Review: Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1 by Joe Harris and Trevor Hairsine from Valiant

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Armor Hunters: Bloodshot #1

Published by Valiant Entertainment
Written by Joe Harris
Art by Trevor Hairsine
Coloured by David Baron

The Plot

The story begins with Bloodshot showing what he does in a Colombian forest against some soldiers. Forward to the present and Livewire is discussing/debating Capshaw about Bloodshot’s involvement with defending against the Armor Hunters. Capshaw is against using him as she is concerned about the safety of her own men with him around. Meanwhile Bloodshot has managed to get access to where Malgam is being held. Capshaw misinterprets Bloodshot’s actions as she believes he is attacking Malgam, but he explains what is really going on. Malgam resists while Bloodshot begins to see flashbacks from the incident in Colombia. Shortly after, M.E.R.O. is attacked by the Armor Hunter’s beasts, which are after Malgam. Bloodshot goes into action and is able to repel the attack. However, Lilt and the other group of beasts are now attacking M.E.R.O. from another front. Lilt attacks Capshaw and then closes in on Malgam. However, Bloodshot arrives in time to confront Lilt.

The Breakdown

I’m noticing that I find Bloodshot more interesting as a supporting character. Perhaps if the human side of him gets more exposure I could read a book about him on a regular basis. I think that the times that he shows compassion may be because of his human nature, but I’d still prefer to see this side of him fleshed out. I did enjoy his character in this issue as he had a quip with Capshaw and used his nanite abilities in an interesting way. If he was a bad guy he could do a serious amount of damage considering what he was able to pull off at M.E.R.O. I also enjoyed his confrontation with Malgam as he was able to determine what he was doing from the get go. The verbal confrontation between the two was what I really enjoyed about them. Malgam really tries to rattle his cage and brought up some valid points in the process. It was funny when Bloodshot burned him without really meaning to do so. I liked how Livewire confronted Capshaw and basically put her in her place. Throughout the Armor Hunters event, I’ve been reminded how much potential Livewire has as a character. The battle contained a firefight (which was to be expected), but I liked how Bloodshot used his other abilities to deal with the situation as well. On the one hand, I felt like it was a bit of bait and switch with the ending taking place at the same spot as where Armor Hunters #2 ended. I thought that this issue was going to begin where the other cliffhanger left off. However, I was also glad that they actually built up a story around Bloodshot’s involvement. I just hope that my interest in the second issue isn’t spoiled by whatever happens in Armor Hunters #3. I enjoyed Hairsine’s rendition of Bloodshot and prefer it to how he’s looked in some past stories. I liked the subtle colouring effect that Baron did to differentiate between the past and present. Overall I ended up enjoying this issue.

BUT…

The part when Capshaw was denying Bloodshot access to anything was kind of annoying because it makes her come off as such a one-note character. They just obliterated an entire city and they were able to zero in on M.E.R.O. pretty easily, yet she was more concerned about Bloodshot accessing their system in order to boost it. I understand why she didn’t trust him, but considering that the threat that they face you’d think that she’d be willing to take any help she could get. There was also a no-prize-ish thing about her that kind of bothered me. She had black hair in this issue. I’ll give it until next issue to provide an explanation, but my other gripe was with the flashbacks. The flashback was just from a recent incident and not from one of his past missions where he was programmed to be someone else. The flashback story isn’t complete yet so by next issue its inclusion could make total sense.

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

This was a close call, but this one’s a Buy It for me. On the second reading I ended up enjoying it more. This event continues to remain focused and the combination of all the characters doesn’t feel forced or like they’re all shoehorned into the story for the sake of it feeling more event-like. I am curious as to how Malgam affects the Armor Hunter’s position so drastically. Even though Capshaw annoyed me in this issue, it was still funny to see her get frustrated with Bloodshot being able to override her with ease. I simply enjoyed Bloodshot more in this issue because he’s showing more personality and he’s relying on more than just weapons. In another series, perhaps X-O Manowar, I’d like to see more of the history of Malgam. He’s encountered the Armor Hunters before and I’d like to see how he’s escaped. He’s also more resourceful with his armor than I expected him to be. I definitely enjoyed this issue more than I expected to and after reviewing this issue I started to anticipate the second one.

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