Bloodshot #1 Review - Art will bring them through the door, the story will keep them, or not?
• Valiant (Publisher)
I watched a recent video from Yo Boi Zack, from the Comics Matter Youtube Channel. He spoke about Comic Publishers pushing writers over artists to the detriment of the comic book industry. To an extent, I agree. Artists like Jim Lee, Brett Booth, and Todd Mcfarlane can push units on pretty much any title they put their names on, at least initially.
The downside is that once you got the book in your hands and actually read it, the comic still needs to have a good story. In the '90s, a lot of garbage writing got a pass because of the popularity of the artists of the time and rampant speculation. It was a very popular era of comics. The downside was that most of the comics from the era contained pretty pictures, but don't hold up at all. It also led to a comic book bust that nearly destroyed the comic book industry.
Good art will get the reader's attention and may get the initial purchase but a good story keeps readers coming back. I have Bloodshot #1-3 but I probably won't review any more of this series unless something dramatic happens in issue #2.
I've picked up three Bloodshot series since 2018. The only series that has resonated with me beyond the art was Jeff Lemire's, Bloodshot Salvation. I'm still reviewing that series off and on mainly because of Jeff's storytelling was so strong in conjunction with the amazing artists that helped bring that series together.
I grabbed this issue because of the preview art from Brett Booth. I didn't even read a plot synopsis. Brett is one of the best artists working today and this issue reflects that. Bloodshot has never looked better and it's pretty clear that Brett is having a blast on this series. Aside from the overwhelming positivity surrounding the art direction of Brett and Andrew this book has problems.
The first problem is the cover. This is one of the worst 1st issue covers I've ever seen. In fact, I walked past the book multiple times across multiple weeks before finally seeing it and making the purchase. With Booth on the interiors, it's insane to me that he's not doing the covers as well.
I hate crapping all over an artist's work but bad covers really grind my gears and Bloodshot #1 has one of the worst covers of 2019. Declan Shalvey did some great work on Marvel's most recent Moon Knight series, but he's not doing any favors for Valiant or this title.
Brett's pencils are also let down by shoddy storytelling. There isn't much story to speak of. The book opens with an amazing setpiece of Bloodshot vs a group of soldiers. We also get a basic rundown of his powerset and the basic premise of what can be expected from this series.
Bloodshot is declared the most dangerous man on the planet which is laughable to me in light of events that have occurred across the Valiant comics line in the past few years.
The story would have been great in the 1990s when cover prices were around $1.50, but with a $3.99 entry fee, I couldn't muster the patience for this issue. The main downside of the issue aside from the cover is that you can read the book in about five minutes. You'll read Bloodshot #1, put the comic down and never pick it up again. Tim tells an okay story but its really basic compared to the other Bloodshot series that have been released in past years.
The simplification may be due to the upcoming Bloodshot film which is understandable. The series is clearly being set up as an easy jumping on point for the character. I'm just not a fan of selling a $4.00 book for 5 Minutes of entertainment.