Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14 (Valiant)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Great “jumping on” point.  A new era for Bloodshot spinning out of Harbinger Wars.

It’s refreshing to see a change of direction/pace in a title that is not accompanied with starting over with a new #1.  Many publishers use any excuse to push out new #1s since fans, comics shops and publishers seem to have developed some kind of bizarre symbiosis wherein anything with a #1 on the cover will automatically sell better than something with say #14 on the cover.  I hope Valiant is successful here and does not miss out on too many sales by changing this book up after the events in the recently completed “Harbinger Wars” storyline, choosing to just re-title it to integrate the H.A.R.D. Corps (Harbinger Active Resistance Division) who were introduced during the Harbinger Wars mini-series/mini-event into Bloodshot.

Harbinger is my favorite of the Valiant titles, integrating Bloodshot actively into that storyline has been a big plus for me.  We have Toyo Harada’s HGC (Harada Global Conglomerates) on one side and PRS (Project Rising Spirit), run by the character Kozol, on the other.  They both are interested in activating psiots, the powered characters in the Valiant Universe, and they each have their own agendas.  Valiant has not created a black & white world.  Neither side in this conflict can really be characterized as absolutely good or absolutely evil.  We’re looking at a lot of grey.   As Major Palmer says in this issue, illustrating the point that we’re dealing with motivations that cannot be seen in absolute terms, “Kozol knows he’s a bastard. Harada thinks he’s Jesus.”

The text page at the beginning of this issue gives you all the essential information you need to be up to speed on what’s been going on, there are some minor points you may miss if you haven’t been reading Valiant thus far, but you should be able to pick up on those as we go along.  This issue introduces the new members of H.A.R.D. Corps and sets up the initial mission involving Bloodshot, who was Harada’s captive at the end of Harbinger Wars.  Writers Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart impart a LOT of information, but you’ll come away with a good understanding of who the characters are (basic personalities, motivations, and power sets), it’s no easy feat to provide all this in a single issue without it seeming clumsy, but it all flows with the story here.

Valiant is creating something special here, check out their books and see what’s up.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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