I’m cheating a bit with this review, so bear with me here. I have not yet read Bloodshot, Vol. 1 or 2, and I was too lazy to do so before reading into Harbinger Wars. For what it’s worth, Bloodshot writer Duane Swierczynski does an excellent job of making this a stand alone book, and I rarely felt I was missing anything prior to this series. Bloodshot, Vol. 3 collects issues #10-13.
Bloodshot, a former P.R.S. (Project Rising Spirit) assassin with the ability to regenerate any portion of his body thanks to clever experimental nanites in his blood, sets out at the start of Vol. 3 to release a bunch of psiot children from P.R.S. Psiots are essentially mutants with psionic abilities, and P.R.S. has been using them as weapons for decades now. Although Bloodshot frees all of the children, half of them run away and band together as Generation Zero, not understanding that Bloodshot is no longer the bad guy. The other half travel with Bloodshot on a crazy journey, which includes finding an abandoned town in Nevada, and staking out a fight with the world’s most powerful psionic.
Because of the nature of his abilities, Bloodshot is a very action-heavy, gore-filled comic title. And this is not for everyone. That said, a character that can take a beating like he does, seemingly each issue, and come away literally with no long-term damage is a force to be reckoned with. Issue #12 derailed the train quite a bit for me, in regards to the rest of the Harbinger Wars crossover that this falls in line with. It just seemed unnecessary and random, as well as overly grotesque at times.
And then issue #13 also felt like a bit of a drag to me. The major issue here, the last in the crossover, was that it literally didn’t have enough time in it’s pages to wrap up the story cohesively, so it was jumping around from panel to panel, coloring in what was left essentially b&w in Harbinger Wars. This was a huge disappointment to me, particularly as I was beginning to really enjoy his character.
Can you read Bloodshot, Vol. 3, without having read either Harbinger or Harbinger Wars? Not if you want to miss major events along the way. Bloodshot’s storyline is the farthest from everyone else’s, as factions go, and solely encapsulates his journey, rarely reaching for other facets within the world. But it is, mostly, an enjoyable addition to the Valiant line. The world seems a whole lot bigger with him in it, I’ll put it that way.
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