Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bloodshot #4 and #5 (Classic Valiant)

This two-parter of Valiant Comics series Bloodshot is almost interesting, due to its portrayal of legacy, but ultimately ends up failing pretty badly!...

After a date with girlfriend Maria, Bloodshot is offered a job in British Intelligence by his friend Gilad (the immortal Eternal Warrior). Before he can think about it, Bloodshot receives a message from the mafia, who have kidnapped his sister-a sister he didn't even know existed. The mafia, afraid of what more Bloodshot could do do them, want his life in exchange for his sister's...

And all the while, there's a future story with Rai (a future Valiant hero with Bloodshot's special blood) intertwined, and boy is it pointless! It has literally nothing to do with the events going on with Bloodshot other than Gilad being present at both events (which hardly makes it necessary, as this is Bloodshot, not Gilad's own series Eternal Warrior!), and two vaguely similar hostage situations. All this future storyline ends up doing is making the proper storyline feel way too short. Bloodshot goes to the meeting with the mob, and stuff happens for a little bit before he anticlimactically kills Cannelli. And no, I don't feel bad about spoiling this main villain's death, because it's so inconsequential that you won't even realize he's meant to be dead! (And anyway, Canelli's only had ten panels of paneltime in this whole series at the very most!). And speaking of anticlimaxes, that's what Bloodshot finding out the truth of his identity is.

The future storyline is a real nothing read too. It has an extremely paper-thin plot, and accomplishes nothing. There's one really disorienting moment where on the right side page, the comic is in the present, in mid-scene, then you turn the page over and HOLYSHIT!THEFUTURE!, coming right outta freakin' nowhere!

Gilad's exchanges with Bloodshot are all good. Their friendship is an alright aspect of this portion of the series, and the best part of this story. As for Maria, this is the last time we ever see her, unfortunately, for reasons I'll explain when I get to Issue #8.

Not all to do with Gilad is good though. He's about to make his case to the mob about why they should spare Bloodshot and the two parties can form a truce...and the story promptly skips all of Gilad's defense, and cuts to him finishing up, and Carboni going "You deliver your case well!". SHOW, DON'T TELL!

The villains are lacklustre. They have no character to them at all in this series-Canelli and Carboni are just bad guy mobsters, and they exit the series way before they get any kind of story, or development. The villains in the future section fare a bit better. Despite their stupid name, the Malevs are decent, but their use of the word 'meat' for humans gets old very quickly.

The artwork's all good, and the covers decent. But there are a few pages where the panels area bit too small, and there's too much surrounding blank space. Nowhere near to the degree of XO Man-O-War #1, or issues #6 and #7 of Bloodshot though. In one scene, Future Gilad keeps calling a guy 'Old Man', despite the character being young (and no, it's not a joke, or play on words or anything). And during the future storyline, when it cuts from Future-Gilad to Rai, the page has the caption 4002, which is unnecessary, as we already know it's in 4002! We've been reading of that time period for five pages now, the first of which already told us the date!

One really annoying thing is that the last panel in a scene before it cuts to the future storyline, and the first panel when it cuts back are both the same picture! They're drawn a TIIIIINY bit differently, but same angle, same characters, same poses, etc. And worst of all, these panels both take up most of their respective pages! What a waste!

By the way, a question for all the gun enthusiasts out there-Is having a wider bore a good thing for a gun, or is it a stupid thing that'll blow your hand off? I'm curious if the writers actually did their research well.

This double issue is so small that there's very little more I can talk about. Short answer, don't bother!

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