Comic Book Review: Bloodshot U.S.A. #1
Bloodshot U.S.A. takes us into the next chapter for Bloodshot and the older models. The issue before left things a bit up in the air for us. We got to know some of the others better, yet at the same time they weren’t exactly in the best place with tensions rising while stranded at sea. After that who knows how they get from there to the events of now, though there’s an anticipation for how they will be able to stop and protect a city population turned into an army of indestructible soldiers. And that only scratches the surface of problems they need to deal with along the way.
Valiant being who they are continue proving why they are the most accessible of any who produce superhero comics right now. From the moment this story begins they take a creative step in bringing everyone up to speed on everything that has happened between the conclusion of The Valiant, the events of Bloodshot Reborn, and the things we are now learning happened during Kozol’s decision to create this Bloodshot U.S.A.. Kozol’s plans when revealed felt like something that only he would think of. Next to Harada, Kozol is one of the most dangerous in the Valiant Universe for his inhumane methods of acquiring control and power. Caring little about the little people, caring even less about ethics, and worst of all showing his true colors supporting the one man who I’m sure we all would hate to win the presidency. In general like I have said numerous times before, any time a writer focuses on Kozol himself it is a great story. He is the worst of the worst and there is no bottom to what you can do with him that wouldn’t be in line with his character.
Now with this next chapter also comes further exploration of the entity known as Deathmate, or as we now know to be Kay McHenry. So to speak that is because what you learn from Kozol’s explanation you do question what you are really looking at even though this is in fact Kay’s body. While that can all be address down the road, it was great that they didn’t hold off giving us the opportunity to get a little insight into what was done to her or even how Kozol got her body. Magic and Festival play a bigger role as well. While they are mere observers of the destruction to New York the position they are put into you do enjoy because both aren’t the type to sit around and play captive. You want to see what can go right and what can go wrong because neither of their futures are certain to us. It is anything goes for these two depending on their actions to follow.
How Bloodshot and company find their way back to land was a bit convenient, but it was probably the best way to transition from their sea tensions to the events of now. I mean during a situation like this you would expect someone to come looking for the one person who would know best how to help stop an army of people with the same cutting-edge technology that created Bloodshot. They got from point a to point b and that is what matters the most when it comes down to it.
Doug Braithwaite and Brian Reber are the right kind of power duo you would expect them to put on Bloodshot U.S.A.. Bloodshot stories tend to come off like blockbuster events in scope, both through story and art. Braithwaite and Reber are two who know how to deliver that blockbuster-like quality. From start to finish there was so much going on in each page and that is how you know Braithwaite is the one drawing. He can do a lot and do it with both uniformity and attention to every detail. Personally I enjoy how he draws Bloodshot himself the most because he really has that soldier look about him that says don’t mess with me. Well you see some of that and you do get some of those moments of vulnerability that remind you of his humanity. Which is more than you can say for some of the older Bloodshots who less than him have it together on the surface. As for Kozol, it was refreshing to see that smug look again. The story arc before had his face a little hidden due to the setting, though here you could see everything that spoke to the villain he is. But don’t get me started on the fight Livewire and Gin-Gr took to the streets. That was impressive and made this for a second feel like a superhero event for how far the madness had spread throughout the city. Right there I would say is where Reber shined the most with this colors. He’s never too strong with his colors and that is where you appreciate them the most. The depth he creates between characters and structures. The effects as well pop out whether it is digital, collateral damage, textures, or just that faded look to emphasize how this city is tearing itself apart.
Bloodshot U.S.A. #1 is a must read whether you have been following the story from Bloodshot Reborn to now, or just jumping in now because this is new reader friendly. There a lot of potential to take advantage here with numerous Bloodshots in action, unlikely enemies, and an organization to take down that may be over their heads. We all know Kozol, and you want to see if this can be that hit he has needed for so long.