Review - Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 (@ValiantComics)

"'s time to get made."

Whenever a new character is introduced there's generally some form of an origin story that gives the reader something to latch onto. Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 from Valiant Comics upends that notion. The issue is written by Kevin Grevioux, illustrated by Ken Lashley, finished by Ryan Winn (with Brian Thies and Oliver Borges), colored by Diego Rodriguez and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Before a weapon is deployed in battle, it must be designed, refined, field-tested. Bloodshot was no exception. In the early days of the private military contractor Project Rising Spirit, the nanite-infused super-soldier who would one day become their most violent and valuable asset was a resource to be mined - and it was up to one enterprising employee to ensure he did what he was told. But memory is a tricky thing...and the man Bloodshot used to be won't let go of his past so easily.

Full credit to Grevioux (as well as Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler) for crafting an origin story that's not really an origin story. Grevioux delves right into showing off what makes Bloodshot such a ruthless weapon, but he also manages to work in other aspects of his backstory to fill out his current situation. Bloodshot's origin has largely been established to this point and it's an interesting proposition for Grevioux to essentially tell the reader that everything they know might not have been real to begin with. It's always dangerous to mess with history, but somehow Grevioux does it in a way that doesn't necessarily feel like the character is being retconned. There's something to admire about the sheer simplicity of the tale as Grevioux refuses to let the issue get bogged down in hyperbole; instead, he just gets to the core of the character.

Lashley's pencils are very sharp, showing off Bloodshot as he physically progresses through his training and nanite augmentation. All the characters in the issue show some angularity that gives them all something of a blocky feel. And Lashley handles the action sequences very well, effectively demonstrating Bloodshot destroying all obstacles thrown his way when it comes to training. All that being said, there is something of an inconsistency in the artwork in that it feels a little more comic book than maybe the story would dictate. The colors by Rodriguez are largely muted throughout the issue, but effective at demonstrating the bang of bullets and blood from opponents.

Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 is a bold issue that plays something of a dangerous game with a well-established character. Readers know who Bloodshot is and where he comes from, yet the issue seeks to toy with that notion of permanence with the possibility of something different. Grevioux pens a script that is very straightforward in its presentation, attempting to subvert the truth when it comes to one of Valiant's marquis characters. The art style feels very appropriate considering the characters involved with Lashley infusing an edginess to the book through his sharp, angular art. Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 is an interesting read if for nothing else to see what the new creative team have in store for the character going forward.

Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 is available now.