The dark and predictive tone that Jeff Lemire brings at the end may be telling.
Mico Suayan continues to be the real rock star of this series with his art, which is a perfect mixture of grit, grime, and carnage. The shadowing is beautiful and the colors provided by David Baron continue to be haunting. The battle scenes with this issue are awesome.
The crew for this trio of creators are well assembled and should be a lethal force once the groove is found. But as for now, that groove is still just slightly elusive. It is there. It wants to be there. It has glimmers of it. But it hasn’t quite found it. But even though not there, I have very little bad to say about this issue or the previous three. Bloodshot is back! He may not be the monster killing machine that you are used to (as of yet). But he is pressing further to that eventual destiny. I think that it will be a fun ride watching it get there.