Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Bloodshot #16 (Classic Valiant)
Superhuman secret agent Bloodshot is on assignment in a war-torn Eastern European country, to protect the Ambassador Rokjevich, a politician aiming for bringing peace and stability to the country. There are countless people who want Rokjevich dead, and Bloodshot soon begins to suspect the ambassador's shifty second-in-command Vladimir of foul play...
Bloodshot Issue #16's plot is a bit of a bore, and wastes its setting completely. It could have had a quite interesting plot involving the desperate struggle for peace over a decades-long civil war, but instead that's written as an afterthought and a backdrop.
There's very little action here, and the majority of events are just setting up security, and occasionally detaining would-be-assassins before anything can actually happen. The plot just stops mid-scene. Nothing is resolved, concluded, or anything of the sort, and this is a standalone issue! Every plot point and character is a loose end!
The dialogue can get pretty annoying too, such as when the ambassador starts up a conversation with Bloodshot about the war. "Let me share a story with you," he says, then Next Scene. This is infuriating, as I was interested in a potentially interesting talk between two old soldiers about past deeds and lesson's that seemed to be coming.
There's bad dialogue in the form of lines such as "The front desk will tell you where you're sleeping", and "My cousin was shot for looting while trying to salvage his own belongings after an attack. From his own home", both from Sergeant Major Petrolka. It's possible the intent here is that English is not Petrolka's first language, so her syntax may not be perfect, but her English is otherwise perfect, so I'll level this on bad writing.
Bloodshot is pretty bland here, and is annoying/irksome in places, largely due to his constant referral of Sergeant Major Petrolka by her first name, or as 'lady'. He's also a dumbass who thinks with the wrong head, as when he's about to go spying on who he thinks is a crooked politician, Petrolka goes to his room and starts stripping, so Bloodshot figures that "Vladimir can wait", and decides to get groove on with the Sergeant Major. When the war's over, dumbasses!
Olga Petrolka is a likeable character. Nothing too memorable, but she's a good addition to the story. Everyone else in this story is dull, with nothing to them, especially the villains, or lack thereof. The character of Vladimir might be the villain, but the story stops before we can find out.
The art here is decent, but some characters are drawn worse than others, such as one who looks right out of a Frank Miller comic. The cover is terrible, not because of how well it's drawn, but because it spoils the ending! Bloodshot taking a bullet for the ambassador is meant as a shock ending, but it's literally the first thing you'll know about the issue! Putting that aside temporarily, it is well drawn, and stylish, but, Bloodshot has been hit in the head by a sniper, and we're seeing this directly from its POV, yet there's no entry wound!
This is a dull issue of Bloodshot, which is nothing but a wasteful loose end...