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PopCultHQ Comic Book Review – “Bloodshot Reborn” 2016 Annual #1 from Valiant

What is he? Some kind of albino samurai or something?” Well, you could say that. Bloodshot Reborn 2016 Annual #1 comes out this coming Wednesday, March 23rd, and it is 64 pages of fun! Consisting of four individual stories, the annual is filled with the great talent from Valiant contributing to these off-the-wall, but highly enjoyable tales.

BLOODSHOT WAS THE PERFECT LIVING WEAPON. A nearly indestructible killing machine powered by billions of nanites that give him superhuman abilities. Long before he was REBORN, Bloodshot carried out hundreds of brutal black-ops missions for the paramilitary organization Project Rising Spirit.

These are the recently declassified files of those operations — past, present, and future…

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The first story, The Silver Lake Slasher, is a tribute to everybody’s favorite camp slasher, Jason Voorhees, from the Friday the 13th horror film series. Bloodshot is sent to Camp Silver Lake and eliminate a menace (Jacob) that has been murdering young kids attending the camp. A battle ensues, accompanied by a few witty quips from our protagonist, until Blood shot realizes just who or what he is up against. Upon unmasking the beast, he notices Jacob has been nanite-infused, an experiment from Project Rising Sun. Realizing this former soldier had been a project of Rising Sun gone wrong, Bloodshot refuses to proceed with his orders and allows the misunderstood monster to live in peace.

 

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The second story, which was my favorite by far, was a hilarious mockery of the comic book world. A war is ensuing and members of the Valiant universe are united in fighting The Anti-Beyonditor. Enter Bloodsquirt (a pint-sized Bloodshot). The story takes minor jabs and teases the big two publishers and even themselves.

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All your favorite Valiant characters are here in an off-beat adventure filled with comedy and comic book references and allusions. It was unexpected to see the Valiant staff make an appearance and poke fun at themselves. And there’s even an homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths. Funniest of all the stories in this issue.
Minor jabs and mockery of some of the big two comic book publishers.

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The third tale, Jacob, is more of an artistic piece. We follow Jacob and his inner turmoil with which he struggles. This is a very intellectual and thought-provoking story. Some may not get it. Those that do will truly appreciate it’s beauty.

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The final tale, Hellcloud Awaits, sees Bloodshot in shackles in an effort for the cult leader Krimins to gain access through a portal to Hellcloud, a land said to be their destiny. By the means of Bloodshot’s nanite powered blood, the portal opens. But before Krimins could walk through, beings from that land revealed themselves. Of course, you know that means is some Bloodshot ass-kicking time. Our hero sadly fails and is dragged off through the portal to Hellcloud. In order to return home, he must face Hellcloud’s overlord, Behemoth Attempt! Bloodshot ultimately makes it back through the portal but has been skewered with a crystal from Behemoth.


 

PopCultHQ Review:

This was not what I was expecting for a Bloodshot annual. But surprisingly enough I really enjoyed it. The Friday the 13th parallel was fun to read, as well as serving as a reminder of watching the films. The second story had me smiling from the very beginning and all the way through. Loved the jabs, especially with the different universe numbers (Earth 6123 and Earth 324) and the Squirt-Gwen side note.

I think what I enjoyed most about this annual is it having four short stories, each creatively different, and showcasing the writers and artists talent, while allowing them to have fun with this book.  After reading it I said to myself, “That was fun read.” This is definitely worth more than its cover price for sheer enjoyability (I know that’s not  word but I’m running with it!).

PopCultHQ Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Information courtesy of Valiant:

BLOODSHOT REBORN 2016 ANNUAL #1

Written by JEFF LEMIRE with RAY FAWKES and MICHEL FIFFE & BENJAMIN MARRA
Art by KANO with JOE BENNETT, RAY FAWKES, BENJAMIN MARRA, and PAUL MAYBURY
Cover A by KANO
 (JAN161750)
Cover B by RYAN BODENHEIM (JAN161751)
Variant Cover by ROBERT WILSON IV (JAN161752)
Variant Cover by KERON GRANT (JAN161753)

Valiant’s indestructible commando gears up for Valiant’s first-ever annual with a 64-page bloodbath touring Bloodshot’s past, present, and future!

First: Terror doesn’t wait for Friday at Camp Silver Lake in an extra-sized tale of summertime mayhem from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and Valiant superstar Kano! A masked menace has stalked this camp for years, but what happens when one unstoppable killing machine comes up against another?
 Bloodshot is about to bring his bloody brand of justice to the quiet shores of Silver Lake to take on America’s most notorious slasher!

Then: Jeff Lemire presents a very special Bloodsquirt solo adventure, plus all-new stories from Ray Fawkes (Batman Eternal), Michel Fiffe (Copra), Benjamin Marra (Strange Tales), Paul Maybury (Sovereign), and more!

$5.99 | 64 pgs. | T+| On sale MARCH 23

Be sure to follow writer Jeff Lemire and artist Kano and check out Valiant’s website for all the latest and greatest.

Valiant logo

Jason Bennett
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's senior editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. He is a big lover of coffee, cats, cooking and comics (plus all things Green Lantern). He is a strong supporter of indie comics, creators, and publishers and Chris Hardwick is his spirit animal (we don't know how to respond to that). Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett
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