Pros: There is a lot of action and fighting here. Tons of really interesting backstory is revealed. The entire story is smartly written and will keep readers hooked.
Cons: Melissa’s character suffers a lot in this volume.
Overall: This book has the same cool heroes, non-stop action, and mystery that the first volume of Bloodshot had. However, it still manages to become even better. The story in this volume is even more interesting than before as it revolves around a complex assault filled with strategy and cunning. Overall if you liked the first volume of this series than you will not be disappointed by this one.
While the first volume of this series did a great job in setting up the intrigue and mystery behind this main story, Bloodshot Vol. 2: The Rise and Fall actually gets to the main story. Readers get to see Bloodshot go after Project Rising Spirit in a way that is brutal and smart, at the same time. It is a high stakes and contains enough action to fill a blockbuster movie. Yet at the same time it manages to be smart, it emphasizes the value of strategy and planning and does not allow them to be undercut by simple violence. This is a great second volume and a perfect primer to get readers excited for volume three.
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First off, the action in this book is absolutely one of its biggest selling points and is one of the things readers will notice first when reading. Bloodshot’s unique power set allows him to be the victim of endless gunfire and savage beatings while still being able to defeat the enemy. This volume highlights this, especially when he has to take down a series of other super powered beings. Watching him go after and take down each of these baddies is incredibly entertaining and give the story that dose of action that readers have come to expect.
Though the action in this book plays a huge part of it, the strategy behind it all is really the book’s greatest feature. In a manner similar to X-O Manowar Vol. 2: Enter Ninjak (Review), this volume features the protagonist teaming up with some friends in order to infiltrate a heavily fortified evil base. Valiant should use this formula more often because it is equally strong in this volume as it is in X-O Manowar. It delivers a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat narrative that keeps readers hooked the entire time.
A big part of why this formula works so well might be because it gives readers something to become really involved in. Most readers know by now that the main character in their favorite comic is probably not going to die, especially if they are popular. So the entertainment does not come from if the hero will succeed or not, rather it comes from how they do so. This is why this heist story works so well, because the entire story revolves around the strategy and maneuvering that the heroes use in order to figure out how to succeed in their mission.
One major problem that I personally had with this collection was the death of Melissa. She started out as a strong and interesting character with a complex past and unique set of powers; however all of this is thrown away in order to give Bloodshot more of a reason to hate Project Rising Spirit (a classic example of Women in Refrigerators). Her death could have worked if it was actually meaningful, if she had inspired the psiot children or had sacrificed herself to defeat the villain. These things do not happen though, and Melissa’s entire character just serves as extra motivation for Bloodshot to continue his crusade. All in all this does not play a huge role in this book and certainly does not make it a bad book, Melissa was just a really cool character would should have meant more to the series than this.
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The art in this volume is very similar to the art in the first volume so make sure to check out that review here to see a more detailed look at the art. The only difference in this volume is that Arturo Lozzi is not features as prominently. This is mostly because he mainly drew the flashback sequences, of which there are very few in this volume.
This story is a continuation of the story in Bloodshot Vol. 1: Setting the World on Fire (Review). The story here will be continued in the next collection, Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars.
- Another reference is made to Toyo Harada. His backstory and current role in the universe are explained in Harbinger Vol. 1: Omega Rising (Review).