Pros: The story, characters, and action are all well developed and interesting. The introduction is handled in a way that ensures readers will not be bored with details.
Cons: At points the story progresses a little rapidly.
Overall: If this first volume is an indication of how this series is going to go, then readers are in for a great time. It features a hero with one of the most unique power sets in the Valiant universe. It also tells a story that is both action packed and mysterious, guaranteed to hold everyone’s attention. This first volume is a definite win; hopefully volume two will be able to maintain the same level of quality.
This is a fantastic start to a series that certainly shows a lot of promise. It manages to introduce a brand new character to a brand new world without boring readers with backstory and history lessons. Instead it jumps right into the plot of a story filled with nonstop action. On top of all of this, it headlines a hero with a unique set of powers and motive who is sure to entertain everyone. Bloodshot Vol. 1: Setting the World on Fire is a great example of how to do a volume one because it presents a great story while also getting readers excited for the series as a whole.
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First things first, Bloodshot is a cool character. He combines some of the more interesting traits of Wolverine, Mystique, Cyborg, and even Batman together into one character. This makes him an incredibly versatile character while still leaving him vulnerable; he is clearly not completely unstoppable. Throw a mysterious backstory on top of that and fans will find that we are only just scraping the surface as to what Bloodshot has in store.
However, Bloodshot is not the only character in this story; about halfway through Pulse and Kara join the fray. Although not much is revealed about Kara, Pulse is certainly shaping up to be just as interesting as Bloodshot. Her powers and backstory are just as twisted as Bloodshot’s are, yet her age is what really sets her apart. If Bloodshot is having a rough time with what he is going through, readers can only imagine how horrible things are for Pulse. Her storyline is just beginning but this volume gives a strong indication that watching these two take on their tormentors is going to be both thrilling and satisfying.
Many times, the first volume of a new series ends up being pretty lackluster. It has to spend time introducing the characters, setting, and overall plot and thus entrenches itself in boredom. This series forgoes those norms and thrusts readers directly into the action. It introduces the cast, explains Bloodshot’s powers, and delves into the actual plot along the way but does not give them to readers right out of the gate. While some may find this technique to be more confusing, I think it is a great way to hold readers’ interest as they progress through the story; you aren’t given everything as soon as you open the book, but you discover it all as you read.
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Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi take on the art throughout this collection. Overall the art here is decent, not particularly good and not particularly bad. However it is the actual switching of artists throughout this collection that gives it a unique and enjoyable aesthetic.
The art switches between the two artists depending on if something is happening in the past or if it is happening in the present day. This is a nice visual distinction to have because of how much the collection relies on memories and video of the past. It also helps a little bit in setting the tone between the Bloodshot of the past and the one readers are experiencing right now.
This is the first volume of this title in the new Valiant Comics continuity, thus it does not make many connections to any other works as of yet. The story started here will be continued in Bloodshot Vol. 2: The Rise and the Fall.
At one point, Pulse mentions that she needs to get to Toyo Harada. This is a small reference to organizations and people who first appear in Harbinger Vol. 1: Omega Rising (Review).