Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bloodshot #13 (Acclaim Comics)

Superpowered undead man Bloodshot is on one of the final legs of his journey of identity. He's in Russia, at the site of a secret project so dangerous, everyone involved in mapping and charting its location was liquidated, and the test facility is in the middle of a vast fenced off area 100 kilometres wide, with five nukes pointed straight at it from a satellite, prepared to fire at a moments notice. Whatever it is that necessitated such safeguards drove Bloodshot's former self Raymond Garrison mad for half a year, and he's intent on finding out the truth behind this encounter...

Bloodshot Issue #13's story is by far the most strange of this series, but not without good reason. The story here is rather fascinating, with its ideas of disastrous reality-breaking psychotronic experiments, and their effects on land, the human mind, and the abandoned test subjects indirectly responsible for all the chaos.

Interesting this story indeed is, but its concepts are sadly too unexplored for its own good. The psychotropic weirdness just suddenly stops, Bloodshot talks to the test subject at the heart of the warped facility for a couple of pages, The End. If the issue was double-sized, then I think it would've been able to flesh out its story more. Still, A for effort!

The non-linear flavour to the narrative makes things a bit confusing, as does the rapid onset craziness. One second, things are fine, the next, Bloodshot's in a giant D.O.A. shredder bin that may or may not actually exist. A bit of segue would've been good.

This isn't much of a character issue at all, more focusing on events. Bloodshot doesn't have a whole lot of character here, but we do get a sense of how computer-like his mind is, especially when the psychotronic stuff affects him like a computer virus. As for the test subject, what she has to say to Bloodshot is quite interesting in regards to what he is, though the story then ends too soon for her.

After a few issues without that distinctive hilariously pretentious Bloodshot speak, we get it in spades here, even to the point of parody! It's nice that this series knows enough to poke fun at itself, yet still take everything seriously. It also helps that it does have small doses of humour here and there. Not only does it not feel out of place, but it adds immensely to the absolutely bizarre tone this series has!

"Fabric of space-time unraveled; tangled snarls of Gordian knots and strange loops. Causality violated by the double murder of Cause and Effect. The seconds twitch by fitfully, broken-sprocketed movie footage. Eternity's deck of cards shuffled at random. Uncertainty writ macrocosmic, unleashed from its sub-atomic quantum prison. Einstein wept." Cause was posthumously tried in the court of quantum space.

"This is the place where men briefly held reality in their hands, only to stumble and irreparably shatter part of it-Where time's arrow has been hammered into knots by a psychotic blacksmith, and all God has forbidden is mandatory." It's of course well-known that psychotic blacksmiths are among the universe's greatest dangers.

And then there's my personal favourite line from the whole series-"Secrets breed documentation. Lies kill trees!"

The art here is quite good! It's not cluttered, except in the craziness where it's meant to be. There's also some stylishly different artwork with the crazed test subject's mental form, which adds to the story's feel.

The cover is sorta lacking. The background with the ethereal face is nice, and Bloodshot's not terribly drawn, but there's not quite enough going on.

This is one of my favourite issues of Acclaim's Bloodshot, and is the epitome of what this series strives to be...

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