Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bloodshot #8 (Classic Valiant)

Yes, it was only a matter of time before I tore myself away from Acclaim's immensely enjoyable Bloodshot series and focused on reviewing the crummy original Valiant iteration. While other crappy Valiant series Secret Weapons is inconstistently bad, Bloodshot's level of mediocrity has stayed pretty consistent, with it's lacklustre plots and boring protagonist.

Bloodshot, aka Michael Lazarus, goes to London for a brief work visit to MI6, but is soon waylaid when he finds out his informant Malcolm has been kidnapped by a group of Irish terrorists. As Bloodshot seeks the terrorists out, a sniper from the villainous Iwatsu Industries (the guys that gave Bloodshot his nanite (tiny supercomputers) powers and rapid healing abilities) shoots him with a dart filled with a computer virus...

Let's start off with the artwork for this issue. It's decent, and the cover's ok, although the location is a bit bland. The panel structure isn't very good when it comes to character positions at times, nor are eyes done very well (with characters sometimes exhibiting Youngblood's Disease). The worst piece of drawing on display is the size of Bloodshot's pistol in one scene!

Bloodshot narrates constantly, but has very little proper dialogue. Eight issues in, and he still has no character to him. He's just a guy with a gun with no aptitude for costume design! Seriously, why did the writers have Bloodshot always wear nothing but a pair of bright green sweatpants, and a vest perpetually open like he's Jeff Stryker?!

In my review for Bloodshot issues #4 and #5, I mention how BL's girlfriend Maria never appeared after that story. The reason is explained by the narration here-She apparently dumped Bloodshot, offscreen! The narration gives a BS explanation about how Bloodshot told her about what he was, and Maria 'couldn't handle it'. That's it. No further explanation, or going into specifics! Why did she leave him? What couldn't she handle? What's so hard to handle about realizing you're dating a secret agent with superpowers? Hell, how are you not thinking about his possible prowess in the bedroom, honey?!...Ok, I may be joking on that last note...

This issue crosses over with Secret Weapons #1, showing character Geoff McHenry recruiting Bloodshot for that story's events in full detail, and it feels pretty pointless, as this scene is already in that other issue, and it doesn't affect this story at all. Also, one particular line is a continuity error. Geoff tells Bloodshot, who was in the middle of an MI6 mission against counterfeiters, that helping him is 'much more important than your need for revenge!', which would make sense if Bloodshot was still after the mafia. But he's not, and by this comic's timeframe, he stopped that about three/four months ago.

The writing here is pretty meh. Bloodshot's narration is overused and not very well written. As for the plot, this whole issue is just a collection of equally pointless scenes! Geoff talking with Bloodshot? Pointless. Bloodshot getting shot with a computer virus by a sniper? Pointless, as it barely affects his performance in the slightest, and never amounts to anything beyond this issue. The remnants of the terrorist group from Issue #1 returning for revenge? Pointless, as they're killed off so quickly. You could make a drinking game from the amount of times I say pointless in this review! Not a good comic in the slightest!...

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