Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bloodshot #19 (Classic Valiant)

Like I've said before, Issue #14 of Valiant action series Bloodshot is the first and last fantastic issue in this entire mediocre series. However, that doesn't mean there's not some fun left, as evidenced by this issue!

A bunch of protection racket mobsters teach a circus a 'lesson' in overdue payment, gunning down several performers. They all die, save for one-Lenny Abruzzi. Driven to the edge, and already a tough guy, Lenny, aka 'Uzzi the Clown' recuperates, trains, then goes out onto the streets for some hunting. Uzzi is the toughest clown the criminals will soon wish they never crossed...

When I first found out that there was an issue where Bloodshoot is up against a joking clown vigilante, and in a story called Tears of a Clown no less, I figured this would be the point where the series jumps the shark. As it turns out, Uzzi the Clown is not only the best character to ever appear in Bloodshot, he's one of the best in all of Valiant too! He has a dramatic and well-defined arc, some hilariously ridiculous lines of dialogue, and he really brings some life to the otherwise stale proceedings.

Aside from Uzzi, this is a pretty dull story, of boring gangland nothing, with an end that's far too abrupt. Thankfully, while it seems like Uzzi dies at the end (in a really rushed manner), he comes back for a two-parter a few issues down the line.

Bloodshot is pretty dull here, and has no personal stake in the story. He's just doing stuff because it's his job, and there's no real attachment felt to anything he does. Especially annoying is that there's nothing ever made of the counterpoint between him and Uzzi. Both are men who were brutally wronged, both are pale white (whether it be from facepaint, or human experimentation), and both extracted violent and murderous vigilante justice. Yet the story never acknowledges the similarities, and when they do finally meet, they barely converse, Bloodshot shoots Uzzi's gun away, the clown instantly leaps off a bridge, and the story just stops.

There's one pretty dumb moment when Bloodshot detains a group of criminals, and when they ask who he is, he tells them! I guess he doesn't pay that much heed to the SECRET part of his job description!

The art here is decent. Some spots were drawn worse than others, but overall, it's ok. The cover isn't very good. The faces are a bit underdrawn, the multiple-shots arc is poorly drawn,  and the gunshots look more like lasers!

While this issue of Bloodshot has a fun character in Uzzi the Clown, it unfortunately wastes him. Still, he's an extremely entertaining addition to the story, which would have otherwise been irredeemably boring...

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