Published: November 6th, 2012
Written by: Kevin VanHook
Art by: Don Perlin
Valiant Entertainment, 200 Pages
I feel like my love for everything Image Comics in the early ’90s overshadowed some of the other comics I liked but didn’t pick up as regularly. I read Bloodshot books back in the day but wasn’t as loyal as I feel I should have been. Valiant had some great titles but my Image fanboyness was super powerful and now I feel like I need to rectify my past sins.
I picked up this collection because it is old school O.G. Bloodshot. I’m glad that I did because it grabbed me from the first panel and it was a hard book to put down. I don’t often read things in one sitting but Blood of the Machine gave me an hour or so of pure enjoyment.
Plus, this book gave me an introduction into two other major Valiant characters: Rai and Ninjak. Both of the stories that featured them used them a bit sparingly but it still familiarized me with them enough to get me to want to check out their books too. Sadly, no X-O Manowar in this, who was my favorite Valiant hero after Bloodshot.
Bloodshot spends the majority of this book searching for answers to his past. He doesn’t know his identity or why he is this super solider with fast healing nanomites in his blood and enhanced senses and physical abilities. As this collection rolls on, we discover some answers as Bloodshot does.
This is a collection of the first eight issues of Bloodshot ever released. It isn’t a complete story arc with any sort of natural conclusion. It continues on beyond this and this is more or less a small sample into the larger Bloodshot and Valiant universe.
I loved the art style, which to be honest, felt dated by ’90s standards but worked for this book. I also loved how the dialogue was displayed in a more angular and aggressive style than typical comic book lettering. Granted, it just looks more like italicized Comic Sans but it had a nice flow to it that wasn’t the standard look.
Blood of the Machine is a great starting point as it is the starting point for Bloodshot.
Pairs well with: Other early Bloodshot collections, as well as other Valiant titles from the same era.