By Christos Gage, Duffy Boudreau, Al Barrionuevo and Matt Milla
This is the issue we’ve all been waiting for. Ever since Bloodshot teamed up with H.A.R.D. Corps a while ago and we all knew that at some point they were going to splinter. This looks like the story arc where Major Palmer and the rest of the crew take on the unkillable killing machine and all bets are off on who survives.
This is a pretty important story arc for Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps and Joshua Dysart is nowhere to be seen. Not to worry though, Christos Gage and Duffy Boudreau turn in an exciting script. From the first few pages we are thrown into the action as a member of the team meets his demise, seemingly at the hands of Bloodshot. Boudreau and Gage give Bloodshot a nice start to this issue as he has a heart to heart talk with Genius before things start to get messy. One of the most important things about this series is that characterization is key. Boudreau and Gage continue to maintain everybody’s personalities throughout the book and Kozol continues to be slimy, which is great for his character. Boudreau came on board and didn’t miss a beat and Gage continues to write some of his best material in this series, which gets better every month.
The art duties are taken over by Al Barrionueva, who does a very nice job on the book. His style seems very realistic and is a big compliment to the issue. While there are a few panels where Vagabond looks a bit odd, for the most part it’s very well drawn. One of Barrionuevo’s strengths is the fact that he gives a barrage of different facial expressions. In a touching scene between Genius and Bloodshot, we see a look on Bloodshot’s face that makes us feel what he’s going through. Barrionuevo excels this issue and makes every panel count as he shows off his artistic prowess.
Even though this is an anticipated arc, it was still better than expected. The set up was very well done and natural and there is a twist that will leave you wanting more. The writing is top shelf and Barrionuevo stuns on art duty. This was an all around great start to a promising arc.