Part of what makes Bloodshot Bloodshot is that he is always supposed to be the scariest guy in the room. He’s the most capable with a weapon, he’s the most fearless, and he’s the quickest to kick the shit out of you. Jeff Lemire and Butch Guice are finally answering the question: What if Bloodshot wasn’t the scariest guy in the room? What happens when you build a better Bloodshot? The issue begins with the other Bloodshot (The Hunter) tracking down and killing one more of the infected--now he and our friendly, neighborhood Bloodshot have absorbed the same amount of nanites, and there’s only one more infected left. Absorbing those nanites may tip the scales in favor of one Bloodshot or the other, so Bloodshot and Magic are hot on the trail. Meanwhile, Agents Festival and Hoyt are trying to crack Project Rising Spirit when they stumble onto something even more ominous in the Project Bloodshot folder.
Lemire has taken a character that I used to laugh off for his hypermachismo (I mean, the H.A.R.D. Corps, what the fuck is that even about), and made him emotionally vulnerable, which has opened a variety of doors to new stories that could not have occurred to the old, tortured Bloodshot. They had to happen to a Bloodshot who knew what he had done and wanted to change. It’s allowed Bloodshot to pick up a woman (even if Magic does fall readily into the Drug Addict with a Heart of Gold kind of trope), rid himself of some of his demons and make some actual progress at living his life. Lemire is taking Bloodshot apart like a fairy tale, giving him evil cartoony sidekicks and chances at Happily Ever After, only to snatch them away from him. It’s agonizing fun.
The art team on Bloodshot Reborn knocks it out of the park in this issue. Guice perfectly nails the Deep Throat/All the President’s Men tone in an aviation museum before setting up an incredibly spooky reveal in a cornfield at the end. David Baron’s colors really sing, setting the noirish tone of secret agents meeting with each other, and slaying the horror movie reveal on the last page.
This book is a team of creators working at the top of their game, and cranking it out with astonishing regularity. I wish I could find some things to complain about, but this was just a damn good time with a damn good book. Can’t wait to check back in with Bloodshot next month.
Bloodshot Reborn #7 Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Butch Guice Colorist: David Baron Letterer: Dave Lanphear Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/7/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital