How will Bloodshot cope with having to work on a team instead of being the one man killing machine that he is so accustomed to being? Well, this issue offers the answer to that exact question!
When we last saw Bloodshot he was humiliated in battle by a superior Psiot known as Harada. Harada stripped Bloodshot of his nanites and subsequently took away a vast majority of Bloodshot’s power. What the H.A.R.D. Corps were sent in to rescue is in actual fact no more than a shell of the death machine that Bloodshot once was. But make no mistake about it, you can never count Bloodshot out.
This issues main purpose is to take these two separate entities and merge them into an on-going series. So it serves as Bloodshot’s introduction to his rescuers known as The H.A.R.D. Corps. Although the action is fast paced, you end up feeling as though Bloodshot’s presence was kind of wasted in this one. He has one or two fights in-between him crawling around and hurling his guts out. It is weird to see this killing machine so vulnerable in the opening of the issue. Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps #15 places much more focus on H.A.R.D. Corps members. We get to see some of their personalities and their thoughts. We learn that Disciple’s strong faith in God allows him to triumph where others would have indeed failed. That The Kid and Melissa are not really as military focused as Bloodshot. Superstar tries to feed his ego and Granite focuses on the safety of her children. We also get to see others brains explode before our eyes in a no holds barred gore scene thanks to Harada.
This is indeed an action packed issue, filled with blood and testosterone. You have male leads battling it out to be the big dog on campus whilst the female characters are left on the side-lines with no indication of them become stronger and more influential in upcoming issues. The stars of this issue are definitely Bloodshot and Palmer. They duke it out to see who is fit to lead this new team. Palmer cares for his recruits, but will Bloodshot be able to comprehend the value of human life? Bloodshot is getting stronger and shows new powers, but is his humanity growing?
The art in this issue is not as great as previous works. Often the characters feel too stiff and there seems some kind of contradictory to the events occurring in the book. The action and gore has increased however. The issue has remained brightly coloured. Darker colouring would have enhanced the tone so much more though. When you think of Bloodshot you think of death, grit and destruction! Also the way in which Bloodshot is presented in this issue is not exactly desirable. Once again he seems too slim and trim and this makes him seem a little less of a powerhouse. Bring back his old look; bigger muscles created the feel of a bigger threat and a dominating presence that is sorely missed in an issue with such bland backgrounds.
This issue is a good read but it is not the great read that #14 or Bloodshot #0 was. However, it does serve its core purpose of introducing new characters and the concepts of a team of heroes being formed in order to unite against a common enemy. With Harada being a common threat in forthcoming issues who knows what graphic violence awaits the reader. Let’s just hope the characters are given a chance to grow before they go!