Bloodshot Salvation #11
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
It’s strange that Marvel and DC tend to shy away from married heroes when it can work so well when done right. Bloodshot is a character that adds more by having the responsibility of a family. Bloodshot (Ray Garrison) debuted in Eternal Warrior #4 in 1992 as a character very similar to Wolverine and Punisher. A former soldier and subject to experimentation, Bloodshot has nanotech in his blood that gives him enhanced strength and healing abilities that make him nearly invulnerable. In Salvation, Ray has left that life behind and is living with his wife Magic and his daughter Jessie. Circumstances pull Ray back in with the company who produced his tech. Eventually, Ray makes a deal with Baron Samedi to save his daughter’s life. The deal Ray made flings him to the year 4000 to assassinate a man.
In previous issues, we see how Magic and Jessie had been living without Ray for some time. Magic talks to the Voodoo sorceress Punk Mambo and we get dialogue from Ray in the year 4000. This issue shows us what is happening in the year 4000 when Punk Mambo speaks to Ray.
The story is all a bit confusing concerning time travel and speaking through séances, but in the end, it is a cool idea. Previous chapters are revisited by recreating panels from earlier issues. Some recreations stay close to previous panels. Some recreations vary from previous panels. The recreation of scenes is the biggest drawback to this chapter.
It is hard not to make comparisons in the art to previous issues since so much of the book revisits the previous story. By comparison, I thought the art did not work. It is hard to tell if the characters are meant to look old or if they are meant to look distressed. Panel layouts often looked awkward. Characters in body expression and action were not clear. The flaws are especially troubling since the book involves scenes that I had seen before. The designs for the year 4000 could have been a chance to really open up with the art and show some variation. Instead, the backgrounds looked so dull. The colors all match a similar tone throughout the book. There is nothing in a panel that really stood out. Better use of shadows and background detail would have really helped make the panels more interesting.
The way the issue handles future Bloodshot is also a problem. He seems like an interesting character since he is similar to the present Ray but with some more advanced abilities. The problem is that we don’t get to know him. The two Bloodshots have a brief skirmish over the attempted assassination. There is some light dialogue about how the future Bloodshot would like to help protect Jessie. There is still one more issue before the finale, and I am hoping that the book further explores the character before the end.
The story is interesting in the way that it shows a different angle on what was previously seen in the series. Ray’s journey is definitely engaging. The strongest part of the issue is the tension built from Ray trying to protect his family. While the story is worth the read, it’s only worth it if you’ve been reading since the first issue. With all the problems plaguing this issue, I would say it is best to give it a pass. Hopefully the final issue next week is better.
Bloodshot Salvation #11
This chapter in the Salvation story has an engaging story, however, the art is a real step back from previous chapters. There are some missed opportunities when it comes to character development. This issue clues you into questions raised at the beginning of the series and gets us where we need to go for the next issue but is not enough for me to recommend.