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Interview: Christos Gage Talks BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS

Bloodshot is heading in an all-new direction with a brand new creative team. We chat with the writer about what the future holds for Valiant's solider!

The aftermath of the very epic HARBINGER WARS has set Bloodshot on a brand new path and it begins with #14 of his series (which will then make a title change from BLOODSHOT to BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS). His new journey will be written by Christos Gage (co-written by Joshua Dysart, too) and illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino. Now the powerful soldier will join forces with the Harbinger Active Resistance Division aka H.A.R.D. Corps. So, what does this new chapter mean for Valiant's deadly character? We had the opportunity to talk with Gage about the upcoming story!

Comic Vine: More and more people are deciding to jump on the Valiant train and rightfully so. Does your first issue serve as a good jumping on point or is reading Harbinger Wars first required?

Christos Gage: While I definitely recommend Harbinger Wars – and, for that matter, Duane Swierczynski's previous issues of Bloodshot – to anyone who likes smart, high-octane action stories, the first issue from me, Josh and Emanuela is perfectly accessible to new readers. Anything you need to know to follow the story is provided as we go, and there are a number of new characters introduced for the first time. It’s a great jumping on point.

CV: Aside from the plot, will this new direction for the character also bring a big change to the book's vibe or will it remain similar to Duane's?

CG: I love what Duane did, and I feel that trying to slavishly copy or imitate that would do a disservice to him as well as fans of his run. So there will definitely be a change to some degree, as well as the addition of an ensemble to what had previously been a solo book. But I absolutely want to keep the vibe Duane established of explosive but intelligent action that grabs you by the throat and never lets up. And while we are taking pains to be new reader friendly, what has come before will absolutely continue to inform where we go.

CV: What's the most challenging part of writing Bloodshot? And the most fun?

CG: It’s actually one and the same: making sure you live up to his well established status as an unstoppable mayhem machine while presenting him with credible threats and keeping the action smart, not just mindless bloodshed.

CV: For the new readers: who are the H.A.R.D. Corps and why do they deserve to share the spotlight with Bloodshot?

CG: They are a unit of normal humans who have implants in their brains that allow them to “download” a variety of superhuman powers, though they can’t use more than one at a time. But since their bodies aren’t made to accommodate these abilities, there is a cost to using them. Time is not kind to members of H.A.R.D. Corps…but not to worry, they’re unlikely to live that long.

CV: Also for the new readers: why is Bloodshot a character worth checking out? What makes him more than just a soldier with a healing factor?

CG: Bloodshot’s blood is full of nanites, and yes, they do repair damage to his body, but they do a lot of other cool stuff. They can talk to machines, allow limited shape-changing, and a variety of other abilities that lend themselves to stealth and espionage…as well as a more, shall we say, direct approach. Also, Bloodshot has no idea who he really is. He was given a different identity and fake set of memories for every mission, and is involved in an ongoing struggle to determine who he is and who he’s going to be. The character provides opportunities for very interesting explorations of themes like self-determination, free will and nature vs. nurture…liberally seeded with explosions and flying bullets, of course.

CV: Will we continue to see other characters from the Valiant universe appear in the title?

CG: Harada and his Harbinger Foundation are the Big Bad for our first arc. Aside from that, there won’t be any more Valiant Universe characters for a bit…but eventually, that would be a lot of fun, wouldn’t it?

CV: Speaking of other characters: Ninjak vs. Bloodshot. Everyone wants it, so is there any chance of this happening? Pretty please?

CG: Ninjak is appearing in the new team book, Unity…though that hardly rules out a confrontation with Bloodshot. But due to big events happening in Unity, it won’t happen right away.

CV: One of my favorite parts of Duane's run (aside from the action, of course) was seeing Bloodshot utilize his abilities in new and tactical ways. Can we expect to see him discover more abilities and make great use of the ones we have already seen?

CG: Actually, as we start our new arc, Harada has done some pretty nasty stuff to Bloodshot that not only reduces his powers but threatens his very life. So he will have to use his abilities in a smarter way to get back what has been taken from him. But I have a feeling he’ll be as deadly as ever.

CV: If you had to describe the book in 5 words or less, what would they be?

CG: I want to stress that in no way am I copying other companies’ titles or characters. The fun of this book is getting to do things you can only do in the Valiant Universe. But I am a gigantic nerd, and that’s my frame of reference. So: imagine Wolverine leading the Suicide Squad. That was six words, but I’m a maverick like that.

CV: Thanks, Christos!

You can follow Christos Gage on Twitter @Christosgage

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #14 goes on sale 9/18. Here's a preview if you want even more Bloodshot goodness.

23 Comments
Posted by flazam

Cool first

Edited by DecoyElite

Nice interview, glad to see that we'll be getting smarter action and not just more action. Should be neat to see what powers the Hardcorps guys have access to.

Posted by ReVamp

HARD Corps eh. Okay.

Posted by cameron83

Mm...better watch out DC!

lol jk

Posted by longbowhunter

Lupacchino is very good. She was one of the best artists to work on X-Factor. Valiant is lucky to her.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

hmmm different how?

Posted by Guardiandevil83

Thé HARD Corps? Whoo hoo! Damn I wish Valiant still had Turok and Solar

Posted by k4tzm4n

hmmm different how?

Reading the interview may answer your question :P

Staff
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@k4tzm4n said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

hmmm different how?

Reading the interview may answer your question :P

I did read it, other than it being a team book it didn't sound that different

Posted by EvilPenguin543

I always look forward to books Valiant puts out. They're one of the best Publishers out there.

Posted by Krissyjump

I'm absolutely loving the work Christos Gage is doing in Angel & Faith right now so I'll definitely be checking this out.

Posted by SavageDragon

I like the art but to be honest I'm kinda disappointed that the creative team is changing and that the book is shifting to a team dynamic. I've bought every issue up until this point but I'm not sure I will continue the book. Excited for the 0 issue but beyond that I dunno.

Posted by _Genesis_

Sweet can't wait

Posted by CaptainHoopla

Bloodshot is a badass. Anybody that can kill his enemy with his own protruding broken arm gets a thumbs up. I'm looking forward to see the direction it goes and will keep reading it until whatever creative team gives me reason not to.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Bloodshot amazing and so is the HARD Corps...Valiant really is doing well at this and I'm just waiting and biding my time until we see the Armorines again!

Posted by Extremis

@savagedragon: Many Valiant fans believe Bloodshot and HARD Corps is really just yes a natural progression of project rising spirits story as HARD Corps is also their creation, but really just a platform to launch the team before moving on to their own title. Now obviously this is just speculation, but we don't know if this is a permanent change at any rate, and judging by the smart decisions by editorial over at Valiant, we really have no reason to suspect this isn't a change for the better.

Edited by Extremis

@cameron83: its funny you say that because I actually dropped my DC titles in favor of getting on board with Valiant. Their that good and I couldn't be happier with my decision :) I prefer to give my money to a company that deserves it.

Posted by cameron83

@extremis said:

@cameron83: its funny you say that because I actually dropped my DC titles in favor of getting on board with Valiant. Their that good and I couldn't be happier with my decision :) I prefer to give my money to a company that deserves it.

Damn!

DC REALLY better step their game up. I think that more often than not they just ride on the popularity of their characters. They really better try and keep their fans in the dark about Valiant and Bloodshot if they want to stay in business lol

Posted by Thaxus

Wasn't Turok and or Solar absorbed back into Gold Key? And if so Valiant could reintroduce these titles again.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@thaxus said:

Wasn't Turok and or Solar absorbed back into Gold Key? And if so Valiant could reintroduce these titles again.

Dark Horse own the rights to both of them

Edited by Extremis

@cameron83: I bet no ones ever suspected you of sarcasm before have they? But yeah I guess they needn't worry about losing fans, especially since some of them have about as much taste as a moldy penny.

Posted by cameron83

@extremis said:

@cameron83: I bet no ones ever suspected you of sarcasm before have they? But yeah I guess they needn't worry about losing fans, especially since some of them have about as much taste as a moldy penny.

lol I wasn't being sarcastic. I was serious. DC better step their game up,because ever since the new 52,they took like 10 leaps back.

Many fans are sick of the new 52 and left,and I just hope they don't damage anymore characters...and there are the new fans.

Posted by SavageDragon

@extremis said:

@savagedragon: Many Valiant fans believe Bloodshot and HARD Corps is really just yes a natural progression of project rising spirits story as HARD Corps is also their creation, but really just a platform to launch the team before moving on to their own title. Now obviously this is just speculation, but we don't know if this is a permanent change at any rate, and judging by the smart decisions by editorial over at Valiant, we really have no reason to suspect this isn't a change for the better.

Yea I see your point, I wasn't impressed with their role/introductions or characterizations in Harbinger Wars. I thought they were strange. That mini started out great and then fell flat for me.