By Chris Tresson
I’m never going to claim to be the biggest Valiant guy out there, but since Valiant came back, I have been keeping my eye on one character in particular… and that character is Bloodshot. I missed the launch Bloodshot title, I had to hunt down issues of Bloodshot Reborn and I’m pretty much a Valiant noob still. I’m eager to read some more Valiant books but I honestly wouldn’t know where to start… and I already have a pull list that’s ridiculously long. But I guess a little more Bloodshot won’t hurt, right? Let’s see.
Now, I happened to listen to CBMFP before I’d read this issue for review and it was one of the books being discussed by Dustin (supreme overlord of Comic Bastards and far more clued up on Valiant than I am) and Steven (… Hi, Steven!) From what I could gather, Dustin basically said this was shit compared to older Bloodshot stuff. The stuff from before Bloodshot Reborn, I mean (and coincidently, before I started reading Bloodshot!) So going into this right here and now… It would seem this is where being a complete fucking noob to Valiant comics works a charm.
Story-wise, I agree with Dustin’s "Spider-Island" comments on the podcast, but it did enough for me to hold my interest throughout. There’s enough in here to make me (and new readers) feel comfortable about jumping into this world and although it was interesting to me throughout, it was only when I reached the final pages of it that my opinion was fully made up for me. The ending to this issue makes me want to read more. I will be reading the rest of this story. I want to see where it goes.
I’m not a huge fan of writer Jeff Lemire’s superhero work (with the exception of maybe Moon Knight and Black Hammer, which has been fucking fantastic so far) but I can get through it without too many bad words to say about it. My only gripe really with this issue was that the dialogue in places seemed a bit off but other than that it was a nice little read.
The art in this issue is great and it really makes the book for me. I am a fan of Doug Braithwaite’s artwork and he’s done a fantastic job within the pages of this book. I liked the overall layout of the pages and there’s the ‘superhero comic signature of double-page spreads and splash panels all over this thing. It’s really nice to see the artist allowed to breathe and do his thing, it makes for some really great work. The coloring from Brian Reber is also really nice in this issue. Everything pops nicely at a tasteful level and the color scheme is nice and mellow so it doesn’t distract from the art too much. Nice.
So, Overall, Bloodshot U.S.A. #1 isn’t a bad book. It’s one of those stories where you can turn your brain off for 20 minutes and flip through it and if you don’t dig too deep, you’ll enjoy it. Obviously I’m not reading other Valiant stuff, and haven’t read all that much in the grand scheme of things, so your opinion may vary from mine. As a Valiant novice, I enjoyed it because it was something different to what I’m used to reading on a monthly basis. If you’re a veteran Valiant reader, you may disregard everything I’ve just said when you read it for yourself. But I did enjoy it and I look forward to the next issue so I can find out what the fuck’s going on and how it will all escalate and maybe top this issue… I guess I’ll have to wait and see what happens next month!
Bloodshot U.S.A #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: Brian Reber
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital