Much More Than An Origin Story
Bloodshot #0 gives a look back at the evolution of Bloodshot from the one person designated to turn a killing machine into a killer with a heart of gold.
In the current telling of Bloodshot, he is a military project that has turned against his directive and now fights against those who created him. Issue #0 is a history lesson beginning in 1992 and told by the architect charged with giving Bloodshot a soul giving us a unique perspective on the tale. Bloodshot is dedicated to his task but anyone who stands in his way will meet with an unforgiving end. That will is displayed with sheer horror as a mother and young child become just another casualty of Bloodshot’s war.
This is an origin that jumps back and forth between time lines and the narrator tells his tale with great moral and ethical implications. It’s a very twisted “Wizard of Oz” style tale of a killing machine who needs a heart and more importantly a soul. After all that Bloodshot is subjected to with the implantation of a countless number of subjects as their conciseness and memory’s it’s no wonder his origin is so convoluted. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos that becomes of Bloodshot’s mind.
Matt Kindt lays out Bloodshot’s history like a bloody maze of confusion but it all fits together in the end. I was a fan of Bloodshot back in the early nineties and Kindt does a nice job giving a wink to his early appearances in comics and then fleshing out a rich history from World War II through the modern day. He also does it in a way that will make you squeamish at what Bloodshot’s capable of achieving. He clearly defines Bloodshot as one man with many lives and the destruction it left behind. Artist ChrisCross leaves his mark on Bloodshot’s history as well and does so with dramatic close-ups, angles and movement through the panels. He also brings a certain amount of horror like detail to drive home the grit and pain in Bloodshot and those he encounters.
Origin stories can be tricky but Kindt and ChrisCross find a way to breath life into this story. The final few pages of the issue is a perfect ending to such a complicated story. It’s sad but packs a punch in which you won’t easily recover. This is a good jumping on point for new readers and another solid and satisfying issue to long time readers. This is a near perfect match of writing and art that brings the pages to life. Bloodshot is the complicated anti-hero of the Valiant Universe and reason why Valiant is a top-shelf comic publisher.