So I’d like to welcome Valiant Comics to the Comic of the Week. You guys should have been here sooner! Valiant Comics launched back in the summer and have released quality book after quality book and one of the things I admire Valiant for doing is taking a risk. They’ve not shoved 18 issue number 1’s with 75 variant covers in one month down our throats, nope they used a very clever business plan and released one comic at a time. Now I’m not one to guess at anyones financial situation but I would imagine first year in and they can’t be making a profit. Rarely any business makes a profit in the first two years and rather than for the sake of making a quick buck they’ve been putting their product and the readers first. Which is something that comes across very much so in Bloodshot #6.
I’ve tried reading Punisher stories over the years and Bloodshot reminds me greatly of the Punisher but he’s never held my attention for longer than a story arc or two and to be honest many characters that just run around and shoot places up every issue bore me after a while. This might be that I’ve not read the right Punisher story yet and this title since issue one I’ve felt waver slightly towards just being a shoot ’em type comics but I’d decided to buy into the Valiant franchise and stick with them all and kept with it. Last issue turned things on its head and save the action to a minimum and concentrated on the backstory of Kara Murphy and introduced a new development in Bloodshots “abilities” by the manifestation of nanites in the form a “kid” which I think adds a level of cool to this book which plays out more throughout issue six. Issue five made me more infested in the characters especially the supporting cast by the end of the issue which ends with Kara, and Melissa/Pulse having been captured by Project Rising Spirit.
Now issue 6 kicks off with Bloodshot facing off against some ugly mo-fos in Project Rising Spirits base, I’m not much of a gamer nowadays but even I could appreciate how much this issue felt like playing Metal Gear Solid on the PS2 many moons ago. Duane Swiercynski’s writing made me feel like I was reading Solid Snake and Otacon bantering through the corridors only with less stealth and more action. Bloodshot literally goes from level to level whilst “The Kid” tries to hack into the communications system and simultaneously is helping Kara and while Kara and Bloodshot provide the action Melissa faces demons from her past. The issue delivers in story, pacing and adventure. If you’ve not added Bloodshot to the buy pile then I can say you’ve made mistake there. Don’t miss out on this one as Bloodshot is heading into the first company crossover for Valiant Comics with Harbinger in the Harbinger Wars.
All in all Duane Swiercynski writes one of the best action comic series on the shelf right now and has managed to build intrigue and character into what could have easily been another guns and girls book. You’ve also got to admire the artwork of Manuel Garcia who along with colourist Ian Hannin have brought the action to life with some incredibly detailed scenes. Bloodshot took a serious beating this issue with at least fifteen bullets hitting him at once, ripping through his body which was handled beautifully by the art team.
Join me for issue #7 on January 16th, 2013 for Bloodshots origin story.