BLOODSHOT SALVATION #8 / Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Renato Guedes / Letterer: Simon Bowland / Publisher: Valiant Comics / Release Date: April 11th, 2018
Bloodshot Salvation #8 may be the best issue in this series. In the last issue of Bloodshot Salvation, Writer Jeff Lemire took a chance by being both writer and main artist. Bloodshot was trying to save his daughter from a deathly illness she contracted because she’s gotten the same powers as her father. So, Bloodshot took baby Jessie into the Deadside, a place filled with monsters and demons. But when he got there, he was blinded. At the end of that issue, he regained his sight and was surrounded by monsters. Bloodshot Salvation#8 has a bit of everything and is my favorite issue since the fourth issue where we focused on Rampage. This issue has great art, action, and a very interesting plot. A lot is revealed in this issue as Lemire’s parallel narratives begins to converge.
This issue is the end of Bloodshot’s time in the Deadside. I enjoyed this issue because we got to see some solid action. Artist Renato Guedes got a chance to show off his skills, and I think he did a great job. While Bloodshot is fighting off demons, his dog, Bloodhound, also has cool moments in this comic. We all love seeing an animal companion do awesome stuff, and Bloodhound saves Bloodshot more than once during this fight.
I mentioned the fourth issue about Rampage because he makes another appearance in this issue. While Bloodshot is dealing with his situation, we go to Omen, a government-funded operation that’s got it out for Bloodshot. Omen’s top guy, Pete, is Rampage’s brother, whose name is Danny. Their backstory was explored in issue four, but here we see a bit of Pete’s motivations for working with Omen. He’s committed to saving America from itself and Rampage wants to help him with that. Given how close they are, it makes sense, and anytime I get to see more of this villain is a plus for me. Rampage is a terrifying villain and he’s yet to meet Bloodshot in this run. When these two finally square off, it’s going to be a war.
This issue has a major twist that comes at the end and it’s my favorite part. After fighting the demons and monsters, Shadowman makes an appearance. He takes Bloodshot to meet the self-proclaimed ruler of the Deadside, and his villain, Baron Samedi (this comic takes place before the recent Shadowman #1 if you’ve read that and this plot development confuses you.) Baron strikes a deal with Bloodshot for his daughter’s health and Bloodshot unwillingly agrees. The end of this issue revealed a big twist for both the future of Bloodshot and Jessie. Shadowman warned Bloodshot about Samedi and that warning might come true. Lemire puts a conversation Bloodshot had with Shadowman in here twice. There is no concept of time in the Deadside and Baron Samedi uses that to his advantage. One of the best scenes in this new series.
Artist Renato Guedes’ pastel-style art is usually utilized when Valiant wants readers to know this issue or story is different than anything in the comic. He showed those talents on Divinity #0 and XO Manowar #10 last year. The art in this issue is Guedes at his peak. He uses black really well in his art, and that shows in Bloodshot Salvation #8. Specifically, the demons that Bloodshot fights early in the issue look amazing. The Deadside itself has a cool aesthetic as well. Guedes uses reds, oranges, and cool lighting effects to make this crazy realm come to life. Lastly, Baron Samedi is terrifying. Guedes shades him just right so that you can’t see every detail of his horrible looking face, but just enough. Samedi also wears a suit and Guedes even makes the suit look creepy. That combination of light and dark contrast is why Guedes is a favorite of mine, but his style was dang near perfect for this issue.
I couldn’t get over the ending of this issue. Lemire has been building towards the reveal of this story for a while now. I think we’re finally caught up with “soon” part of this storyline and it didn’t go at all how I thought it would. I think Guedes is off the art from here on, but I enjoyed his artistic touch on this series. Bloodshot’s situation has only gotten more complicated, and while I think he’ll get out of it okay, it’s going to come at an enormous cost.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
“His name is Toren Chenault but he goes by Raymond X. He’s currently a student attending Michigan State University from where he will graduate this spring. He loves all things nerd culture from television to comics and his favorite heroes are Daredevil, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Nighthawk, and Captain Atom. Toren is a writer as well, and his debut superhero novel, Mystic Man, will be released this year.