Without a doubt, Bloodshot #4 serves as an action-packed and tense addition to the series. The newest issue, coming from Valiant Comics combines sci-fi action with an easy to understand story. A plot that feels like it’s been ripped straight out of a spy thriller. Moreover, the issue marks the start of a new arc. Meaning its a great place for newcomers of the series, such as myself to jump in. Sure, some names will fly over your head if you aren’t familiar with Bloodshot’s history but it was never enough to make me feel lost. Bloodshot is a thrilling ride and its latest stop is accepting new and returning passengers.
I shall avoid spoilers for any fellow newcomers however if you are new to the series the issue’s main plot is fairly simple to get to grips with. It’s the wider references that you’ll probably miss. Bloodshot issue #4 written by Tim Sheely, with art from Brett Booth follows Bloodshot on a new quest. A quest he has a say in. After all, his unique set of skills has made him a high priority target for various nefarious organizations across the globe. After being used time and time again, Bloodshot finds himself with The Burned. A secret organization made up of spies from all around the globe.
With the chance to use his powers for something good and, more importantly, something he has a choice in he teams up with The Burned on a mission to track down a bioweapon. This results in the issues much faster second half, a daring train heist. Whilst the first half of Bloodshot #4 runs fairly slowly it was appreciated to bring new readers up to speed. It did a great job of filling me in on who everyone was and where they were headed very quickly. Long-time fans will appreciate the recap to jog their memory and newcomers like myself will appreciate the concise introduction to the series.
This Train Has no Breaks
Without a doubt, Bloodshot #4 comes into its own in its second half. The issues’ high-speed train heist barely leaves you time to catch your breath. In addition to some of the best action, I’ve seen from a comic issue in quite some time. Bloodshot leaves enough time for some nice comic relief and some clever storytelling to explain exactly what Bloodshot himself can do to new readers. Fans of sci-fi thrillers will love Bloodshot #4 for its action-packed panels alone.
Once again, I will remain spoiler-free whilst we talk about Bloodshots characters. Firstly, let’s kick things off with the series namesake. Bloodshot. The issue does a great job of explaining and introducing Bloodshot to you if you’re jumping in for the first time. Developed as a super-soldier Bloodshot is infused with nanites AKA nano-robots. These grant him all manner of increased abilities including increased strength, speed and, endurance. Moreover, Bloodshot can change his apperance at will and has access to knowledge he didn’t even know he had.
For someone so unhuman, he has a surprising level of humanity to him. His unintentional dry humor makes him all the more likable, and his quest to “be his own person” so to speak made him all the more relatable. He packs a real punch but isn’t some completely all-powerful God. Despite his incredible skills, the issue still had some real tension to it.
Most of that tension admittedly came from Agent Nix and Agent Cant, two members of The Burned who accompany Bloodshot on his mission. Both are respectable in their own right. Each holding their own next to Bloodshot but are nowhere near as indestructible. They offered a nice change of pace and had the most emotional moment of the entire issue.
Bloodshot #4 doesn’t have a main big bad. Instead, having Bloodshot face off against a huge corporation and a train full of said corporations underlings. I appreciated that. Old-time fans and newcomers alike don’t need to be bogged down with the issue of trying to introduce a huge villain. The issue already has enough on its plate introducing Bloodshot and The Burned. Some names did fly over my head, characters I would have known from previous issues but they weren’t integral to the plot of this issue.
I am sure that those characters will get the same treatment Bloodshot got here in future issues. Allowing new fans of the series to quickly catch up.
Bloodshot’s artwork is fantastic. The issue captures that futuristic sci-fi feel without making it seem completely ridiculous or unrealistic. The train heist looks absolutely stunning with some fantastic action. Bloodshot himself looks brilliant, as do the designs for The Burned agents. Whilst the issue’s storytelling was top-notch, for me at least it was the artwork that really sold it.
Bloodshot #4 does a great job of carrying on the story for fans of the series and offering a great jumping-on point for new readers. Sure some names and references will go over your head, but they weren’t integral to the plot and didn’t dampen the experience. Sci-fi thriller fans will get a kick out of the issues’ action set pieces and I’m very intrigued to learn more about this universe in future issues.
You can take a look at our latest review of Bloodshot issue #5 here. Also, be sure to check out Valiant Comics over on Twitter, and follow GVN to stay up to date with all the latest comic reviews and news.