Bloodshot Reborn – Jeff Lemire

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Bloodshot Reborn by Jeff Lemire is a powerful tale of one man’s demons and the past that can never be left behind. In a time of comic reboots, Valiant does it so well with Bloodshot. They do not retell the origin, simply rehashing the character for a new generation, but instead pick up the story where the old comic book run ended. In doing son they create a new story with a powerful and well thought out character at the center. No longer just the killing machine but a man trying to cope with all the evil he has done. Evil that he may have to do again.

Bloodshot was a perfect killing machine. The nanites that he was injected with enhanced his strength, speed and endurance. It also gave him the ability to heal, making him a formidable weapon in the service of Project Rising; a private contractor that provided super soldiers to the highest bidder. Bloodshot had become an unstoppable killer.

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Now, with the past behind him, Bloodshot is just a man. A man who has hidden himself away as a handyman in a seedy hotel, filling his days with menial work and his nights with pills and booze. But the dreams of his past come back and he can never put them behind him. Soon he begins to understand that not all are only dreams.

There are a rash of killings and the killers have bleach white skin and a circular red stain on their chests. Just like Bloodshot use to. He knows now that he can no longer hide away. That the nanites that are now controlling others are meant only for him. Only he can control them and stop the violence, but to do so, he would have to once again, become Bloodshot.

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Back in 1992 when Image and Valiant were the two new kids on the block, there was a stark difference in their books. Image was flashy and grandiose. Full of powerful and appealing artwork that took up entire pages. Valiant, under the helm of Jim Shooter, just told damn good stories. Unfortunately, Valiant was bought out in 1996 by Acclaim and the characters simply lost their way.

Now Valaint is back and poised to once again be one of the best independent comic distributors around. They have restarted many of their earlier titles and one of the best is Bloodshot. But instead of simply telling the tale of a man turned terminator, they are telling the story of the man. A man full of regret and pain. A man full of loss and remorse. A man who must return to the evil he once was to save others.

Like I said, a damn good story.

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