The characters from Valiant Comics have been making quite the comeback. We're already seeing titles such as X-O MANOWAR, BLOODSHOT, ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG and HARBINGER making strong comebacks and in November SHADOWMAN will debut. Both new and old fans of the characters have been enjoying the new titles and there's plenty more to come from Valiant.
Duane Swierczynski is currently writing BLOODSHOT as well as BIRDS OF PREY at DC Comics. We had the chance to talk to Duane about what's coming up in BLOODSHOT as well as get an exclusive preview to the fourth issue, on sale October 10.
Comic Vine: How did you get involved with bringing Bloodshot back to comics?
Duane Swierczynski: Valiant Executive Editor Warren Simons gave me my first break in comics when he was at Marvel, where we worked on an impossibly gory WEREWOLF BY NIGHT mini-series and a few arcs of IMMORTAL IRON FIST. So while I wasn't familiar with Valiant in its heyday (I was in college, and too broke to indulge in weekly comic shop runs), I knew if Warren was involved, the new Valiant was going to be something spectacular. And it is.
CV: The original solicitations for Bloodshot mentioned both Angelo Mortalli and Raymond Garrison. At the end of issue #4, will Bloodshot be any closer to discovering who he really is? And, if not, where will his search for answers take him next?
DS: Bloodshot's quest for his identity is the driving force of this series. You don't think we're going to make it that easy for him, do you?
That said: Bloodshot is a lot closer by the end of #4, because he knows where the secrets are kept -- and he's just figured out a way to get to them. One that involves a lot of bullets, some slight-of-hand, and a little blood. Okay, maybe a lot of blood.== TEASER ==
CV: You've given the "goldies" - the nannies in Bloodshot's bloodstream - quite a bit of personality, even going so far as to personify them as hallucinations that speak to him like and look like children. Will this be a reoccurring device in the book? Will they continue to aid Bloodshot on his mission(s)?
DS: This will be a recurring device, but in a very different form, starting in #5. Not to give too much away, but while Bloodshot's trying to figure out his own identity, the nanites are also trying to figure out their function, now that they're "liberated" from Project Rising Spirit programming.
CV: Once free from Project Rising Spirit, what's next? Does he try to find answers to his past, try to be a hero, a mercenary, pizza delivery boy? In other words, what can you tell us about the next arc?
DS: He's going to sell weed door-to-door. His code name: "Bloodshot," because that's how your eyes will look the next morning...
The first arc could be described as a predator drone suddenly waking up, and wondering who he/it was. The second arc is going to be about that predator drone looking for some payback... starting with its creators.
CV: From the looks of the town of Atlee, Nevada in issue #3, Bloodshot isn't Project Rising Spirit's only experiment go awry. As Bloodshot begins trying to take out PRS in the new arc, will anymore of the project's "loose ends" be revealed?
DS: Oh, man. In a HUGE way. I can't say much, but in issue five, pay close attention to... um, the basement.
CV: Speaking of which, is there a history behind the name of "Bloodshot" with Project Rising Spirit? Will that be addressed at all?
DS: You'll find the answer to that question in #7.
CV: Bloodshot has been "killed" many, many times in just the few issues of the book so far. Does he feel the pain when he's shot up to hell? And, more importantly, is having an "undying" protagonist a challenge for you as a writer?
DS: Oh yeah. Every bruise, every cut, every bullet strike, every sucking chest wound. Being Bloodshot is not fun.
I don't think Bloodshot is undying; there are many ways to neutralize and/or obliterate him. We're going to see some of those ways in the next few arcs.
CV: Project Rising Spirit has been a mentioned few times by name in Harbinger recently and even appeared as they tried to capture Peter Stanchek. Is this a tie-in that we should see specific relevance in, especially given that the shared universe that both Bloodshot and Harbinger inhabit?
DS:shakes Magic 8-ball Signs point to... Abso-freakin'-lutely.
CV: Now that the Valiant Universe is growing and we're seeing crossovers like Ninjak in X-O Manowar, are there any other as-yet untouched Valiant characters that you'd like to get your hands on?
DS: Yes, and they'll be showing up soon. To say more would be just plain wrong.
CV: On an unrelated note (while I have you here), is the next Charlie Hardie novel, Point & Shoot, still on track for April 2013? Have you thought of adapting those into comics?
DS: Yep. The final draft is in and making its way through to production. If I were to die tomorrow, it would still appear next April 2013. Hell, it would probably sell a lot more...
As for adapting them into comics -- I'd rather tackle something fresh in comics form.
BLOODSHOT #4 is on sale October 10. Check out this exclusive preview for the issue.