Bloodshot ValiantBloodshot #1

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Brett Booth
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: Valiant

Mercenaries steal things and threaten people everyday, but individuals in the real world don’t have Bloodshot there to protect them. Half superhero and half technological-boogeyman, Bloodshot is back in a new comic book series that sees the rampaging hero do everything in his power to ensure that society’s most vulnerable individuals aren’t being abused by corrupt figures.

With books like G.I. Joe and Injustice vs He-Man and the Masters of the Universe under his belt, writer Tim Seeley is a great choice to oversee Bloodshot’s explosive, militaristic madness. It’s in the construction and orchestration of this madness that Seeley’s work really shines. The battlefield may seem chaotic from an outside perspective, but the writer has a good handle on how to make sure the story is constantly moving forward while the action continuously intensifies. Unfortunately, the biggest issue writing-wise is probably the titular hero’s somewhat clunky dialogue. Yes, the character is half-man, half-machine, so it’s understandable that he’s not always going to be uttering off remarkable one-liners, but Bloodshot verbally comes across as more of a cocky S.O.B. than someone who is actually trying to improve people’s lives.

Brett Booth’s slick pencils add a nice sense of energy to every page. Even though there is so much action shoved into panel, nothing ever seems unclear or confusing despite all the chaos; in fact, it’s pretty easy to watch the action unfold from one image to the next or follow a character’s eye-line straight to the next image. The unique page layouts, with Bloodshot often standing atop jagged panels as he takes on his opponents, feels like an extension of the book’s anarchich, zany heart. In many ways, Bloodshot is the ultimate ’90s comic creation, and Booth’s line work and ability to draw massive explosions in an interesting way is the perfect match for the destructive character and balls-to-the-wall era he originated in. Draped in blues and oranges, Andrew Dalhouse does a great job bringing an extra sense of urgency or serenity to each page with his colors.

Part of what makes the Valiant line of comics so compelling is the universe itself. While previous Bloodshot volumes and takes on the character are alluded to, the issue takes place somewhat separate from the larger Valiant Universe. Despite the issue’s sense of isolation as Bloodshot operates in Yemen, the inclusion of the American President and G7 alludes to a global story building in the background that will likely lead the series to include other recognizable Valiant faces in the coming months.

If action-packed, bloody romps are what you look for in a comic book, then Bloodshot #1 is certainly for you. The first issue is currently slated to drop on September 25 with issue #2 following on October 30. It’s not the most compelling take on Bloodshot, but with Vin Diesel bringing him to the big-screen next year, this is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the character before his comics become a hot commodity.

Final order cut-off for Bloodshot #1 is Monday, September 2 (Diamond Code JUL192282).