By Jeff Lemire, Lewis LaRosa, and Brian Reber
“Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose…”
― Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
Last month Jeff Lemire’s long-awaited dystopian epic, “The Analog Man” commenced with Bloodshot: Reborn #10. It did not disappoint. For those who missed it, that review can be read HERE.
Bloodshot: Reborn #11 continues “The Analog Man” story and in the process injects a shot of pure adrenaline into the heart of its fans and readers! Lemire has a lot going on in this book; so much significant action occurring with well-known characters and so many easter-eggs that Bloodshot: Reborn #11 basically turns levels-up the intensity and raises the stakes to a new level. It might not be possible to read this book and not look forward to the release of Bloodshot: Reborn #12 next month. Lemire’s story is also as tragic as it is action-packed. The reader can’t help but feel what is occurring on each page, and once the final page is read, what is yet to come cannot possibly be a secret to anyone with a drop of common sense. There will be blood! Please prepare yourself for what Lemire has in-store for everyone next.
The pairing of artist Lewis LaRosa and colorist Brian Reber is indeed (as ever) a team on-fire. LaRosa pencils his layouts simplistically as it affords him creative freedom for increased detail during the inking process since he also inks his own work. LaRosa uses Copic markers to create organic elements such as explosions, fire, smoke, water, and shadows in his work on this book. As Copic markers do not easily make clean and well-defined lines, LaRosa employs the use of Micron pens to add sharp lines and details. Each page has a rich texture created by multiple layers of grey tones (created by said Copics), with precisely inked lines and detail (created by Microns). LaRosa’s creation of movement and use of shadows further brings this book to life; as does his rendering of the small character and facial nuances that visibly express the appropriate emotions.
It is also important to note LaRosa’s demonstrated strong understanding of both human physiology and anatomy to correctly portray normal function. There is also an evident understanding of physics and how objects move through both space and time. To create a compelling visual story, these aspects must be (mostly) believable in order to suspend and sense of disbelief (otherwise you end up with a more exaggerated, cartoonier look that while potentially entertaining, is certainly not believable). With “The Analog Man” LaRosa has created a world that is visually believable, and one-step away from watching an awesome movie.
Reber’s mastery of the digital coloring process truly adds life to LaRosa’s work. Reber’s colors are spot-on page after page, and captures everything organic or artificial with perfect shade, hue, and saturation. Bloodshot’s ghostly white skin; the blazing inferno; the attack of the Goo; and the contrasting hopes of the past with the despair of the present are all handled in such a way that has made Reber the “Ace of Colors.”
Bloodshot: Reborn #11 is a pivotal part of a much larger story that deserves the full attention of the comic book community. It is a literary and visual masterpiece that succeeds in every possible way at entertaining readers and fans.