Thursday, 8 September 2016

Bloodshot Reborn, Volume 1: Colorado Review (Jeff Lemire, Mico Suayan)


Ray Garrison is a handyman at a Colorado motel, earning his keep by doing oddjobs for the owner. But in the night he’s tormented by horrible memories of murder and has resorted to self-medicating with hard drugs and booze. Ray Garrison isn’t his real name and nor is this one: Bloodshot. But that’s the cat he used to be - a bioengineered super-assassin with nanites in his blood that healed him from any wound!

Following the events of The Valiant (this book is set six months after that book’s ending but you don’t gotta read it if you don’t want to - I wouldn’t, it sucks!), Bloodshot was made human - except the nanites have found other human hosts all of whom are unwittingly being turned into killing machines. Believing he can now control them better than anyone, Ray must track down each of the infected hosts and reabsorb the nanites - Bloodshot will be Reborn! 

Jeff Lemire’s Bloodshot Reborn is surprisingly not terrible! It’s interesting to see what Bloodshot did when he became human especially as Lemire doesn’t give him the rosiest of lives. Ray’s haunted by the memory of Kay the Geomancer and a weird Bat-Mite-esque character called Bloodsquirt and he’s also a hero who kills - the mentally troubled antihero is an appealing one to me, ‘s why I like The Punisher and Moon Knight! 

It’s also a pretty compelling story by turns too with Bloodshot having to stay one step ahead of the cops as he hunts down and kills each of the infected, especially when one of them is holed up in a police station and he has to break in! 

The female characters aren’t great though - the psychic FBI agent’s storyline was a dead end and the girl he saves at the end, Magic, was clingy and annoying. The story’s quite predictable too. You have to wait and watch Ray struggle with the decision to become Bloodshot again even though that’s the whole point of this book so it’s moot, and you also know he’s not gonna have any trouble taking out each of the infected, which he doesn’t. 

The “tormented introspective” angle was a tad melodramatic too. After Ray kills the second infected he says he doesn’t want to kill again and then immediately realises there are five more infected. Does he have a solution to get the nanites out of their blood without killing them? Nope! Stop whining then, you big bloody emo-baby! 

Mico Suayan’s slick, polished art is good as well as very graphic and suitably violent. Raul Allen’s quirky imaginative style on the final issue was a nice change of pace too. 

Bloodshot Reborn, Volume 1: Colorado isn’t as deep or reflective as it thinks its being but it does add some sorely-needed dimension to Bloodshot. It’s not the most gripping read either but it’s also a pretty decent effort given how crummy and braindead Bloodshot comics usually are. Worth checking out if you like your action with a smidge more substance - but only a smidge!

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