Synopsis: Both Tank Man and Viet Man have served as military assets for decades. After being liberated from Project Rising Spirit, they continue to fight for G.A.T.E. Now, after all these years, they are getting their first vacation. These two men attempt to return to the lives they once new, but those lives are long since over. All that remains are the shadows of a world they left decades ago. Though they may never recapture what they lost, Tank Man and Viet Man may obtain what they never thought possible, closure.
Review: The bloodshot brigade was forged in the fires of war. Each of them represent a slice of America’s wartime history. From WWII to the Vietnam war, these two characters embody certain sentiments from their respective eras. They are secondary characters, but both of these soldiers move from being flat to round characters. Tank Man returns to his childhood synagogue. This coupled with “the woman he left behind to fight the good fight” elaborates why he would make such a life altering sacrifice. Similarly, we see Veit Man bristle against his pacifist father. The idea of draft dodging drives a wedge between the two, but the horrors of war is what keeps them a part. Scenes, such as these, add a level of depth to characters that would otherwise fade into the background.
Bloodshot’s Day Off #1 relies on certain visual touchstones to convey powerful emotions. Tank Man’s vintage rental car, his final dance, Viet Man’ s stroll past the Apollo theatre and father’s church all anchor these soldier’s in a world that seems intimately familiar yet distant. The use of detailed flashbacks contrasts the present with the past, and it never feels forced or mishandled. The tonal shifts in color really drive home the temporal difference as well.
This one shot adds just a little more detail to characters that could easily be overlooked. Fans of the Bloodshot series should give it a read. Does it add to the overall Valiant universe? No. However, not every story needs to build upon the greater world. Some stories are just meant to give a snapshot into the lives of its characters. This issue does that.