TITLE: Bloodshot – Vol. 1, Issue 1
YEAR: February 1993
COMPANY: Valiant Comics
Written by Kevin Vanhook
Penciller: Don Perlin
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Colorist: Jade Moede
With the announcement from Valiant Comics that a live action film version of “Bloodshot” is being made, it made me decide to go through my Valiant comic box and read the first issue of “Bloodshot” from Feb. 1993. A character that was first revealed several months earlier in the Valiant Comics series “Eternal Warrior” issue #4.
While I know nothing about the newer Valiant comic books, I will say that back in the early ’90s, I was a big fan of Valiant Comics before Wizard Magazine started putting the comics in their top 10 rankings and making everyone wanting to jump on the bandwagon and purchase any Valiant they can find (as they were considered comics to invest in due to the low print run).
At the time, I could care less about how much they were worth, all that mattered to me was how awesome Valiant Comics were and how much I loved the storyline.
So, with the release of “Bloodshot” vol. 1, issue 1, there was no doubt in my mind that this release was going to be a big seller. From its special cover by Barry Windsor Smith, the red Japanese center on Bloodshot’s body showing a possibly correlation with him and Valiant Comics character, Rai and the comic book magazines really hyping the character, the first issue was ranked #4 on the Diamond Comic Distributors Top 100 for November 1992 and “Bloodshot” comics sold millions of copies, becoming a success for the company.
Personally for me, seeing the $3.50 cover price and seeing many fans going to the comic store searching for Valiant Comics, I knew already that purchasing anything from Valiant would be difficult. And with more titles being announced, I have to admit, I was feeling worried about the quality of the stories and that Valiant Comics would get caught up with what was popular in the ’90s, variant covers and more attention to the art versus creating quality stories.
And what I worried about turned out to be correct as Valiant Comics were no longer easy for me to purchase and read, they were being purchased by those who hoped to cash in on the Valiant Comics trend of purchasing and reselling at a high cost. Because several comic book fans knew I was purchasing Valiant Comics earlier on, I was being offered cash to purchase certain issues or my collection.
So, when I look at this cover of “Bloodshot”, it amazes me of those times.
And so, here I am in 2017, rereading “Bloodshot” vol. 1, issue 1 and it begins with I.N.L.A. (Irish National Liberation Army) terrorists at Heathrow International Airport in London meeting up, while MI-5 agents watch and are about to arrest the terrorists as they make a swap for a suitcase.
But before they can, the terrorists are shot and killed by Bloodshot who takes the suitcase and escapes from the airport.
As Bloodshot is shot prior to escaping, we see his nanites in his blood pushing the bullet out of his body.
Meanwhile in Japan, we learn from a Mr. Iwatsu that the American Project – Project Rising Spirit, the western counterpart of Musashi Labs were working on a Super Soldier, while most of the Super Soldiers don’t live long lives, one was special. A boy sneaked into Rising Spirit and tampered with the “special project” known as Bloodshot. Bloodshot is able to use his nanite computerized blood to communicate with the system which others created in the project can’t do and now Musashi Labs wants Bloodshot.
And so, Mr. Iwatsu who runs Project Rising Spirit sends two of his Super Soldiers to apprehend Bloodshot.
The story is captivating, violent and no doubt, had amazing potential. But as everyone who followed Valiant Comics knows, the company was purchased for $65 million by Acclaim Entertainment who rebooted the Valiant Universe and relaunched Bloodshot in a new direction for Acclaim Entertainment’s video game releases.
So, reading this first volume of “Bloodshot”, it’s a little bittersweet to know how the series changed after Valiant Comics was sold. But with a new direction in today’s modern comic book industry, I’m sure “Bloodshot” will thrive under Valiant Entertainment.
How much has changed? I really don’t know. But considering the fact that a live action film is being made, I’m guess “Bloodshot” vol. 3 is doing just fine.
And if “Bloodshot” vol. 1 is ever released as an omnibus, I’m definitely making that purchase!