From out of the pages of Divinity III: Stalinverse,  steps perhaps the most faithful of the Valiant heroes now living in their world that now is.

In this new reality, things are quite not they were.  Still, there are consistencies.  Case in point, Bloodshot.  Now a Komander serving Mother Russia against a well organised, yet under powered resistance. In this issue, we get a run down of Bloodshot’s skills at adapting and killing people, both with equal success.

Jeff Lemire is the writer in charge of this collection of confrontations, planned in a way to distract and weaken Bloodshot before the main show begins.  Lemire’s writing is tight throughout this book.  For some this may come across as saying it is samey; after all a solider talking to his base and back again can sound repetitive.  Lemire conquers this through the constant motion of Bloodshot.  From page one, you are along for the mission, each step proving how futile resistance seems to be.  Even when the action slows down, there is still movement of characters as Bloodshot has what I can only describe as an “Officer Murphy” moment and a deceit that offers some small hope to the overall fate of this universe.

As enjoyable the tension filled tale of terrible retribution is, the real star of the book is Clayton Crain’s artwork.  Crain successfully paints a desolate landscape, with this feeling of desolation beings an almost a palpable thing for the resistance fighters.  Bloodshot has never looked as good to be honest, even if here he is the antagonist.  Bloodshot acts in a merciless manner, an unstoppable force, focussed on his mission without thought of compromise.  Cain renders this action beautifully with glorious colors and clever shading that enforces the situations.  His characters are well-formed, coupled with expressive faces and motion focussed panels.  There is a probably one panel that loses some of the perspective, but this is the only minor blip on any otherwise stellar body of work.

For all the great things that are in this book, it is quite a simple story, albeit extremely well told, containing as it does the little snippet of hope.  As a companion piece to the main story, it works as it gives us more of a view of the problems that Colin King is facing, which were alluded to in the first issue of the main series. As this series is showing a Valiant universe that is current, there is at some point going to be a snapback.  How that is works with the series’ that follows depends on the quality of the overall story, aided by the quality of the tie-in books.

Writer – 4.5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars


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