By Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart, and Emanuela Lupacchino
Excluding issue 0, this is the first issue of Bloodshot after the series altering events of Harbinger wars. The book has a new writer, Christos Gage, who is helped by the architect of Harbinger, Joshua Dystart, and the artistic talents of Emanuela Lupacchino.
Bloodshot has been captured by Toyo Harada, and he is looking on finding out what exactly the connection is between him and the nanites. On the flip side, Major Palmer has a choice to help train a new H.A.R.D. Corps group, or walk away. His buddy Maniac is the only other survivor of the battle, and will lead them if Palmer doesn’t. Palmer gives in and decides to help the group; their first mission is to free Bloodshot.
This issue was a bit of set up, a lot of talk and little action. Christos Gage gets a bit too wordy for many of the Bloodshot and Harada scenes, which is necessary to advance the plot, but could bore the reader a bit. He does a very good job with the Major Palmer and H.A.R.D. Corps scenes. These are the most interesting parts of the issue. Major Palmer and Maniac were not characters we got a lot of background on during the cross over, but they do get a chance to be fleshed out and shine here.
The art of Emanuela Lupacchin is superb. Her tone and style seem like a natural fit for a book like this. One of the finer panels in this issue is the many facial expressions she gives to Maniac, who is a bit unhinged. Her training scene with the new group of H.A.R.D. Corps kids is nice to look at, and the last panel of the book looks, explosive.
Despite a slow start to this arc, this series has been excellent since it was released. Valiant is a company that puts fans first, and generally makes quality material month in and month out. Don’t let a slow first issue stop you from picking up this otherwise great title.