Indie Comic Review: Bloodshot #7 (With Preview)

Bloodshot #7 is a great jumping on point for new readers while still being a satisfying read for people who have been on board all along.  It is a rare comic which manages to delve into the details of previous adventures while still being completely accesible to a new reader.  And, when you are dealing with a character with multiple personalities, implanted false-memories,  a ridiculous healing factor, and a set of abilities far beyond that of mortal men, it is extra impressive!

In the beginning… Bloodshot: Harbinger Hunter! At last – a special origin issue revealing Bloodshot’s hidden history in the Valiant Universe! Recently, the unstoppable, nanite-infused weapon known as Bloodshot was set free by the mysterious Dr. Kureitch, who implied that the two of them shared a past…and many, many secrets. Now, we will finally see how far back their twisted, symbiotic relationship goes. Bloodshot and Dr. K used to be extremely skilled at tracking and slaughtering [REDACTED], and the results of one botched mission in particular now threatens to rock the Valiant Universe to its core… Questions will be answered. Alliances will be betrayed. And body counts will tallied. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – and it’s one that will leave you reeling.

This issue goes back in time to explain the importance of the reveal at the end of the previous issue.  However, if you have not read that issue, fear not, because this issue stands alone.  New readers learn everything they need to know about Bloodshot and the situation he is in.  In addition, this issue lays the foundation for the next arc of Bloodshot as well as the upcoming crossover with Harbinger.

Normally this would be the point where a new reader would throw up their hands in frustration.  A jumping on point that leads into a crossover?  No thanks!  Got that at the Big Two.  Too much baggage.  But here is where it is different.   In just a few pages, writer Duane Swierczynski manages to give new and old readers a stake in the lives of both Bloodshot and the Harbinger kids.  Both of them are being manipulated, both of them are victims of forces beyond their control.  Going forward from here, any crossover between the two titles is going to be a tragedy of  epic proportions.  Bring it on!

Swierczynski’s story does an excellent job of filling in the gaps for long-time readers.  Most importantly, he explains why the mysterious doctor who has been helping Bloodshot defected from Project Rising Sun.  That has been something which has nagged at me from the very beginning, so it is nice to see it addressed in such a convincing manner.

The art by Matthew Clark (a Portlander!) is top notch.  He handles the bloody violence with precision, but saves the real skill for the interactions between Bloodshot and the Harbinger kids.  The look of shock and confusion on Bloodshot’s face through the entire encounter sells the scene.  And, the way he handles the five-year-old psiot is priceless.

For anyone who has ever been curious about Bloodshot, now is the time to check it out.  Bloodshot #7 works as a standalone issue, as a continuation of a larger storyline, and as an introduction to the world of Bloodshot (and things to come).  Be sure to pick up a copy.

Bloodshot #7 is in stores today.

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