By Jeff Lemire, Lewis LaRosa, Mico Suayan, Diego Rodriguez, and Brian Reber
Bloodshot Salvation #3 is devastating. Beautifully rendered with a compelling story, Salvation will leave you pleading for mercy.
Fans have watched Ray’s (aka Bloodshot) personal journey towards acceptance. From the dark days of Bloodshot Reborn to the rescue of New York in Bloodshot U.S.A. to the joyful news of impending fatherhood, Ray has risen to every occasion and embraced his state. Now as a new father, he feels compelled to protect his new family from those who may hurt them. It’s been the norm that threats arose from complications due to Ray’s Bloodshot status. This time out, trouble comes from Magic’s past. Unbeknownst to Ray, his own special heritage is causing turmoil as well.
Writer Jeff Lemire weaves the narrative through two time periods, unfolding the current storyline amidst a related story in the near future. Both are thoughtfully written with excellent character portrayals. While the future storyline acts as a bit of a spoil, it is cloaked in mystery, not providing the answers of how we got to this point. With all of the tension that has been building, readers have been poised for a big hurt. Lemire delivers this in a plot twist that cuts deep. Even if you suspect what’s coming, there’s no preparing yourself for the truth and the means by which it is dealt.
One of the unexpected plot elements opens up some intriguing new possibilities that fans will be anxious to have fleshed out. Another pleasant aspect of the book is the realization of far-flung elements of the Valiant Universe coalescing. Lemire doesn’t leave anything to chance, and this book is the beginning of payoffs hinted at in the various Bloodshot titles that he has helmed.
Illustration duties are shared by artists Mico Suayan and Lewis LaRosa, each of whom depicts a different time-table in the story. Suayan illustrates the future storyline with coloring done by artist Brian Reber. LaRosa takes on the present along with color artist Diego Rodriguez. LaRosa and Suayan do exquisite work, in both depiction and in the art of storytelling. There is a depth of detail to their art that gives the story weight. The story flow is handled well with each panel directing the eye to the focus while relaying the underlying emotions of the scene. Suayan’s and LaRosa’s work complements each other but remain distinct, making it simple to follow the jumps in time. Aiding with this distinction is the work of color artists Reber and Rodriguez. Reber’s work favors strong colors and deeper shadows with a solid ink line that suits the storyline and setting. Rodriguez employs a more neutral, earthy color scheme that uses a lighter ink color, giving the work a softer, almost painted look. Overall, this is a fantastic looking book.
Bloodshot Salvation #3 boasts outstanding visuals and a story that will leave fans shaken to the core. This is a book that Valiant should be proud of and that readers should not miss. If you haven’t read any Bloodshot yet, this is the arc to start doing so, as it is quickly shaping up to be one of the best arcs in the Bloodshot series.