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Bloodshot #13 - Living the Dream Review

3

HARBINGER WARS has come and gone, but now it's time to see things from Bloodshot's side.

The Good

The rather awesome 'Harbinger Wars' has come to an end and now it's time to get a look at the event's finale from Bloodshot's perspective. While this issue doesn't add too much new material to the mix, it's still a serviceable read. Yes, we've already seen Bloodshot fight against the Renegades, but I'd be a liar if I said I didn't kind of enjoy a second dose of that.

When it's not rehashing familiar territory (aka the final brawl), BLOODSHOT #13 jumps into Bloodshot's dynamic with Kara, his struggle over his role in all of this madness, and his interaction with Harada before HARBINGER WARS came to an end. Truthfully, the dynamic with Kara didn't add much to the issue and was overshadowed by everything else going on in the event. I know she's a secondary character, but it would have been great to see her scene(s) fleshed out more.

However, his dilemma over what to do in this scenario and his violent encounter with Harada were easily the highlights of this book. Seeing Bloodshot drift into a happy place in his mind is a nice change of pace and something that we rarely see now. It's a refreshing experience which gives a little more depth to the character and has a really solid conclusion. Not to mention the art for this sequence is fantastic and I love the creative way his shirt transitions into his signature logo, as well as how a certain character looks upon momentarily returning to this fake world. Meanwhile, the encounter with Harada is simply vicious. I love Bloodshot and I'm rooting for the dude, but seeing the dude get thrown through the meat grinder never gets old and each artist has been able to nail the raw brutality behind these moments.

The Bad

The biggest problem with this issue is it's mostly a rehash of what went down in the final chapter of HARBINGER WARS -- an issue which came out last week. The beginning and end are dedicated to a whole different matter and that does keep it fresh, but a solid chunk of this issue is just giving us a detailed (and slightly extended) look on events we've already seen. It's not a terrible thing, but it doesn't add much to switch-up the scenes we've already seen aside from giving a new angle on the hits.

Lastly, I understand the need to clear the table before the book goes in a new direction, but the write-off of a certain character felt a bit too sudden. Since most of this issue dives into stuff we already know about, it would've been nice to see a little of that time instead dedicated towards this character's sign off. Lastly, I thought the Harada protocol kicked in whenever Bloodshot is near the character? Or did the events in the last issue mean Bloodshot has now wiped all protocols from his system and he's 100% in control? For simplicity's sake, I'll assume the latter.

The Verdict

"3 STARS FOR BLOODSHOT? HAS KATZMAN GONE MAD?" Fear not, Viner, it's not a bad issue -- it just has too much of a "been there, done that" feeling to it. Sure, there's two rather good scenes thrown into the mix, but the core of this book is giving us a look at what we've already seen in HARBINGER WARS #4. This issue basically hits the reset button and prepares us for the next step in Bloodshot's life, but in doing so, I feel like it rushes one character out of the picture and I wish they had a more engaging departure. Regardless, it's still an entertaining and good looking issue, it's just bogged down by a lot of backtracking.

8 Comments
Posted by Squalleon

I think this is the first Valiant issue that got 3 stars!

Online
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Oh man, the 4 * run has come to an end

Posted by ShadowMonkey

I have to agree with this review. I read all the Valiant books and I found that the Harbinger Wars mini-series with crossing over into both Harbinger & Bloodshot made for a slow read on a huge event. It's still a great story, and all of the comic series were well done, but I think it would have been better if the Harbinger Wars mini-series was not made and the events were concentrated in just the Harbinger & Bloodshot comics. Still loved it though.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@shadowmonkey: Well not all of them are meant to be read together

Posted by hufnagel0

I only read Harbinger along with the Wars mini and never really felt the rehashes slowed the story too much. They did a pretty good job of extending different scenes enough that I never wanted to skip anything, but I can't really speak for the Bloodshot issues. So from the sounds of it, next month will probably be an alright jump-on point for Bloodshot then, eh?

Posted by k4tzm4n

I only read Harbinger along with the Wars mini and never really felt the rehashes slowed the story too much. They did a pretty good job of extending different scenes enough that I never wanted to skip anything, but I can't really speak for the Bloodshot issues. So from the sounds of it, next month will probably be an alright jump-on point for Bloodshot then, eh?

Yup, next month is a new creative team and direction for the book,

Staff
Posted by CaptainHoopla

@hufnagel0: So there is no confusion, it also has a title change to Bloodshot and the Hard C.O.R.P.S.

Agree with the review, H. Wars was a great event, but the cross into the individual titles backtracked too much. Probably good if you didn't read H Wars, but a bit disappointing if you read all three titles. Sort of feels like paying full price for half a comic.

Edited by That60sGuy

@hufnagel0: So there is no confusion, it also has a title change to Bloodshot and the Hard C.O.R.P.S.

Agree with the review, H. Wars was a great event, but the cross into the individual titles backtracked too much. Probably good if you didn't read H Wars, but a bit disappointing if you read all three titles. Sort of feels like paying full price for half a comic.

Agreed... especially for Bloodshot. Harbinger didn't rehash too badly and added enough extra.

@k4tzm4n & @hufnagel0 Next month is actually Bloodshot #0 by Matt Kindt and Crisscross. Then from September the series turns into Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps by Christos Gage, Joshua Dysart (Harbinger) & Emanuela Lupachino (Archer & Armstrong).