Sunday, November 30, 2014
Bloodshot: Overall (Acclaim Comics)
The original Bloodshot series from Valiant Comics is extremely boring to me. It's incredibly mediocre, and the whole thing just screams of wasted potential. The Acclaim remake on the other hand improves on every aspect of its predecessor.
Bloodshot is the story of a man brought back to life by a sinister organization known as the D.O.A., seemingly to be made into a superweapon. He manages to escape, knowing that he's supposedly named Raymond Garrison, but he doesn't believe it. He's drawn to the name Angelo Mortalli, and goes on a search for the truth of his identity, in the process finding nasty truths, and battling superpowered opponents...
First of all, this is a very good remake! Nevermind that it's good while the original series sucks. This is a fine remake as it changes enough to be different, but keeps enough to still be the same thing.
Bloodshot isn't just regular action fare, but is also a really bizarre series! Its dialogue is either unintentionally hilariously pretentious, or deliberately so. I'm willing to bet it's the latter, as this series knows to poke fun at itself and its writing style at times. This series has humour here and there, and far from being out of place, it adds to the surreal tone.
This series' themes of soul, identity, meaning to life, science and supernatural, and totalitarianism are pretty fascinating, and the series is very literate, especially in how it ends each issue with a quote pertaining to each story's events. They're all great quotes, but the best is by far the last one, which caps off the series' fantastic ending perfectly!
The titular character is very well-written. His superpower set is interesting, while his attitude is kinda darkly snarky, and his journey for soul and identity adds depth. Best of all, unlike most other anti-heroes of the '90's, Bloodshot is not cliched, and not annoying! YES! Not once does he complain how 'Murderers get a slap on the wrist in court while good men die', and he never says 'Take back the night'! Both phrases are among the most repeated ones in the '90's, and are thusly infuriating to read, to the point where they're mostly only used nowadays in parody.
Simon Oreck is a very good villain! While we unfortunately don't find out his true motivations until the last issue, he's still a well-written villain althroughout. His dialogue could make him come across as a know-it-all if the writing in this series wasn't as good as it is, but thankfully it instead paints a devious and cunning villain! As for how he looks, it's deliberately grotesque, given he's as big as Mr. Creosote from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, but this actually plays into the story, and isn't there for laughs.
Bloodshot features quite a few different characters from Acclaim's shared universe in cameos here and there, but the proper crossovers it has are with XO Man-O-War, and Shadowman. Both of these stories are complimentary to the respective characters, and they feel like they actually have a reason to play a part in the story, rather than just show up because Editorial wants a crossover.
Unfortunately, the more minor characters are wasted. The Chainsaw hit squad are an interesting bunch, but they're all killed in their respective issue. And then there's Agent Sinclair, who has some scenes that really give him character, but never lead to anything.
The art in this series is a mixed bag. Sometimes it looks cluttered and confusing, other times it's better. There are also chapter headings, which are ok, but can get a bit confusing when the stories are non-linear, and we get Chapter Three before One. Still, when that confusion wears off, the headings actually help you more easily realize the non-linearity going on.
Overall, only one Issue (#9) of this series is bad. The rest is a great read, and the most surreal action odyssey this side of Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning!...