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Warren Simons on Bloodshot Reborn and Reinventing a 90’s Icon

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In the wake of the premiere event series The Valiant came this week’s Bloodshot Reborn #1. The storyline published by Valiant comics gave Bloodshot an entirely new status quota that see’s the character questioning his own humanity. The series with art from Mico Suayan and writing from Jeff Lemire chronicled the complicated new mindset on Bloodshot. Within the issue, the anti-hero finds himself in the sparse new environment of Colorado trying to find some peace after being manipulated by Project Rising Spirit.

We reviewed the first issue, and thought that “Valiant seems closer than ever to reimagining the concept for one of their greatest and most beloved superheroes towards sheer delight with the power of Jeff Lemire, Mico Suayan, and some clever ideas.”

Comics Beat sat down with Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons to get some added perspective on the series that debuted this past Wednesday.

Comics Beat: From other interviews, author Jeff Lemire cited that he had something massive in mind for Bloodshot after The Valiant ends. Could you tease anything about that revelation without spoilers?

Simons: We’re going to take Bloodshot in a direction he’s never gone before. I think many people will be surprised by that, but I also think if you look at the world outside your window, it’s a natural evolution of the character, especially taking into account what he’s experienced. The close of The Valiant #4 plays an important role in that, but isn’t a precursor to reading or enjoying Bloodshot: Reborn.

CB: What new threats do the mysterious doppelgängers add to Bloodshot’s world?

Simons: The threat is not always directly toward Bloodshot, which in some ways is more of a challenge for the character.

CB: Can you key us in on Bloodshot’s new mental state when the first issue begins?

Simons: He’s definitely seen better days. When he was a soldier controlled by the paramilitary group Project Rising Spirit, he was forced to do atrocious things against his will, and he’s haunted by that past. Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan have taken the book in a new, unexpected direction, but there are a few of the great core components in there that Kevin Vanhook and Don Perlin tapped into with the original incarnation.

CB: How does Jeff Lemire blend his art style with the captivating work of Mico Suayan?

Simons: As the editor of the title, I’m very happy to have incredible talents like Jeff, Mico, and David Baron here. The book is beautiful.

CB: Does the relationship between Kay McHenry and Bloodshot continue to evolve from The Valiant?

Simons: Yes, but not in a way that you’ll probably see coming. That’s the most I can say without spoiling anything.

CB: Can you tell us how the theme of identity plays a role in this comic?

Simons: I think it’s part of the core of who Bloodshot is, tracking back to the 90s. Once upon a time he was not a very nice guy, and he’s no longer that person, but his past actions still haunt him.

CB: How does Bloodshot as a 90’s legacy character continue peak your interest? What does he offer towards newer readers?

Simons: As with many of the Valiant characters, there’s an origin or high concept that’s very compelling, which is why these characters are beloved to this day. Those key elements are still there, and they drive the character to this day.

CB: How is Jeff and the rest of team Bloodshot Reborn building off of the previous run of the title?

Simons: Duane Swierczynski, Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart, and the entire Bloodshot team did a fantastic job of establishing the character in the Valiant Universe. As we’ve seen in events like Harbinger Wars and Armor Hunters, he is a very integral part of this world. Bloodshot Reborn is about the next evolution of the character.

CB: Do you have a long term goal in mind for the series? I understand that Jeff was crafting the book before The Valiant began?

Simons: Jeff’s been constructing his vision for Bloodshot Reborn for some time. In fact he’s already turned in over 12 issues of scripts as his story continues to develop. We’re very exciting about the things to come.

CB: Thanks for your time.

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