Synopsis: Panic and chaos have erupted in Manhattan due to an engineered techno-virus released by the paramilitary organization Project Rising Spirit. As the virus spreads, it turns normal people into unstoppable killing machines that look just like the renegade hero Bloodshot. The Unity team, M-I 6, and other task forces are assembled to solve the crisis, but when they fail, only Bloodshot and Bloodshot Squad stand as the only hope to quell the violence and stop the nano-virus from spreading.
Review: Bloodshot U.S.A #1 is a shining achievement for Valiant. If you have ever read anything from this publisher, you should be familiar with their rich universe. With properties such as Unity, Harbinger, Faith, and Britannia, Valiant has been able to distinguish itself as a contender. Their ability to utilize strong creative teams makes books like Bloodshot possible. Writer Jeff Lemire does a fantastic job of summarizing the events that positioned Project Rising Spirit (the shadowy evil corporation that deals death for dividends) into developing and releasing this devastating plague upon the masses of Manhattan. Lemire does this through a board meeting where the reader learns that the events of Book of Death have directly influenced the current situation. These scenes easily could be seen as boring exposition. It is not. Rising Spirit’s C.E.O, Morris Kozol, is measured yet maniacal, and this is due to Lemire’s strong characterization skills. Fleshing out the villain is just as important as ensuring the heroes are fully formed, and it adds to the credibility of the rest of the story. Moreover, the art by Doug Braithwaite really drives home the level of work that goes into Bloodshot U.S.A #1.
The carnage scenes in Bloodshot are gorgeous and vivid. Braithwaite’s pencils combined with Brian Reber’s colors invoke a sense of danger and power. Manhattan truly looks like a war zone, and it really is a feast for the eyes. You can almost smell the car fires and smoke from the rubble. At no point, could you say that visuals were anything less than above spectacular. Each person infected with the bloodshot virus looks distinct, which is no easy task when everyone is supposed to look like a copy of the original Bloodshot. This is very appreciated because it makes the threat seem credible. The action scenes are easy to follow, and the finally pages are a delight for fans of Bloodshot or Valiant in general.
The Valiant universe can sometimes be difficult to enter. There are a lot of unfamiliar properties for the uninitiated, yet the publisher is committed to being accessible. Bloodshot U.S.A is the gold standard of this idea. Whether you are new or returning to Valiant, this event delivers on all front, and no one should miss out on the mayhem.