Comic Book Review – Bloodshot Salvation – The Book of Revenge (2018)

Bloodshot Salvation – The Book of Revenge (2018)

Writer – Jeff Lemire

Artists – Lewis LaRosa with Mico Suayan

When Project Rising Son is shuttered, Ray Garrison, formerly known as Bloodshot, finally puts his past behind him. He settles down with his girlfriend turned wife, Magic and the two have a daughter together named Jessie. However, when a figure from Magic’s past rears their ugly head, Ray must confront them. What Ray doesn’t know is that Project Rising Son is rebranding itself as Project Omen and they might get their last laugh on their former operative, just when Ray needs his powers the most.

Jeff Lemire tells two tales at the same time – Ray’s showdown with Magic’s Daddy in the past and a peek into the future where Magic and a young Jessie must stay one step ahead of the deadly Rampage. The best part of the dual storytelling is the art by Lewis LaRosa and Mico Suayan. These two different art styles help differentiate between the past and the future and I really love both of them.

My friend saw the trade paperback sitting at my desk at work and asked me about Valiant Comics. I told him about how they had a presence way back in the early 90s before returning to comic world like a phoenix rising from the ashes. They were hot and heavy before cooling off a bit in recent years.  

As much as I love the Big Two, I always like to check out the offerings from independent comic companies from time to time. What really made me interested in picking up this trade was the girl that looks like Bloodshot on the cover with him. I also saw Jeff Lemire’s name on the cover and that made it an instant borrow from the library.

The Book of Revenge is just that – a blood-soaked tale with Ray and Daddy facing off with each other to determine the future of Ray’s young family. If you give this book a read, please be warned that there are a few story threads about child abuse – one featuring Magic and her relationship with Daddy and the other in Issue Four, where we learn about the leader of Project Rising Spirit and how he and his brother were mistreated by their father. Although Rated Teen Plus, this one could be Rated Mature for some of the scenes that take place during the course of the collection, especially when Ray finds Daddy and his extended family in Ohio.

There are a few other Valiant characters that make cameos in this volume, some familiar faces and a few new ones. A character that ends up helping Magic and Jessie in Issue Three is one I have heard about before and I have seen her series at the comic shop. Sadly, when I went to see if the trade paperback was available at the library, it wasn’t. I’m going to see if I can find a cheap copy online. My favorite character design was of Rampage; he acts and looks like the “bizarro” version of Bloodshot, a total badass and a worthy adversary for Ray.

My ranking for this trade collection is four Red Bloodshot Circles out of five. Jeff Lemire elevates every character he works on and Bloodshot is no exception. These five issues straddle the line between drama and action. A man trying to protect his family, doing what he thinks is right, will end up causing more harm than good for those he loves the most. The final issue ends on a hell of a cliffhanger which will leave you wanting more.