by Jeff Lemire, Butch Guice, David Baron, and Dave Lanphear
“Some people are magic, and others are just the illusion of it.” – Beau Taplin
Writer Jeff Lemire is a magician; his words are like spells that captivate our minds with each page he writes. We know that his magic is real because he proves it to us over and over again; each time before our very eyes. Lemire’s Bloodshot: Reborn has not been a series of chapters and/or small stories, but rather a continuing saga that has built upon each issue masterfully to this point, and likely well beyond. Part of making a character “memorable” is having an emotional investment in that character; an understanding of his or her motives that we (the reader) can relate to so that when the action starts, we “feel” it. We care because we “know” who we are reading about and why. That is what Bloodshot: Reborn #7 is; not simply the seventh issue in the series, but the seventh chapter of this great story that Lemire has created. You feel the chemistry between Ray and Magic and you understand the conflicted emotions that exists within Ray as he desperately wants to protect the woman who has opened his heart, while also fearing that he himself might possibly lead her into harm’s way. The pressure and tension have built, and continue to build, towards a final explosion very soon.
Following in the footsteps of artist Mico Suayan (Bloodshot: Reborn #1 through #4) and Raul Allen (Bloodshot: Reborn #5) is not an easy task, but Butch Guice’s dark, gritty, and classic pulp magazine art style tell Lemire’s story well. It is refreshing that Valiant Entertainment has opted to rotate artists on this title (Mico Suayan, Raul Allen, Butch Guice, Lewis LaRosa, and back again). Guice’s use of shadows complements the writing by adding an eerie sense of uncertainly. Colorist David Baron adds to Guice’s work with a vibrant and retro color palette that is reminiscent of the Bronze Era of comics. This should come as no surprise, as Baron has worked on this title since the very first issue.
Bloodshot: Reborn #7 blends blood, action, violence, love, death, anxiety, hope, doubt, and anticipation to grab and maintain the reader’s focus. It works best as a character building issue that does a strong job setting up the amazement that is to come.