Bloodstrike #1 (Image)


CREDIT: Image Comics

Rating: 2.5/5 – Blatantly Excessive Just to be Excessive…
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas

Bloodstrike is back. First appearing in 1993, Bloodstrike is a secret military team that’s funded by the U.S. government under a program called “Born Again” that brings dead or killed operatives back to life. Writer and artist Rob Liefeld gives us the background on the organization in the first few pages as we watch an eviscerated Operative Alpha in chains, attempting to eat his own arm off. Bloodstrike is violent, gory and Extreme (I had to use that word). It’s just never clear if the juvenile dialogue and excessive violence is supposed to be satirical, or if it is supposed to be played straight. Either way, its not very good.

Liefeld is a polarizing artist as fans usually love him or hate him. I tend to fall more towards the love category as I’m willing to ignore his ignoring of anatomy for the energy and fun he brings to the page, but this issue’s art had me rolling my eyes in more than just a couple of scenes. To give you an example, in the opening sequence Operative Alpha, Bloodstrike’s version of Deadpool, is chained up by his wrists and is missing his body from the waist down. After complaining about missing his “junk”, he begins to chew off his own arm at the shoulder in order to free himself and allow his powers of rejuvenation to kick in. He eventually succeeds. The problem with this and the art is that Liefeld never accounts for the bones. As Bloodstrike chews through the arm, how does he chew through the bone? And where are the bones in the art? Liefeld’s choice to ignore that part of the anatomy leads to lots of the artist’s critics complaining about his style, and in this instance it’s just so crazy that it detracts from the story.

The story never gets better from there. Operative Cabbot, BloodStrike’s version of Cable, is called in to save Operative Alpha and there’s a scene with Bloodwulf that’s blatantly excessive just to be excessive. There’s cannibalism, decapitations and castrations over the course of this first issue and most of it senseless. If you’re a huge fan of Liefeld, you may get some enjoyment out of this first issue, but I’m a fan of his and I found very little to enjoy with this first issue. If Liefeld embraced the satire and poked fun at the 90s style of art and story, I may have enjoyed this more. Unfortunately I think he was trying to be serious with doses of humor thrown in, and it just came off as ridiculous.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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