Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Mico Suayan
Release Date: 28th September 2016
Part four of Bloodshot Island feels like the story I’ve been waiting for. In every Bloodshot arc by Jeff so far there has been one standout issue that gets you truly pumped up. This is such an issue.
It’s all hands on deck as Ray tries to save Kay from what PRS has planned for her, but how can he convince this perfect killing machine to change what it has been programmed into her to do? That is the dilemma we get to watch through the actions of Ray, and in a somewhat meta twist, via Kozol’s command centre viewing all the action.
This dual viewing – if I can call it that – is what gets you so pumped. With Ray we get the desperate action as he tussles with Deathmate while trying to reach out to Kay, an old friend who he believes is locked inside somewhere. In the PRS command centre Kozol is lording it over the captured former Detective Festival as they watch Ray take a beating. There are some twists and turns here that will both have your heart in your stomach as you sympathise with Kozol’s captures or the inevitability of what Ray must do, and have you pumping the air hoping the day has been saved.
With Jeff turning the story up to 11, Mico Suyan simply refuses to be outdone. This issue is his best to date, combining intelligent framing alongside stunning artwork. The action panels are almost visceral as Ray takes one hell of a beating while trying to save Kay, all this punctuated with some big sound-bites for an emphasis that almost makes you feel each hit. On the flip side of this, the emotion on the face of Kozol’s prisoners as they watch in horror is just brilliant; meanwhile the ever egomaniacal Kozol impassionedly looks on. All of this is fabulously coloured by David Baron, this issue really is the pick of the bunch.
Plus, the lead in to the conclusion … oh my God it’s incredible.
Bloodshot Island – while undeniably good – has been a little bit of a slow burner for me, but issue 17 is explosive and larger than life. This is the epitome of Legacy Bloodshot meets Bloodshot Reborn. Worlds are colliding here in a most satisfactory way. New and old fans will lap this up, and the premise of Bloodshot USA, well, that’s just going to be fanboy heaven.
PREVIEW ARTWORK AND VARIANT COVER GALLERY
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The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @Jockdoom.