Comic Book Review: Bloodshot Reborn #16
Bloodshot: Reborn #15 proved that Bloodshot Island has a lot to offer when there is so much more to this than simply living, dying, and coming back the next day. We were hit with the biggest twist you could imagine finding out who Deathmate is. We all had it in the back of our heads that something unfortunate was awaiting Bloodshot, yet what you couldn’t have prepared yourself for was Deathmate turning out to be Kay. That opens up all kinds of wounds for both Bloodshot and us after the events of The Valiant. And more than anything we jump into Bloodshot Reborn #16 again questioning how in the realm of possibilities could this very person become the most lethal threat to a whole squad of Bloodshots.
The way Bloodshot Reborn #16 began said a lot about what we can truly expect from Bloodshot Island. One thing we didn’t get too much of is Kozol since this story arc began. It was somewhat of a build up till we could see who was running things behind the scenes. Getting into his mindset creating Deathmate was in necessity when the true villain is the one who is pulling the strings, not Deathmate herself. This is personal for him, and it only makes sense that this would be after everything Kozol has been through up to this point. Didn’t matter whether it was Bloodshot, Harada, or even Unity. He has been crossed numerous times. Difference is that Bloodshot has always been able to hit him where it hurts the most as Project Rising Spirit’s own weapon turned against them. In general, Kozol is that villain you love to hate and we were given some good reasons to dislike this guy even more than we might already.
What as well keeps your interest in this storyline are the interactions with the different Bloodshots. It’s still hard to believe that one of them was a dog, Bloodhound, but that just grabs your attention more when hit with the anticipation to see him in action. This also provided the best kind of character development for Ray for the fact that being paired with Bloodhound means that most of their conversations are one talking and the other listening. Not a bad thing either considering this allowed for an airing of how he really feels about this situation to someone who is a bit more loyal than the others.
I would say fans should appreciate that no matter how big the story is on the island, what is going on with Agent Festival has not been lost in the chaos. She has been a character we could attach to having an outside perspective of these events. Not to mention a cool power that makes her and no other better fit for the task of finding Bloodshot and Project Rising Spirit. You could definitely see that she is still getting over from what happened in Colorado, and those little things matter when connecting her to the bigger picture. Especially when addressing her motivations. If there is one uncontrollable variable to all of this, it is her so far.
Mico Suayan and David Baron continue to amaze because when they are on an action story like this, almost every moment feels like we are at a climax or building up to that point. It keeps you at the edge of your seat knowing that something is coming right around the corner. And the handling of those scenes are fluent and quick to match the pacing of this story. What I took notice of most from Bloodshot Reborn #16 are the facial expressions. That is something I don’t point out too often and more than ever was it important for this issue. Particularly when this was a roller coaster of emotions for Ray. You could see his shock at finding out Deathmate is Kay. The vulnerability when allowing that reality to sink in for him and his current mistakes. Then the intensity we are all familiar with when it is time to kick it into high gear for a move we didn’t see coming till it came. It was also interesting to see the character given to Bloodhound that made him consistently stand out as being more than your average dog. David Baron’s colors were on point as well. It felt like they were stronger this issue which is great for those things that pop out to us. Effects, explosions, shifting tones in atmosphere, not to mention the impressive grey scale used to render Deathmate herself. The colors really bring this together where you knew we were at a dark point in the plot.
Bloodshot Reborn #16 is a step up as each issue is progressively better than the last. We are working up to something big and you want to root for Bloodshot all the way as he proves he is not as obsolete as those like Kozol make him out to be.