When I was younger, about 10 years old, I wanted to read comics, but there weren’t any comic stores around where I lived. One day I’m at a gas station and I see a pack of comics for a $1.50. It came with two random books and a baseball card, you know, bodega type stuff. One of those comics however, was Bloodshot, by Valiant Comics. Now of course, I was too young to understand the maturity of this comic, or even what to think after reading it. But what I did understand, was that whoever Bloodshot was, he was badass. Founded by former Marvel Comics writers/editors Jim Shooter and Bob Layton, Valiant ceased activity in 2004 after being sold to Acclaim Entertainment, only to make a hell of a comeback in 2012 with four new ongoing titles as part of their “Summer of Valiant”, and also winning Publisher Of The Year. One of the hit books from Valiants successful return, is the all new Bloodshot, written by Duane Swierczynski with pencils by Barry Kitson.
The book starts off with a flashback. We see Emmanuel Kuretich talking to a shut down Bloodshot. He promises him that he will return for him and free him from the programming that forces him to hunt down super powered children for testing. Then the book flash forwards to the Now, and Kuretich is telling a disembodied Bloodshot that he’s “actually keeping his promise”, and pushes him into an industrial meat grinder. Now for someone who hasn’t read any Bloodshot nor the first eleven issues, I was easily captivated by the first three pages of this book. I had to know what was going to happen next. I’ve always been drawn to the independents and other comic companies other than DC or Marvel, and this book is precisely why. Duane Swierczynski’s writing is amazing, and even though the action was a bit dumbed down due to storytelling, It managed to keep my eyes glued to the book because I was so interested in the relationship they were explaining between Emmanuel Kuretich and Bloodshot, and the group of super powered children Bloodshot is protecting. And if your a fan of gore, you’ll get your fill in this issue, which brings me to Barry Kitsons fantastic art.
Now for about half of this book, Bloodshot is disembodied or mangled in some way, bloodied and missing chunks of flesh, and it’s pulled off beautifully by Barry Kitson’s pencils and Stefano Gaudiano’s inks. There’s a couple of pages where Bloodshot is being cut the hell up by some chainsaws and its some of the best looking gore in any book I’ve read so far. If The Walking Dead was in color, you’d get Bloodshot #12. Now though the backgrounds may be lacking a bit, doesn’t take away from the foreground art that shines and brings the characters to life in this issue.
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