Review: Bloodshot #5 By Duane Swierczynski and Manuel Garcia
by Joe Smith on November 17, 2012

Review:  Bloodshot #5

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Written by Duane Swierczynski (someday I’ll learn how to spell that on my own)

Art by Manuel Garcia

The Plot

The story flashes back to Melissa as a child being held at Project Rising Spirit.  Someone named Gamma (after a pronunciation of Grandma, not after the radiation) enters and comes across as caring.  However, she reveals her true colours when Joshua gets into trouble with her.  Melissa wakes up in the present day with Kara and they are soon ambushed.  Next we see Bloodshot in a dream state where he is communicating with the boy manifestation in his mind who tells him more about the Nanites in his system.  Back at Project Rising Spirit both Kara and Melissa are uncooperative, which brings about the mention of Gamma.  Also, Kara unwittingly provides Bloodshot with an opportunity to access Project Rising Spirit.  Bloodshot awakens and formulates a plan with Dr. Kuretich (who abducted him in the first issue).  Bloodshot then encounters Project Rising Spirit and after some vicious battles, he is encountered by a small group of genetically modified individuals who may know how to properly deal with him.

The Breakdown

Another action packed entry in this series.  I’m glad that Bloodshot was able to interact directly with the Nanites because we get to learn more about them.  Seeing how he was able to utilize them in such detail was a pleasant read because it becomes less of a plot device or deus ex machina (not that it was ever one of those things for me).  The scenes with the Nanites provide a lot of important information in general.  This is much like watching a really intense action flick, but with a good plot and some depth.  At first glance, I didn’t really view Gamma as any sort of threat.  Two pages later I totally changed my mind.  I enjoyed his memory with Kara when she touched the circle on his chest.  I enjoy it when humour is injected into a story.  I also liked how they showed that Bloodshot may have some limitations with his abilities because now I feel a stronger sense of danger with him.  He has no idea who he is yet he isn’t an empty character, which shows some strength on the writer’s part.  Overall the art was good again and can this guy do action.  Also, every time I see this I must comment on it, I like it when kids look like kids and not just like short adults.  The cast is expanding and I’m looking forward to seeing all of it coming together.

BUT…

It might be explained further later on, but sometimes I wonder why he looks pretty buff in some panels and kind of skinny in others.  I know in previous issues he looked different in the present compared to how he looked in his “memories,” but this was different.  From a logical standpoint, when Bloodshot is fighting inside of Project Rising Spirit he stabs someone in the head with his knife.  He is outmanned and outgunned so I didn’t really understand why he just left it in there because I’m sure he could use it later on.  I just thought that it allowed the reader to see how he dealt with this person, but still I was surprised to see him leaving it behind.  I wish these books were longer (30 pages an issue?) because I enjoy them so much.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  This has been a very good series.  It’s not my absolute favorite of the Valiant titles, but some people feel that this is their best offering.  I’m not at all familiar with the original series and I am intrigued at the prospect of his past prior to Project Rising Spirit.  This has been a consistent series and I really want to see what he encounters next issue.  I can’t stress enough how much Valiant is rocking it right now.  Valiant is in this business because they love and respect comics.  Period.



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