Writer: Eliot Rahal
Artist: Khari Evans
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Two soldiers out of time, kept alive as part of a secret project that turned them into weapons of mass destruction, have finally earned a day off after decades of service.
There are two major problems I have with Valiant as a whole. It’s very confusing and unwelcoming to newcomers, and attempts to explain backstory come off as poorly written exposition dumps. It’s also all very silly, which in theory is fine, but it’s all played straight and there’s usually nothing to anchor it and for the most part, the silliness all gets to be too much. Blood Shot’s Day Off is needlessly confusing, and incredibly silly, but it does manage to find an emotional anchor that makes those two issues easier to deal with.
It opens with an exposition dump that about super soldiers and nano-machines as someone introduces themselves as “Tank Man”, so I was getting ready to be put off by it, but that faded into a surprisingly emotional story about two soldiers alive long after they should have died finding out that they’re all alone in the world.
Winston Grover is a Jewish man who fought in World War II, with all intents of returning to his family, but seeing the horrors of war, decided he could not rest until the war was over, and agreed to become a super solider. He visits the temple he used to pray at, and his wife’s grave, thinking back on his decision to abandon everyone he knew. This is contrasted with Dell, who was drafted during Vietnam, and instead of running, decided to fight. He was injured in battle, and his family was told he’d died. He visits his dying father, but leaves before other family that he is a stranger to show up.
The artwork by Khari Evans has a distinct style, and Eliot Rahal manages to inject the dialogue with a sense of voice distinct to each character. Characters themselves are well-drawn both in the sense of writing and actual drawing, and are sympathetic. This is just overall a well-told story, though its ties to the Valiant Universe might give a bad impression.
The stories of the two main characters carry the comic, and while I don’t have much desire to follow this as a series, it works well as a stand-alone comic.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.