I’ve had my ups and downs with this series since the beginning. Thankfully, the loose ends are being tied up as we approach issue 12 which is the end of the line. Don’t worry, Bloodshot comes back later this year in a new series called Bloodshot Rising Spirit, but those stories are supposedly taking place in the past. As for the here now, we are floating between the present and 4002 AD.
In this issue, you actually get to see those confusing loose ends coming together on the page. Panels and events you’ve seen previously from one point of view coincide and come together showing various points of view in this issue. It’s like 12 Monkeys (the TV series) but not as in depth. The flip side to this, you are getting panels and event you’ve read in past issues. The first time I read through it I felt like it didn’t work and was more of a gimmick but the second time I read it through, it really felt cohesive and whole. So for the most part, it works.
In 4002 AD, Bloodshot comes face to face with the man he must murder in order to keep his part of a bargain that was made to protect his daughter. The meeting isn’t what Bloodshot expected either. There are definitely shades of gray at play on the morality scale. In the present time, we see the events that give Magic the ability to converse with Bloodshot through time via Punk Mambo and we also see the fury and aggression of Rampage. Speaking of Rampage, he’s finally becoming a factor. I hope they don’t dispatch him permanently in this coming last issue though. Valiant needs more bad guys in their universe.
I also hope Jeff Lemire can really wrap this whole thing up. I want it to feel like a major event and a possible end to the character in 4002 AD. I kind of think that Bloodshot should not be brought back to the present time. If anything, his daughter could be a character to watch in the present and his adventures could continue in 4002 AD, especially since we really don’t have anything else going on there right now (Rai??? War Mother???). No matter what though, the art by Doug Braithwaite has been stunning and I look forward to seeing more of it around the Valiant Universe.
If you’ve stuck to this story up until now, then you might as well finish it off. We’ve seen the artless black issue with word balloons (what may be the worst issue of any comic book I’ve ever read), a full issue given to the origin of Rampage that felt like filler, and a mid-point redneck family drama event that just felt so out of place… But we’re still here and it’s looking good right now.