First Impressions – BLOODSHOT #1

Can you ever be sure the memories in your own head are real? For the third revived character from Valiant’s backlog, this is all the more true when one has a head filled with multiple, conflicting identities, families, and pasts.

One of the characters created during the comics boom of the early and mid nineties, Bloodshot is an amnesiac soldier imbued with billions of nanomachines, turning him into the ultimate killing machine. Endowed with enhanced healing, the ability to directly interface with technology, and even redistribute his mass as needed to adapt to a particular situation, even to change his appearance to that of someone else. Apparently in his original series run and in the Acclaim run, he fought against his creators, as well as against police and the mob. All to survive, bring justice to the evil, and find out who he really is.

I assume. I’m basically going off Wikipedia for this, which is either light on information or repetitive. And yet Superboy’s article is bloated beyond belief.

Nothing much has changed so far in BLOODSHOT #1. Sent by Project Rising Spirit (which will be familiar to those reading Harbinger) into the middle east on a recon mission – and under the impression he’s out to save an old war buddy – the agent known as Bloodshot is captured. His captors, a group of scientists, proceed to download information from his brain, all while revealing to Bloodshot the horrible truth of his life: he has no family, no war buddy to save, and no name outside Bloodshot. Anything he remembers are merely fabricated memories, several sets used to control and motivate the operative when on his missions.

Of course he manages to escape (not that the scientists seem all that interested in keeping him once the data is collected), only to be “collected” by his handlers. With bullets. Whatever, he can heal.

Despite the fact that, given my already bloated list of series I follow, I cannot afford to keep reading this one, BLOODSHOT #1 was really good. Amnesia stories are pretty played out, but it’s not a bad amnesia story. My only complaint is a stylistic one: what’s with Bloodshot’s character design? I can guess the gray skin is there because when you lose your skin all the time and get it healed by nanites, it’s going to be bereft of tan all the time. But what’s the deal with the big red circle on his chest? The nineties were weird. If nothing else, I’m unlikely to mistake him for any other generic soldier style character with a healing factor.

Hey, if you want to get into comics but are frightfully uninterested in the superhero genre, anything by Valiant right now would be good. So if you’re one of those people, give Bloodshot a chance. Me, I’ll go back to reading The Flash.

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