By Jeff Lemire.

“Hello darkness, my old friend…
…I’ve come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping…
…left its seeds while I was sleeping…
…and the vision that was planted in my brain…
…still remains…
…within the sound of silence…”

― Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence

Beginning with The Valiant #1 released in December of 2014, New York Times Best Seller author Jeff Lemire has spent the last three years perfecting Bloodshot. Lemire was able to see the potential that existed, and add significant depth to the character while expanding the world around him. This effort continued through Bloodshot Reborn which launched in April of 2015 and ran for 18 consecutive issues. The series was continued in Bloodshot USA (a four issue mini-series released in October of 2016), which lead into Bloodshot Salvation launched in September of 2017.

Bloodshot Salvation explores the many roles and character of Ray Garrison (AKA Bloodshot). He is a father, lover, warrior, man, assassin, monster, team player, lone wolf, and mindless killing machine. Lemire’s story has peeled back the layers and exposed the heart of Bloodshot to readers and fans, which is a perfect blending of simplicity and complexity.

Bloodshot Salvation has featured the work of some of the absolute finest artists in comic books today; Mico Suayan and Lewis LaRosa. Both are considered “A-List” artists by the Valiant community, and have created several of the most iconic artwork released by Valiant entertainment to date.

Their work on Bloodshot Salvation is no exception to this, which is why Bloodshot Salvation #7 is unique and different — it does not include their artwork. The writing and artwork are handled by Lemire himself, with almost the entire issue occurs in pitch-black darkness. Pages are intentionally black with panels, captions, speech balloons, and sound effects (onomatopoeia); however, no defined imagery or figures. Lemire masterfully tells the story of Bloodshot waking in total darkness without direction or a full understanding of who or what is  surrounding him. Like a novel, the reader is provided pieces of the puzzle from the perspective of Bloodshot, and what he hears, sees, and feels. It allows the reader to paint an image in his or her own mind, guided by only by Lemire’s words with abstract and amorphous combinations of heavy black ink and a minimal use of white ink, often splattered on the page to depict the emotional feel and tone of the story that the reader is not supposed to actually see. The result is gripping and emotional story, filled with moments of action, that creates a sense of anxiety and fear before ending on a cliffhanger. The last page is in full color, and clearly depicts on one full splash page everything that the previous pages described. It is as though all of the anxious fears of the unknown and nightmarish dangers that lurk in the darkness all become very real in an instant, and brilliantly set the stage for the next chapter of Lemire’s story.

Bloodshot Salvation #7 is brilliant storytelling that proves how less can truly be more. It is a publishing risk that is a total success and demonstrates the magic of the Valiant Universe and the enormous talent that is Jeff Lemire.


About The Author Former Contributor

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