The Pull List: Bloodshot Reborn Starts Slow

Welcome to The Pull List, a weekly column where we check out a first issue of a new series and tell you whether or not to follow the comic based only on that. This week we’ll be taking a look at the first issue of Bloodshot Reborn, which is a reboot of the Valiant title Bloodshot.

I’ve never really read a Valiant series, although I have been sort-of peripherally aware of the comic publishing company for a while now. What little I have read, mostly Free Comic Book Day (which is coming up soon!) samplers, has lead me to believe that most of their content isn’t really in my wheelhouse.

With titles like Bloodshot, Eternal Warrior, and Shadowman, I’ve always gotten the impression that their main demographic is a bit more… immature than I like to think of myself. But, on a whim (and because it was a rather slow week for comics), I decided to pick up Valiant’s Bloodshot Reborn.

Being a reboot, the series does a good job of filling the reader in on the pertinent details right away. Bloodshot was an agent of a shadowy organization, controlled by nanomachines and false memories. Toward the end of his stay there, he started to break free and become a “good guy.” Then, through a bizarre series of events, the nanomachines that turned him into the killing machine he was, were taken out of him, and that’s where this story begins.

And, more or less, where it ends. Not a whole lot actually happens in this issue, but we do get Ray Garrison’s (formerly Bloodshot) call to action in the form of a man killing innocent civilians while pretending to be Bloodshot. Because he feels partially responsible, Ray goes off to stop the man. That’s where the issue ends.

It feels to me that there’s a sense of expectation with this comic, that the creative team behind it is expecting readers to adopt an “in for a penny, in for a pound,” mentality. Certainly, there could potentially be some interesting character development going on here, but because I’m only told of Ray’s past through (lots of) description boxes, and I’m only getting hints of Ray’s future, I’m not really sure what that development is.

There just isn’t enough here to get me hooked and wanting to stick around if I wasn’t already interested in the character and already planning on following the series. Other than, potentially, the art, which I will say is very high quality. I won’t say that it specifically appeals to me, it’s just not to my taste, but I do appreciate the craftsmanship in it, and can see how some will absolutely enjoy that aspect of this book.

That aside, though, I just don’t really see Bloodshot Reborn being the intro point to the character that Valiant perhaps wants it to be. If you’re already a fan of Valiant comics, then by all means, add this one to your pull list, but the must-read new series of the season, this one is not.

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