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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:29:31 am 
Especially "dude." And "balls." Those terms work in the tech industry.
Especially "dude." And "balls." Those terms work in the tech industry.
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:38:36 am
Posts: 6065
Location: Seattle
Valiant fan since: Solar #1
Favorite character: Rai
Favorite title: Toyo Harada
On vacation, I reread the entire Bloodshot VEI oeuvre (save Rising Spirit), and really enjoyed it a second time, all at once. Most of it was read over 2-3 days. I ordered it as follows:

Bloodshot V3 1-25
Bloodshot 0
Bloodshot and the HARD Corps 0
The Valiant 1-4
Bloodshot Reborn 1-18, 0
Bloodshot USA 1-4
Bloodshot's Day Off 1
Bloodshot Salvation 1-12

I have to say, I think Lemire's Bloodshot run (39 issues in total), after a reread, is among the strongest VEI material put out to date, if not the best. The pacing, the panel sequencing, the weaving of subplots and plot points, are all incredibly well done. Despite the sequential numbering of V3, it is the most inconsistent material, and left me wanting (with issues 24-25 really just throwaways, save a few gems in 25). For example, once Bloodshot obtained the analog files on his past, there was no mention of it until 12 issues or so later, in Reborn. It was confusing, and frustrating, but Lemire was able to tie it all back together. Without any spoilers, I do think Lemire went way too long on a tangent in Reborn, but I did find the story incredibly compelling, not wanting to stop even after a second read. That being said, I think Lemire is the architect for the Bloodshot that we know today, with a rich tapestry of new characters, but also of background. It is not easy to write nearly 40 issues of plot twists and character developments, yet still retain such a blank slate of a character, if I can still say that. There are so many more stories for Bloodshot to tell. Perhaps more so.

I count 71 or so main Bloodshot issues to date (including Rising Spirit), not counting the Book of Death, 4001, Armor Hunters or other spinoffs. The issues above I consider the core books to read Bloodshot's story.

A sequential, month to month read is great, as are trade reads. However, this is the first time I've read the entire "run" of books of a single character, and it was a real pleasure, and gave me a greater perspective for the work, and a broader appreciation of the talent behind it.

An important callout:

Warren Simons is the person I miss most at Valiant. He might be Valiant's long lost and underrated MVP. It is evident in the culmination of talent on these books, the direction that he gave the work (as outlined in the behind the scenes notes), and explicitly in Lemire's tribute to him in his last issue. Outside of the work, I've heard directly from many writers and artists how much they admired him, how much they miss him, and personally, I think he's a great guy. This is not meant as any disrespect to VEI's current editorial roster, but anytime you have someone who can assemble such fabulous talent, and has a legacy of connections lamenting a departure so profoundly, it has to be recognized as a huge, huge loss.

I'll come around to finishing Rising Spirit soon. I'm looking forward to the new "guns blazing" title. However, I'm very sad I won't see an extension of Lemire's story, and all the new characters he created within. I'm certain he had more to tell.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:06:19 pm 
I'm just glad it was pretty good, long and drawn out. (that's what she said.)
I'm just glad it was pretty good, long and drawn out. (that's what she said.)

Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 9:38:00 pm
Posts: 3177
Location: Here, there, at some point everywhere.
Valiant fan since: Unity
Favorite character: Tie between Flo and Andy
Favorite title: Archer and Armstrong
Favorite writer: The ones that wrote 4 Valiant.
I definitely agree about Warren. Having spent many late night hours talking with him at the poker games, I can attest to the passion, quality and complexity that he brought to the table at Valiant.

I really feel like we lost a full MVP lineup that was really just getting started and had even greater potential waiting.

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