July 16, 2024

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Comic Review: Bloodshot Volume 4

Bloodshot fought his way free from Project Rising Spirit...why would he rejoin that organization?

One thing I generally enjoy about the Valiant books I read is a sense of momentum.  These are books that don’t stand in one place very long and don’t maintain much of a status quo.

Why, then, did I not enjoy Volume 4 of the revived Bloodshot series so much?  Subtitled H.A.R.D.Corps, that may be because it both changes the status quo in a way that didn’t sit so well with me and establishes some information that doesn’t seem to square with the superior Bloodshot Reborn.

What went wrong?  Well, in a way, the series took a step backwards.  Bloodshot, up to this point, was  a man searching for his identity while fighting back at his former masters at Project Rising Spirit.  After his capture by Toyo Harada and his Harbinger Foundation at the end of the Harbinger Warswe pick up with Project Rising Spirit sending the revived H.A.R.D.Corps out to retrieve Bloodshot before Harada can crack the secrets of Bloodshot’s nanite-infused blood.  As the nanites were PRS property, they have a stake in the game.  Led by a very reluctant Major Palmer, the H.A.R.D.Corps are a group of men and women given computerized implants to stimulate psiot powers, though these implants will probably lead to early death and Corpsmen can only use one power at a time.  That and their missions have a high fatality rate.

Besides, going after one of the most powerful psiots on the planet in the form of Harada is almost certainly suicide, and trying to protect his people is the only reason Palmer goes along on any of this.

The biggest problem for me is the change of direction means that, despite his name in the title, changing the book to Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D.Corps means less of Bloodshot and more of the H.A.R.D.Corps.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Bloodshot tends to overshadow these guys, and what little we can see of the group so far doesn’t exactly make for too many stand-out characters aside from Palmer.  That Bloodshot agrees to work for Project Rising Spirit as the Corps’ new leader is a bit of a surprise, especially to the nanite personality in Bloodshot’s system.  As for Bloodshot himself, he gets some answers, though the reader does not, and a special “zero” issue reprinted gives more of his backstory, like showing his original face and the surprisingly long history of the Bloodshot project.  Still no names though.

Writer Joshua Dysart was joined by Christos Gage for this volume.  I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t work as well for me as it used to.  Seven and a half freaky medbots out of ten.