Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bloodshot #7 and #8 (Acclaim Comics)

Issues #7 and #8 of Acclaim Comics' action series Bloodshot feature a crossover with other Acclaim hero XO Man-O-War, and it's not forced, or anything of the like! Always a good thing! I know, I know, that seems like an obvious thing to say, but there have been so many annoying 'hero vs hero' stories in DC and Marvel of late that it's gotten to be very frustrating, so seeing it actually done well is nice!...

Bloodshot, a man resurrected from death by a shady organization (the D.O.A.) seemingly to be made a living weapon, has escaped their clutches and is looking for information on his pre-mortem life, heading for Iron Mountain, the biggest economic and intelligence information cache in the United States. Meanwhile, D.O.A. director Simon Oreck has a fellow government agency send in their elite superweapon XO Man-O-War into Iron Mountain to detain Bloodshot and have him brought back to the D.O.A..

Donovan Wylie, the man inside the powerful XO armour, is briefed on the situation, knowing very little due to the tiny need-to-know barriers in communication with Oreck, and comes face to face with Bloodshot. After a heated conversation, the two are at each-other's throats, and despite Bloodshot's superhuman strength, he's battered into a pulp. However, problems arise for Wylie not only when he realizes just how horribly his anger has gotten the better of him, but also when Bloodshot's nanite-infused blood seeps into the XO armour, glitching it out dangerously...

This two-parter is a very well-done crossover. It doesn't require any prior reading of XO Man-O-War, and gets across Donovan Wylie's character just fine. It gets people who know nothing of XO up to speed, and it's done so in a way that's not clumsy or hamfisted, and flows pretty well with the story and character of Bloodshot.

In a neat move, the issues let both characters narrate, and in doing so, we get to know what both their characters are like, and how they're reacting to this situation. While I'm sure these issues could handle having two narrations going at the same time, for the most part they partition them off into different chapters (a feature this series has), so you don't have to worry about them getting in the way.

It never comes across like these two characters are fighting just because the writer wants them too, and the story definitely has numerous believable reasons why these two respective protagonists are at odds, never feeling like a cheap crossover for the sake of a crossover. Especially good is that the conflict's resolution is one that doesn't insult either camp of fans.

Both the dialogue and narrations are very well written. As for the characters, Donovan Wylie is a semi-likeable character, despite his ego, while Bloodshot is a mean and determined sumbitch who can put up one hell of a fight, despite being potentially outmatched.

By far the best thing about this crossover is that it doesn't interrupt the ongoing storyline, and come the end, Bloodshot has the information about his past that he needs.

My only main problem with this story is that, despite its fine script, is still lacking in regards to its actual plot, which is just two issues of two superpowered guys fighting in a facility. It doesn't matter how much you further your characters, if your plot's that thin, there's a problem!

Another-smaller-problem with this story is Simon Oreck's appearance at the end. The scene's dialogue is confusing, and icky at the end. Also, the end to Issue #7 and the start of #8 are definitely gross! They're not without reason, as 1, despite the ick factor, it's something believable that poses a big threat to Donovan, and 2, it showcases Bloodshot's superpowered abilities. But still, eeew!

The artwork is the same as usual. Cluttered. Also, there are some moments where Wylie's face is a bit off, The covers are decent, albeit melodramatic in Issue #8's case, and a bit messy in #7's.

This is a highly entertaining story from Acclaim's Bloodshot, and the series is still going strong!...A wagon that this is about to temporarily fall off next issue...

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