Reviews – Valiant Entertainment: 7/11/12 by Jerry Whitworth
by Joshua Dysart (w) and Khari Evans (a)
Mister Tull’s strike force, members of the government agency Project Rising Spirit who hunt down Psiots, surrounds Peter Stanchek and his friends as the mental projection of Harada Toyo, the world’s most powerful psionic taking the form of a dog at present, looks on. Employing anti-Psiot technology, Peter’s fate seems grim as he begs Harada for help. Unmoved, Harada tells Peter he must use his own power, something he’s spent his life running from. After unlocking the terrifying abilities within, Peter takes down Tull and his men and formally joins the Harbinger Foundation. Meanwhile, we delve into Harada’s past when ten years earlier he saved the infant Darpan (the Mirror), a Psiot capable of making someone relive a tragic moment in their life but who also amplifies its pain, from the slums of India.
The action really picks up in this issue. After the information dump in the first issue, Peter finally unloads displaying abilities that even scared his best friend. The structure is much less complicated as well as we pick up right from last issue with Peter fighting the Rising Spirit troops, agreeing to take Harada on as his mentor, and jump into joining his organization (amidst the protests of Joe Irons). We still manage to get a couple new characters as well in Darpan, Rachel Hopson (Psiot recruiter), and Edward Sedgewick (Harada’s attendant), all of whom we meet briefly. Certainly an improvement over the last issue, which threw a lot of things at the reader, and I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.
by Duane Swierczynski (w) and Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi (a)
Ray is a man who has everything: a wife that loves him, a son that adores him, and taking the last step towards a perfect life as he drops his dangerous job to raise them. Ray, aka Bloodshot, a nanite-infused super soldier, must first undertake a mission to save his mentor and friend Apanewicz. However, not everything is as it seems when the mission was a draw to bring Bloodshot into the open as scientist Kuretich steals data from Bloodshot’s nanite memory and reveals his entire life is a lie, unlocking the various lives he’s been implanted with to inspire a desire to complete missions, as the super soldier’s superior officer and believed friend Hutch orders his immediate recapture.
I should start out to say this issue makes no bones about the use of gore. While I can’t say I was necessarily turned off by it, it still felt excessive at times and really hits the point that this comic is not for the faint of heart. That criticism aside, the issue was really good. It really sets up this idea of Bloodshot having problems at both ends as a pawn in the game between Kuretich and Project Rising Spirit (heralding back to the shared universe of the elder Valiant as this ties to the events of Harbinger). Further, the concept of just who is Bloodshot and how he came to be is a question firmly implanted in the mind of the reader. I’m quite interested to see where this goes (and hope Rai won’t be far behind).