By Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart and Valentine De Landro
Valiant has been putting out zero issues here and there throughout most of their series. This is an idea the original batch of Valiant books used as well and they are usually pretty popular among readers and collectors alike.
We get to see how H.A.R.D. Corps is formed in this issue. The reader is taken through every decade since the idea is conceived, and we get to see how test subjects react from beginning to end. There were dark times and mistakes made, but this is all for the best interest of the country, right?
With every new project there is trial and error and that is fine, but not when lives are on the line. You can’t risk people’s well being for your own personal agenda, unless they volunteer for something like this. Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart show us all the dirt and destruction that went into making this team the powerhouse it is today. They spend most of their time in the 70’s where the idea was first put together. Gage and Dysart do a nice job of painting sympathetic characters in the early days that were willing to sacrifice everything to make the world a better place. In the 80’s we are introduced to a new batch of recruits who want to spend more time with their families and we see how evil a company like this can be. This is probably the decade that will get the biggest reaction from readers. The writers manage to pull on heartstrings and start to reveal the company’s willingness to do anything to be successful. Dysart and Gage also take us into the 90’s as we get to see Major Palmer when he first started out. The writing duo also manages to tie Bloodshot into this origin issue and through his actions in this story we are given a chance to see how far he has come. While this issue jumped from decade to decade, it was easy to follow, another solid read.
The art duties switch every decade. The 70’s were drawn by Valentine De Landro, and are sufficient. His style lacks a lot of detail, but works well for the story as it has an older feel to it. The 80’s were drawn by Joseph Cooper and John Livesay. The style is here is good and is colored nicely. This is the most emotional story in the book and the art conveys that well enough. Cooper and Livesay excel when showing the emotion of the recruits when things go wrong. The facial expressions are key in this story and they are well represented by this pair. Finally, the 90s is drawn by ChrisCross and Victor Olazaba. This is the best drawn section of the book. The action sequences are handled well and the duo gives the reader several different angles to look at panels. You can even make out some cross hatching in a panel or two.
This was a very interesting and informative zero issue. We got all the dirt on H.A.R.D. Corps as well as a little bit more history between Bloodshot and Major Palmer. While having several different artists can be something that hampers a book, that is not the case this issue. Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps continues its streak of quality issues and creative story telling.