Bloodshot Salvation #1
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Lewis LaRosa, Mico Suayan, and Brian Reber
Published by: Valiant Comics

Unfortunately this isn’t going to be much of a review.  Bloodshot Salvation #1 is out in a couple months but advance copies were given out to reviewers so the hype can start to build.  I love Valiant and between their recent production of comics like X-O Manowar, Harbinger Renegade, Faith & the Future Force, Rapture, and the recently insanely good Savage they have been on one hell of a hot streak.

But Bloodshot Salvation #1?  Man this book was not for me.  I’m not sure why the character is not appealing – I can’t figure it out.  I love Bloodshot.  Loved the original Valiant stuff.  Loved the Duane Swierczynski relaunch stuff.  But I’m just not feeling Salvation.  Just a couple weeks ago I tried to read the Bloodshot’s Day Off one-shot and I disliked it so much I didn’t even have an interest in reviewing it.  I guess the old adage, “You can’t win them all” is quite applicable here.

The story in issue one is two-fold.  It is one part Bloodshot with his gal and kid living the life.  Bloodshot ends up learning some stuff he didn’t know about chickie and is ready to go out to murder everyone.  But it seems like wifey has sidelined Bloodshot.  He can’t be Bloodshot anymore now that he is home mowing the grass and watching Wonder Pets with the kid.  When he gets angry he hulks into his Bloodshot form but then quickly turns back into looking human.  The other part is a nanite-filled Bloodshot daughter kid and her mother being hunted by a bunch of dudes who I’m sure want to turn her into a weapon or use her or whatever.  It is usually a Valiant motif that if you have superpowers in the VU you are probably going to be hunted down.

I get the kid getting the powers thing.  From Tom DeFalco’s Spider-Girl (damn I loved that book) to X-23 there is usually some push to pass on the powers of a hero to some kid to keep the adventures going while feeling fresh.  I usually say it is because there can be a loss of good storytelling in characters that are 40-50 years old.  While Bloodshot is now 25 years old let’s be honest – the amount of Bloodshot comics in the past 25 years does not reach the same input as the Spider-Man comics produced within a  25 year time frame.  But whatever – for me it doesn’t really matter.  Writers are going to write the stories that are interesting to them (once those stories are approved by the EIC and the higher-ups).  But Baby Bloodshot didn’t interest me in this book.  The comic itself could barely keep my attention.  Maybe it just starts slow.  Maybe by issue 2 Bloodshot is ready for action and Baby Bloodshot goes buckwild.  The problem here is I honestly don’t know if I’ll be there for issue 2 to even find out.  I get that single issues no longer are trying to tell a story – Lemire is trying to present an overall arc over multiple issues (which is standard in comics today).  But I think there’s a huge difference between the X-O Manowar relaunch (which was really interesting) and Bloodshot Salvation (which was really boring sans the very last page).

The great thing about this comic is the artistic team of Lewis LaRosa, Mico Suayan, and Brian Reber.  My god this book is gorgeous.  GORGEOUS.  The artwork could be considered the saving grace of Bloodshot Salvation and it really knocks it right out of the park.  You truly can’t find a better looking comic book than this one.  It’ll blow you away.  So there’s the upside.

Except for the very last page of this book I was bored.  I’m not even sure what else I really have to say.  Really I just want to go and read Faith and the Future Force #1 again.  Valiant is smart to get Bloodshot back in the public eye as the character does have a movie coming soon.  But I hope the flick has a bit more umph than this book.  If the flick starts with Bloodshot building a treehouse in suburbia or something I may start licking gummy bears and throwing them at the film screen.

RANK: C-