July 16, 2024

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(Off To The Side) Bento Review: Bloodshot Volume One

A supersoldier learns he's been lied to on many, many levels in this Valiant series.

I really enjoy the Valiant stuff Comic Bento sends me from time to time, and the all-Valiant box has been a ton of fun, but I do feel like a lack of knowledge of the company’s various characters has hurt my reading experience.

As such, I decided to check out the first Bloodshot trade before jumping into The Harbinger Wars that Comic Bento sent me.


So, who is Bloodshot?  Well, even he doesn’t know.  Presumably someone does, but he doesn’t.

When we first meet the guy, it appears that his name is Ray Garrison.  He’s a super soldier sent in to do impossible missions by himself.  Married with two kids, he agrees to go on such a mission one last time to rescue a man held prisoner by terrorist-types since the man in question is a friend of his and Ray owes the guy his life.

None of that is true.

See, as Bloodshot, “Ray” has some powers.  His blood is flowing with nanites that grant him different abilities.  He can regenerate from almost any injury.  He’s faster and stronger than a normal human could be.  He can do nifty stuff with technology.  He can even toss up some camouflage and look like someone else if need be.  But he doesn’t work for the military.  He works for Project Rising Spirit, the same organization causing problems for the different characters over in Harbinger.  His normal appearance is as a white-skinned man with blood red eyes and a large, blood red circle on his chest.  One of the covers says that Bloodshot’s injuries don’t go away but simply take the form of scars, and he gets hurt.  A lot.  Presumably, someone shot him in the chest at some point.

The first issue in the trade comes to a head when it is revealed the “terrorists” aren’t foreign nationals, but a rogue scientist who used to work for Rising Spirit.  He manages to show Bloodshot that not only is his life as Ray not real, but Ray isn’t the only false identity that he has!

Yes, he has multiple names and families.  None of the families exist outside his own head.  He gets turned around based on what identity Rising Spirit needs for any given mission, and he sees what they want him to see.

Well, not anymore.

Coming across as a weird cross between Wolverine and Deathlok, Bloodshot was fine.  He’s supposedly going to be the first of some big screen adaptations for a Valiant cinematic universe, and he works as a simple enough introductory character.  As with all Valiant trades, this one (subtitled “Setting the World on Fire”) seems far too short but does a good enough job of introducing the character and his enemies and allies.  What role he’ll play in the various superhuman wars that are coming are entirely up to him now.  I’m giving this one eight out of ten Gray Goo Scenarios.

NEXT BOOK:  Well, it’s back to what Comic Bento sent me with the Harbinger Wars, a three way battle between the Harbinger Corporation, the Renegades, and Bloodshot for the fates of a group of very young super humans.