Bloodshot #8 and #9 Review
Bloodshot issues #8 and #9 don’t feature much action, but at least the story is coming together.
My first introduction to Valiant Comics’ Bloodshot was in issue #7. While that issue left me feeling a bit indifferent towards the comic, I feel as though it may have been a bad entry point. After reading through issues 9 and 10, I feel that I have a better understanding of the character. I’ve also been sent Bloodshot Volume 1: Setting The World On Fire TPB, which compiles the first four issues of the series, and I’ll have a review for that soon as well.
In issue 8 of Bloodshot, our protagonist is on the hunt for Project Rising Sun’s secret base, where he hopes to find an array of super computers that will inform him of his true identity. Up to this point, he’s been a pawn of the government’s program, which experiments on humans- infusing them with superhuman powers and sending them on black op missions around the world. Bloodshot was their finest creation yet; implanted with false memories on each new mission to help drive him towards his goal. Finally free of the program’s shackles, he aims to right the wrongs he’s done as the government’s puppet and take down Project Rising Sun.
With the help of EMT Kara Murphy and a refuge from PRS named Pulse, Bloodshot finds his way into the secret lab, but instead of finding computers, he discovers a group of children (who he himself helped round up) being experimented on. Obviously, these kids are none too happy to see him, and in this issue Bloodshot needs to deal with them as well as the PRS defense force known as CHAINSAW.
One such member of this defense force is a new character who can only be described as a gigantic old fat lady. Yes, it’s about as ridiculous as it sounds, and though she apparently has some sort of powers, it was a bit tough to take her seriously when she’s threatening Pulse’s character- much less the indestructible Bloodshot.
There was a bit of of a dramatic moment when Kara Murphy snuck up on a cyborg guard who was watching over the children. She tore him apart and threatened to end his life if she didn’t help him and Bloodshot. He then basically pleaded with her to kill him, as he’s an unwilling participant of the program. He claims he was a soldier- heavily injured in Iraq, and forced to undergo experiments for his family to continue to receive full benefits. But honestly, who knows if that’s true- or if he was just trying to get her to drop her guard, or if these are once again false implanted memories. He kept telling Kara that releasing the children would bring about the end of the world, but it seems like these kids are just innocent, unwilling experiments. Hard to say if the events they’ve endured will drive them over to the dark side. They already hate Bloodshot with a passion, that’s for sure.
The narrative for this comic seems a bit disjointed and murky at this point. The basic premise is still strong, and I’m definitely interested to find out who Bloodshot really is. That said, this issue didn’t seem to really drive the narrative forward. There was an anticlimactic “battle” with some PRS thugs where Bloodshot’s nanomachine AI simply disabled their cybernetics, leaving them like paralyzed fish in a barrel. There was, however, an awesome shot of Bloodshot ripping a dude’s head and spine from his body a la Mortal Kombat (which artist Manuel Garcia fleshed out in great detail). That said, he’s no closer to finding out his identity or the man behind all of this. And the kids still hate him.
Okay. Just finished this issue. This one definitely moved the story forward. It’s revealed that Dr. Kuretich is not helping Bloodshot, but rather still working with Project Rising Sun. I’m assuming that this is why Kuretich told Bloodshot that he would find his true identity in the secret base from last issue, when it was really just the Nursery with the psiotic kids. He was hoping they’d tear him apart, but in this issue the children finally understand that Bloodshot is trying to help them escape, and ally with him to take down Gamma, a.k.a. Old Librarian Hulk.
Kate helps free Melissa (also known as Pulse) from captivity, but she’s badly injured from a previous encounter with Gamma. She sacrifices her life trying to help Bloodshot and the kids take down Gamma, but before she dies she tells Bloodshot that he must take care of the children now. She sees more inside of him than just a cold-blooded killer.
There were some pretty cool gore gags this issue. While fighting Gamma, Bloodshot tells his AI to repair his body, but it apparently requires protein in order to do so. Since he had none left, his nanomachines broke down all the muscle tissue in his left arm to repair the damaged tissue. So he fought Gamma with a creepy skeleton arm hanging onto his body. Disturbing. I guess Wolvie and Deadpool don’t require such things for regeneration.
The second came when the psiotic kids broke into Gamma’s mind, and made her plunge her fingers through her eye sockets into her brain. I get the feeling that Valiant’s artists and writers are going to try and out-gross themselves with every issue. At least that’s the end of this weird super-Grandma character. That was pretty bad.
I have to agree with some other reviewers that the cover of issue number nine (featuring Bloodshot wasting dudes with duel-wielded submachine guns) is pretty misleading. That’s not what we get in this issue at all. But at least it’s a good issue for characterization, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see that cover brought to life next issue.