Project Rising Spirit had a huge problem with their nanite powered killing machine. Bloodshot is incapable of walking the middle ground. There is no gray area in his actions or mindset. If someone or something is in the way of his mission objective, it is simply eliminated. Enter Dr. Rees. Rees is tasked with giving PRS's ultimate solider and killing machine something that only a living being has: a conscience. What is the essence of a conscience though? Is it the elusive and undefinable 21 grams that Rees observes leaving the dying bodies of each subsequent host to the Bloodshot nanites? Does the newest candidate for the nanites need to retain their soul? Or, can a soul be programmed into existence?
In a brilliant, albeit graphically bloody, search for the soul in, or more accurately a soul for, the machine, writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) weaves a shadowy and elusive origin tale for one of Valiant Comics' most shadowy characters: Bloodshot. The idea that the Bloodshot nanites' latest tinkerer attempted either to infuse the newest Bloodshot with a soul, or perhaps preserve the soul of the current Bloodshot candidate is not only fascinating storytelling, it's storytelling that sets the stage for several more interesting ideas and themes to be explored in subsequent Bloodshot stories. The look back at previous versions of Bloodshot throughout the century is also fascinating.
Artist ChrisCross brings Kindt's Bloodshot #0 to an eye popping, and superbly and graphically gory, life. Heads explode, necks are snapped, entrails displayed, and limbs are severed on nearly every page of Bloodshot #0. ChrisCross knows his anatomical art well...inside and out. Bloodshot's tales have always been bloody in the Valiant U 2.0 though, and the horrific violence that Bloodshot practices contrasts nicely with his more heroic actions in the current pages of his book as of late.
Bloodshot #0 is another in a long line of some of the highest quality, in terms of art and storytelling, superhero books currently being published by any comic book publisher. I keep waiting for Valiant to falter and deliver a dud. I'm overjoyed (if not surprised) to report that we haven't seen one yet.