From Valiant Comics, writer Jeff Lemire, artist Lewis LaRosa, colorist Brian Reber and cover artist Ryan Sook comes Bloodshot Reborn. Check out my review of issue #11 right here!
Thirty years from today…”THE ANALOG MAN” goes to war with Ninjak! Far into a post-apocalyptic future, Los Angeles has descended into chaos. Even the remaining heroes of the Valiant Universe can’t stand against the G.A.T.E. super-tech that dominates the wastelands. As Bloodshot and Magic emerge with a small group of survivors in tow, an unexpected ally from the past shows up, seeking help, forcing Bloodshot to either turn his back on his friend…or his family!
Jeff Lemire and Lewis Larosa’s jump into the Valiant comic-verse’s future 30 years from now has been my favorite story arc of any series in 2016 so far. Bloodshot (who is now essentially Mad Max with superpowers) is fighting to get water for his small town, a limited commodity in the future, and his mission was derailed in issue one – badly. After an explosive start, we now meet up with Ninjak and a few other Valiant heroes in #11 to see how they’ve been fairing. If issue 11 is any indication – not so well. I don’t read Ninjak, but I love Ninjak now – his inclusion in The Analog Man is fantastic and his character is a perfect foil to Bloodshot’s. Their interactions are so good they could have a team-up series of their own after this arc.
#11 opens up with an insane battle between the automated XO Manowars who are mowing down Los Angeles and a few Valiant heroes are taking the battle right to them. I’m new to Valiant so I only recognized Faith and of course Ninjak himself, but these opening pages were astounding. Lewis Larosa’s art is profound. The way he constructs the action and chaos feels like a big budget movie. Bonus: Valiant Comics puts effort into the appearance and quality of their product – the harder paper and covers for The Analog Man thus far have been superior to any other book on stands right now for their price. I’m in love with Bloodshot: Reborn.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a sequence that winds down #11 where Lemire once again bounces between the post-apocalyptic present and past to perfect effect and emotion. The similarities between this story and Old Man Logan are there for sure, and Lemire is writing that book now too, but what sets Bloodshot: Reborn apart from that series are these wonderful characters that are like no other superheroes I’ve read before. Valiant is doing superheroes better than any other publisher in my humble opinion. Buy the two previous Bloodshot: Reborn trades from Lemire and start The Analog Man on your pull list – today. It is worth it. So worth it.