Bloodshot, as a character, has always been able to be defined in the simplest of terms. Man without a memory and extreme healing, kills mercilessly for a “shadow” company; end of story, insert random mission and repeat! Jeff Lemire has made things more complicated with Bloodshot Reborn, and it pays off tenfold!
So, I minimized the amount of complications Lemire has brought to the book, just a little: First, Lemire has taken away Bloodshot’s healing factor, nanites that feed off of protein and can heal him from virtually any wound. Second, Lemire has made him delusional, seeing dead Geomancer and love of his life, Kay and a cartoon version of himself, Bloodsquirt, on a constant basis which drives him to drugs to “quiet” their constant yammering regarding him killing again. Third, and the basis of this current arc, is that the nanites he once had now reside in other people and are driving them mad, mingling with their already deprived natures and let them murder without remorse. Now Bloodshot, with the FBI on his trail and a twenty year old female tag-along named, Magic, in tow, must kill these “infected” murderers to regain his nanites in order to control them.
Now that the cards are on the table and everyone is caught up, issue #6 is the best of the series so far! Lemire continues to build the levels of Bloodshot’s humanity while he drives him ever closer to losing it again. Lemire makes Bloodshot multifaceted by showing the reluctant relationship he has started with Magic. One where human emotion has begun to out weigh the risk of death each step may bring her as she follows him down the twisted path that may very well lead him to losing the humanity he has finally gained. It is a harrowing journey that the reader knows will only lead to loss and bloodshed, yet we root for Bloodshot to finally be whole again, both with his humanity and with the power to be so much more.
The heavy tale is also interwoven with hints of levity coming from the awkward pairing of Agent Hoyt and Agent Festival. It is the perfect “odd couple” of male/female, old/young, skeptic/”gifted” that is a pure pleasure to read! Their coarse demeanor with each other is hilarious and yet, when needed they are a wonderfully blended team that is no nonsense.
The shocking middle and and even more unnerving ending will have readers craving for more! Lemire has taken a character that was as one dimensional as the come and has created a cornucopia of dimensions that will astound you. Bloodshot Reborn is a MUST read book month after month!
(Editor’s note: Review copy provided by Valiant)