That chalky skin, that square-jawed glower, that target on his chest: Bloodshot is the most instantly recognizable of Valiant’s flagship characters. Since the Summer of Valiant relaunch, he’s also emerged as the star of one of the best pure action comics today. And with the upcoming Bloodshot Reborn series taking the character on a whole new ride, now’s the perfect time for a Bloodshot binge.
The mind-wiped subject of a super-soldier program, Bloodshot is infused with nanites that give him limited ability to change shape and recover from nearly any injury. He breaks his programming and goes on the run, determined to find out who he was and who turned him into a killing machine. It’s easy to catch up on the details through the ongoing Bloodshot series and crossover appearances, and fortunately, dear reader, Scribd’s got ’em.
How do you create tension when your main character can take just about anything you throw at him? By throwing more, of course. In the early issues of Bloodshot, writer Duane Swierczynski puts Bloodshot through a meat grinder—it’s not too much of a spoiler to reveal he gets blown up in the opening pages—as he takes on wave after wave of hostile forces while struggling to reconnect with humanity. Over the course of the series we gradually learn the truth behind Bloodshot’s creation and his true identity, but each revelation is hard-won.
In his former life as a programmed super-soldier, Bloodshot hunted down Harbingers—people born with superhuman abilities. Now, as war (and an epic Valiant crossover) erupts between rival interests out to control the Harbingers, Bloodshot decides to atone for his deeds. And what better way than to release a couple dozen unstable Harbinger kids from captivity and become the violent, amnesiac uncle they never had? The legendary Barry Kitson, who’s drawn just about every superhero under the sun, keeps the action sure and clean as Bloodshot becomes a key player in the Harbinger Wars.
When aliens attack Earth, the other Valiant heroes have retaliatory strategies and advanced technology on their side. Bloodshot has his fists. Trevor Hairsine’s agreeably old-school artwork plunges readers into the action, blow by blow, as Bloodshot defends a M.E.R.O. base from a group of escaped alien captives. It’s page after page of classic adrenaline-fueled fisticuffs, marvelously paced. Plus, you get to see Bloodshot punch out a giant purple dude.