Synopsis: The enigmatic scarred man is many things: cold, calculating, ruthless. His origins are closely tied to the deadly Rampage. They were brothers who lived on a farm with an abusive father. Abused for most of their adolescence, Pete finally has enough, and he plots their escape. However, the plan goes sour, and the scars that mar Pete to this day occur. In the end, the brothers escape, but the trauma forever changes them.
Review: Every villain needs an origin story, and Bloodshot Salvation #4 delivers two. The scarred man and Rampage are devoid of any compassion, and seeing their upbringing sheds light on how these two people came to be what they are: monsters. Moreover, they are brutal men who started off as boys who went through terrible circumstances. The reader is meant to sympathize with the young boys, but the knowledge of how they torment people in the present gives the men the complexity they need to be dynamic villains.
Issue #4 is dark in a lot of ways. Flashbacks usually have a warm aura about them, yet you find none of this here. The opening panels take place around dusk, so we see the shadows lurking around the two boys. The air around them positively screams foreboding. As the story progresses, the darkness is only offset by the fire that consumes the boys’ childhood farm. It is a very powerful image to see the flames mimic the internal inferno that rage within Pete and Danny. The fire destroys the entire farm, but the burns Pete receives emphasize the lasting damage their upbringing has caused.
This was a very concise issue where a lot of the heavy lifting is done in the quieter moments. We now know where things went horribly wrong for the scarred man and Rampage. We now see how men can become these hated figures. Now, we will see what they have in store for us next.