After the total blackout last issue, “The Book of the Dead” concludes in Bloodshot Salvation #8, and we see how far Ray is willing to go to protect his daughter.
Bloodshot’s greatest fear comes to life: the nanites that have plagued him for so long have infected his infant daughter. With her life on the line, he’s traveled to the Deadside with Bloodhound to find a solution. Only he has no idea where to go or what to do now. Oh, and he suddenly finds himself surrounded by demons.
Jeff Lemire continues to tell a balls-to-the-wall entertaining story without sacrificing the heartfelt, intelligent writing we’ve come to expect from him. Does this comic feature a supersoldier fighting demons with a samurai sword and a baby strapped to his chest? Yes. Is it an allegory for the struggles of parenthood? Also yes.
As Bloodshot struggles to find his way through the Deadside, he muses, “I have no sense of direction here. No idea where I am supposed to go, or what I am supposed to do to save Jessie. All I know is I need to fight and I need to survive so that she can.” Now I don’t have any kids myself, but take away the Deadside and the demons and that sounds like a real life first-time parent to me.
Lemire has layered his entire Bloodshot run with themes of identity, violence, destiny, and now parenthood. These layers are what has made his run so compelling. It’s more than just an over-the-top action comic, while still being a (totally badass) over-the-top action comic.
This is Renato Guedes’ third issue on Salvation, and he really gets to shine in the Deadside. Every action panel is a tableau of epic badassery. His color work adds depth and a sense of realism; when Bloodshot is battling the demons, the blood splatter is so vivid that you want to reach down and wipe it off the page. Next month is Guedes’ last issue on the title (for now), and he’s nearing the end of his arc on a high note.
And “The Book of the Dead” ends on a high note in general. If you’ve never read Bloodshot before, Lemire’s run is the place to start.
Bloodshot Salvation #8 is out this Wednesday, April 11th.