Showing posts with label David Baron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Baron. Show all posts

Bloodshot Reborn #1 review

When you think of Bloodshot, what immediately comes to mind? Over-the-top violence? Pale skin with red eyes and a red circle on the chest? Even more vicious violence? Jeff Lemire tells you what he thinks about Bloodshot right in the opening (while also providing some exposition for new readers) and then spends the rest of the issue completely redefining the character. So yeah, you can bet the title of this series is pretty literal.
If you were brainwashed by a shady organization and used as their hitman for God knows how many years, how would you feel if you were finally free from their control and that life of violence? And what if your final mission ended with a tragedy? Would you bury those feelings deep down inside of you as you embrace your freedom and see what it's like to finally live like an ordinary person? Or would the weight of your previous actions crush you? After all, it's unclear just how many lives you've taken. With Bloodshot, Jeff Lemire makes it clear we're dealing with a guy who is being eaten alive by his past and understandably so. The character isn't sight-seeing or frolicking in a field, he's laying low and simply surviving as his former life slowly tears away at him. This is Bloodshot like you've never seen him before (well, post-reboot; no idea about in the past) and it's a really gripping and emotionally powerful approach to the character. You go in expecting bloodshed, bullets and brutal madness as Bloodshot embarks on his next mission, and instead we get a comic that's 99.9% character-driven -- one that can be appreciated by new and pre-existing fans. There's a tiny amount of commentary in here about violence and gun control, but the primary focus is making us feel for this damaged guy.

Bloodshot's in a rough place and it is a dark book, yet it isn't overly depressing. Lemire finds a way to make Bloodshot's low point both entertaining and insightful. You'll get more out of it if you've been following the character over the past few years, but the handling of the character study is so well executed that I'm sure new readers will still establish an emotional connection to the dude and finish the comic with a strong desire to read even more.
Lemire's script pulls you right into Bloodshot's world, and artist Mico Suayan and colorist David Baron do a beyond excellent job making sure everything looks great. When you're dealing with Bloodshot, you don't want bright and energetic visuals. These two perfectly understand the tone Lemire's going for and the end result are some gritty pages that are full of great, expressive character work and a commendable amount of attention is given to each and every location. (Minor gripe: I noticed the video game had the same moment in multiple panels, so I'll just assume the kid paused it?) Early on, there's one page that allows Baron to steal the spotlight as the layout calls for attention-grabbing shades of red. It's easily the most striking page in the comic. And don't worry, the opening gives you all of the twisted violence you'd want from a Bloodshot story before taking a more compelling and emotional turn. Oh, and comic readers know Lemire is also an artist and he provides a little bit of character work in this one. I know you're probably thinking Lemire's style is drastically different than Suayan's, but trust me, they make it work.

Bloodshot Reborn is taking a smart and entertaining approach to the character that you think you know so well. Lemire's opening chapter makes sure it quickly catches up new readers and then delves deep into who this Valiant character really is and why he's not as one-dimensional as some may think. There's only a loose teaser about the bigger picture, but that's not exactly a bad thing when there's such a terrific focus on humanizing this killing machine. Throw in Suayan and Baron's amazing pages and yeah, this is a comic that earns your $3.99 and then some. When you go into this, you're only getting a small sample of the Bloodshot you've come to know. If you want savage mayhem, there's plenty of Bloodshot collections you can pick up and enjoy. But if you're looking for something different with the character, this one's definitely for you. It looks like Valiant has yet another awesome series for us and I can't say I'm even remotely surprised. The publisher's doing a great job focusing on quality over quantity.

Bloodshot Reborn #1 goes on sale April 15.