THIS is what I’m talking about right here. Couple this with how much I enjoyed IMAGE’s Island and I’m having a damn good comics week.
The Fall of Bloodshot offers up more of everything I like and was just a clean book overall and stands as my favorite issue of Bloodshot ever, I’ve had quite the opposite reaction to the character lately in that while I’ve thought the execution of his series – Bloodshot Reborn – has been terrific but in premise it wasn’t really my personal preference.I’m a big fan of Jeff Lemire though so I know he has it in him to turn on a dime. This is that Descender guy.
The Fall of Bloodshot is exactly what it states, a potential end of the road of a journey but before the end however we get the best type of VALIANT storytelling though. Flashes of the future with Bloodshot retelling beats from what is a long personal history. A history that’s nothing near as grounded and noirish as we see in Bloodshot Reborn and is all that actual good shit that I want to read, as if we took all the shards of a Rai #0 and created with them whole issues for each of them. Lemire and Braithwaite unveil epic Bloodshot. Dino hunting, barbarian warlord space king, Eskimo spearmen, pirate Bloodshot, robot wars, and even more he doesn’t tell. It looks like every great genre I want to read Bloodshot in, as he seems to stand in for former VALIANT roles of robot fighter and dinosaur hunter, while still having the time to get in some quality pirating with Armstrong for beer. This is everything. VALIANT at its best. All of these are stories I want more of.I’m not sure what to make of lil Ray at the end excluding that he’s the antithesis of Bloodsquirt. Ray is Ray. He has a friend. He’s come full circle. His end is witnessed. Perhaps it represented his mind state or maybe it was even the nanites letting him pass with comfort. What Little Ray says is telling. He doesn’t say he doesn’t have anywhere else to be. Instead, he states “Don’t got nowhere left to go”. He leaves what looks to be an advanced rebuilt humanity. He has survived countless battles and wars and I wonder if his thoughts about his nanites being outdated now also means he and they are no longer needed. Did he walk far enough to find peace?
This is VALIANT that I love, and my only fear when reading The Fall of Bloodshot, The Book of Death, and perhaps VALIANT in general is this thought that what’s to come or what could be is always more preferable than what is. This idea that all these good ideas and stories I want to see are always coming or are just footnotes never to be expanded on, while I’m left to follow some crime/cop show. Even Lemire starts off the reflection with:
Those were the good years…
… Years of Adventure
This is the Bloodshot and VALIANT I want to read.
The old VALIANT fan in me is still processing the fate of the fabled Blood of Heroes. Dying in an alley, outdated and failing. But then I think about what I just read. Ray lived and Ray got to die in a way he didn’t live. In peace. It makes me think about the title of a novel by Matthew Stover: Heroes Die.
As it is, the only thing that could have made this better was if Bloodshot was Afro Bloodshot. Hat tip to Lemire and Braithwaite, one of the best single comics of the year and maybe the best issue of VALIANT I’ve ever read.