As Valiant Comics continues to fine-tune its current V2 era of the Valiant Universe, one of the characters they’ve been meticulously crafting into a best seller is Bloodshot with memorable runs by writers Duane Swierczynski and Jeff Lemire. He recently appeared in the web series Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, and the living weapon will soon star in his own feature film starring Vin Diesel.
Now Valiant is going back and re-imagining the origin of Bloodshot in the eight-issue miniseries Bloodshot: Rising Spirit, which tells the story of that fateful experiment that introduced nannies to Angelo Mortalli’s body. In this preview of Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1, on sale today, readers will see that returning to the origin story was seen as an opportunity to tell a prequel to all the work that had been done, and serve as a new jumping on point. The Valiant Voice announced that Rising Spirit has already become the highest-selling Bloodshot comic in the modern Valiant era.
Rising Spirit is written by Eisner-nominated writer Kevin Grevioux, art is by Ken Lashley with Diego Rodriguez handling colors. Covers are by Felipe Massafera and David Mack; variants include a black cover, another by Staz Johnson, and a special Glass Variant by Doug Braithwaite.
“When Bloodshot launched in 2012, the character had already been fully formed,” Bloodshot editor Karl Bollers reminisced with SYFY WIRE. "We were dropped into the story where he was already operational. Rising Spirit will show readers what preceded those events and how Bloodshot was actually made.”
“The Bloodshot series has been brilliantly written since it’s relaunch and a great deal of story ground has been covered in the interim. However, with a new editorial, marketing and sales team in place at Valiant, we thought a back-to-basics approach would be a great way to both honor and celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary next year and Rising Spirit is the first of several exciting new projects that intend to do just that!
Grevioux was tasked at looking at the earlier takes of Angelo Mortalli and finding ways to tweak Rising Spirit to the contemporary version of Bloodshot, a story that looks to see how this kind of life affects a human being.
“We're not telling a story about a soulless ‘killing machine,’” Grevioux said. “We're telling the story about a man who is in an impossible situation and how he deals with that. That in and of itself is how you modernize the story, so to speak.”
And then there’s the Nanites, which have been the driving force to Bloodshot’s abilities that allow him to heal quickly, maximize his physical capabilities, controlling his blood flow, adrenaline levels, enhancing all of his senses and control electronic devices. Since his debut in 1992 though, numerous advances have been made in science and the study of genetics that helped influence the modern version of Rising Spirit.
“We're close to unlocking a lot the secrets that the HGP, the Human Genome Project, hinted at,” explained Grevioux. “So, incorporating some of that was fun and apropos. There are also some interesting theories on transcription and mitochondrial matrix that I played with, so that was cool as well.”
Working on a story that was conceptualized by Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson, Grevioux said that collaborating with Lashley often left him awestruck. “God blessed him with a talent that is virtually unparalleled in this industry, so whenever I see his work I'm not surprised that it's good, because I expect that. I'm just floored by it.”
Check out what left Grevioux in awe with in this five-page preview of Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1 then purchase the full issue, on sale now, in print or digital at a local comic shop near you.