“A Valiant Read” is a regular column in which we highlight some of the best jumping-on points for the Valiant Universe. Find out more.
A Valiant Read is back for a second edition! This time around we’ll be going deep into Bloodshot Volume 1: Setting The World On Fire. Written by Duane Swierczynski (Cable, Judge Dredd) and art by Manuel Garcia (Aquaman, Black Widow) and Arturo Lozzi (Ghost Rider, Immortal Iron Fist), this collection introduces us to the first four issues of the 2012 Bloodshot series.
If you’re interested in Bloodshot due to the movie starring Vin Diesel then this is a fantastic place to start reading the character. After reading this you’ll know everything you need to know to dive on into the action.
Who is Bloodshot?
In a way, Bloodshot has a lot of similarities with Wolverine. He’s a man with incredible abilities, with a past that is mysterious to him as it is sketchy.
Bloodshot was a tool of a shady government agency known as Project Rising Spirit, who manipulated him into doing their dirty work for him. This included dangerous covert missions and taking care of the government’s messy mistakes.
But Bloodshot is not simply a pasty guy with guns. He can do almost anything thanks to the billions of nanites that are flowing through his bloodstream. These allow him to almost do anything, and some of the abilities we see early on include:
- Rapid healing on the scales of Wolverine and Deadpool
- Enhanced speed
- Enhanced strength
- Enhanced reaction time
- Radiowave communications
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what these nanites can do. Although, there are limitations to what they can achieve if they don’t have the proper sustenance.
Written by Duane Swierczynski. Pencilled by Manuel Garci and Arturo Lozzi. Inked by Stefano Gaudiano and Matt Ryan. Coloured by Ian Hannin and Moose Baumann. Lettered by Rob Steen.
Bloodshot has operated hundreds of missions, going through endless cycles of his memories being reset to make him subservient to the shady government agency that controls him. Although, the cycle is broken when an ex-member of the organisation sabotages one of Bloodshot’s missions. Bloodshot now realises what has been happening to him and now is looking for answers to his muddled past.
This debut volume hits the ground running and drops readers right into the action. Unlike X-O Manowar Volume 1, this volume is not origin story and more of an introduction to characters and concepts that already exist and a teeing up for what’s to come.
Bloodshot Vol 1 implements duel artists, Manuel Garci and Arturo Lozzi, to tell different phases in the story. Garci focuses on the present day, with solid line work that shows that clarity of the present day. Lozzi, on the other hand, uses a softer approach which reflects Bloodshot’s flashbacks and false memories. These two artists complement each other while giving enough contrast to events playing out.
The pair also implement interesting storytelling mechanics through these four issues. Some of these that comes to mind is the use of the first-person perspective, which are signified by the panels with white borders, a visual motif to show voices travelling over radio waves, and inset boxes that show various parts of Bloodshot rapidly healing simultaneously. The application these storytelling queues lifts Bloodshot above your standard comic and to signify readers what is going on in a show not tell manner.
If the movie has inspired you to read Bloodshot comics then this is a great trade paperback to pick up and read. It’s a solid introduction to his corner of the Valiant Universe, introducing you to the characters, concepts, and the series mission statement while opening it up to future stories down the line.
A Valiant Track
Every edition, I pick a tune that matches the energy of the comic that is featured. For Bloodshot I have chosen London Chase by composer Steve Jablonsky.
Is having a track from the movie soundtrack cheating? I don’t know. But this track is high octane and full of energy which is certainly what a lot of Bloodshot is all about.
Do you know of any other songs which would suit this volume of Bloodshot? Sound off in the comments below.
The V Awards
That’s Gotta Hurt Award
From being blown up, shot, to car accidents, and more, Bloodshot takes a lot of pain throughout these four issues. It’s very lucky that he has those nanites to put him back together!
The Parental Nightmare Award
Winner: The opening sequence of issue 2
Without spoiling anything, this sequence has a shock ending that many parents will find terrifying and will make them rethink about where they play football with their children.
Bloodshot Volume 2: The Rise and the Fall
Written by Duane Swierczynski. Art by Manuel Garcia, Arturo Lozzi, and Matthew Clark.
Collects: Bloodshot #5-9.
Bloodshot Volume 3: Harbinger Wars
Written by Duane Swierczynski. Art by Barry Kitson.
Collects: Bloodshot #10-13.
Check out a reading order for the full Harbinger Wars event.
Bloodshot Volume 4: H.A.R.D. Corps
Written by Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart, and Matt Kindt. Art by Emanuela Lupacchino and ChrisCross.
Collects: Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14-17.
Bloodshot Volume 5: Get Some!
Written by Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart, and Duffy Boudreau. Art by Bart Sears, ChrisCross, and Al Barrionuevo.
Collects: Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #18-19, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #0, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #22-23.
Bloodshot Volume 6: The Glitch and Other Tales
Written by Peter Milligan, B. Clay Moore, Howard Chaykin, Duane Swierczynski, Duffy Boudreau, Others. Art by Lewis LaRosa, Will Rosado, Howard Chaykin, Manuel Garcia, Al Barrionuevo, Rafer Roberts, Others.
Collects: Bloodshot #24-25.
Need even more Bloodshot in your life? Check out the full reading order.
Join me in two weeks when I explore the first volume of Harbinger!