Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Mico Suayan and Lewis LaRosa
Release Date: 25th October 2017
After a brilliant first issue, Bloodshot Salvation continues with an issue of, basically, a lot of exposition. Sometimes you just need to get it out of the way, and while that is not always bad, this episode does feel a little bit like ‘here is what you have to know to move forward.’
I don’t know, there’s just something about part of this story that doesn’t work for me. Specifically, the fact that Ray leaves his family (against Magic’s wishes), to take on Daddy. I get that it had to happen, and it was brilliantly led into in the first episode, but in this issue Ray just ups and leaves. It all seems a bit too easy for me, and a little disappointing or underdeveloped. Ray just alludes to a few more calls from Daddy and then leaves his family to sort it out. It doesn’t seem like an urgent enough problem for that action, and I’m finding it a little hard to get past that apparent contradiction.
I’m more interested in the mysterious burned man on the farm, and the freaky guy in his basement (who I’m betting becomes Rampage). Who is he, and what’s his link to PRS? Bloodshot Squad get a timely re-introduction (though minus one member) as Rampage is temporarily benched and Ray finally gets a face-to-face with Daddy. Like I’ve said, this issue seems mainly to be doing the grunt work of the story and that’s okay, if a little underwhelming. The one thing I love is how Jeff is writing Bloodshot Jessie. The idea of a Bloodshot entity, and all the power that carries, embodied in this innocent little girl kind of blew my mind. I think she’s fantastic and immediately on her way to becoming a favourite.
Mico Suayan, Lewis LaRosa and Brian Reber. That’s your art critique right there. They are my Valiant dream team, and if you’ve been following them on Twitter you’ll already have an idea of how good the art is in this issue. Mico tweeted a preview and Lewis re-tweeted how good it is. Let’s be honest, it’s not good, it’s great. Between Mico’s hyper-detailed action shots and Lewis’ fantastic panels from Bloodhound’s perspective, both caressed in Brian’s deft colour work, Bloodshot Salvation is a visual treat.
So yeah, there are a few positives and a few negatives in this outing, but it’s not a deal breaker. Sometimes the legwork is needed to move the story forward, and I think that is exactly what is happening here. We have months and years to cover in the gap between Bloodshot USA and Salvation, so it’s understandable. This issue gives us context, let’s see what develops from here.
The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @Jockdoom.