““We are all lies waiting for the day when we will break free from our cocoon and become the beautiful truth we waited for…”
― Shannon L. Alder
Before the first issue of Bloodshot: Reborn was even released, Valiant Entertainment teased readers and fans with both images and information about stories that would be released nearly a year after the series was scheduled to launch. Written by Jeff Lemire, it was announced at NYCC ’15 that artist Lewis LaRosa would render the interior pages for “The Analog Man” story arc, which would lake place in Bloodshot: Reborn #10, #11, #12, and #13, in addition to perhaps the very first “Director’s Cut” editions that Valiant has published to date.
While the entire Bloodshot: Reborn series has been written by Lemire, renown artists Mico Suayan and Butch Guice drew the first nine issues with a vastly different style than what LaRosa had planned. Rather than a employing a detailed use of micron pens and sharp lines, LaRosa demonstrated his artistic mastery through extensive use of Copic markers to generate grey-tones that created a rich and textured visual experience with an almost three dimensional effect. The results were unlike almost anything seen in the comic book industry in recent memory. Social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook were filled with completely positive reactions to his work on the series, and “The Analog Man” became 2016’s first highly anticipated Valiant event.
The first issue of the arc, Bloodshot: Reborn #10 (LaRosa 1:50) was listed at #14 on Greg Holland’s Top 100 Rarest Valiant books 2012-present, featured at #4 in the 2016 Collector’s Corner article Top 5 Rarest Bloodshot Comics.
As a whole, the entire four-issue story arc for “The Analog Man” scored a perfect 5-Stars average for all issues; both for written and artistic content. It was a phenomenal event, and one that will work quite well when released as a trade paperback at a later date.
Bloodshot: Reborn #13 was the conclusion to Lemire’s story, which closes with a plot-twist and brilliantly sets up the story for the highly anticipated next chapter called “Bloodshot Island” which will be written by Lemire and drawn by Suayan.
The brilliance of Lemire is that he enters into each creative project with a plan containing a start, middle, and end. This might sound completely obvious to most, but one only needs to look at how often either no plan or a bad plan is the point of failure with so many movie and comic projects. Lack of vision is more common than most might admit, so when Lemire’s name is attached to a project there is a good bet that it will work and entertain. “The Analog Man” contains action, loss, love, hate, fear, and uncertainly in a dystopian setting where so much is at stake and nothing is as it seems. From start to finish readers and fans are taken for a action-packed ride while strapped to a missile designed to blow their minds to hell. Lemire understands the at their core, comic books are meant to entertain and suspend a sense of disbelief; which he accomplishes and is to be commanded for.
As stated earlier, LaRosa’s work is perfect in every way possible (with a small guest appearance by the art of artist Stefano Gaudiano at the end of the issue). His work is so strong that all four issues could be published uncolored as is, as part of a special edition and still sell comics! Of course, colorist Brian Reber, who works frequently with LaRosa, has mastered the ability to enhance this art style and color over grey tones to make create a virtually perfect book. LaRosa and Reber are often call an artistic dream team and with good reason. Bloodshot: Reborn #13 is a fantastic example of that reason, and the effectiveness of Reber’s colors pallet choice is one that should never be taken for granted. He is the best in the business, and perfect for this book.
If you have not read Bloodshot: Reborn #10 – 13, take the time to do so. It is well worth cover price, and the sort of story that only comes around every few years, if at all. This is a five-star experience that was created for the enjoyment of comic book fans! It belongs in your comic book library.