One of the enduring mysteries of the Valiant universe has been the beginnings of the man who would become Bloodshot. Eventually it seems that the story would never be told, and maybe never would need to be. However, Bloodshot Rising Spirit #1 does exactly that.
Written by Kevin Grevioux, from a story by Lonnie Nalder & Zac Thompson, with art by Ken Lashley, Ryan Winn, Brian Thies & Oliver Borges, color art by Diego Rodriguez, and letters by Simon Bowland, the issue takes us back nearly a decade to the beginnings of the man we know today as Bloodshot.
[*Minor spoilers ahead!]
Angel Moretti was a small time goon, convicted of murder after a hit gone wrong. He’s given an out though–an experimental program needs a test subject. This leads to the creation of Bloodshot, though the program may not go to plan…
There’s a lot of ground to cover in this issue. Grevioux opts to tell the story in a series of vignettes. He does give us a portrait of a desperate man. Prior to becoming Bloodshot, he just wants to make things better for himself and his girl; afterwards, he has to fight through being broken, twisted and manipulated.
The biggest star here though is the art. Lashley and Winn’s work is gripping. It strikes a tone of sci-fi body horror that I haven’t seen in superhero comics for a long time. It keeps the story feeling fresh, rather than just a retread of what we’ve seen from Bloodshot since the Valiant reboot.
Rodriguez’s color work bathes the story in splashes of red. He uses fairly standard palettes until moments of violence, and he explodes it across the page.
This may be a story we’ve seen before, but it’s in the telling that makes it worth your while. It’s an exciting debut, and an interesting prelude to everything we’ve seen before.
Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1 is available now from Valiant Comics.