By Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, Michel Fiffe, Benjamin Marra, Kano, Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, Jay Fabares, Pete Pantazis & Jose Villarrubia
Bloodshot has never been one of Valiant’s more lighthearted characters. He is a ruthless killer, who in the past has often possessed more firearms than personality. Recently, however, the character has been deepening. This shift has largely due to writer Jeff Lemire, first in The Valiant (co-written with Matt Kindt), then in the current ongoing series Bloodshot Reborn. For Reborn, Lemire has plunged Bloodshot into full angst mood, as he debates whether he is fated to live a savagely violent life. Along the way, Lemire has tossed in some lighthearted asides, particularly in #5’s Bloodsquirt centric issue. For the most part though, the mood has remained solemn. That ambiance (mostly) shifts for the annual, however, as Lemire and his collaborators fully embrace their wacky side. The result are some fun stories which offer fans something different while not altering the essential nature of the character.
The key to anthology series is always the creative teams. When it’s any old writer/artist combo, it’s mostly forgettable. But when you get the right combination of creative alchemy, the out of continuity stories can be amazing and that’s what you get from Guardians Team Up #8 from it’s two emerging talents mini space opera.
Guardians Team Up #8 is written by Ray Fawkes who has slowly been circling around different DC & Marvel ongoings for the last couple years and illustrated by emerging star art talent Bengal for a breathtaking single issue silent story about Groot & Silver Surfer trying in vain to save one of the latters species before catastrophe. Guardians Team Up #8 eschews dialogue until the very final page but the story is sound and the visuals are awe inspiring, Fawkes plots out an issue that jumps right into the action before it’s harrowing ending while managing to highlight character traits via Groot & Silver Surfers decisions. Bengal is amazing, this is an artist that was born to do space opera. It’s rich in detail, dynamic in movement and unpredictably exciting. If you haven’t yet, get familiar with Bengal, because he’s going to be big.
It’s the sum total of it’s elements that creates a strange magic in Guardians Team Up #8 and makes for one of the best single issues in 2015. Equal parts exciting, awe inspiring and heartfelt, it is a near perfect example of single issue Marvel cosmic comic.
Oni press has announced their publishing slate for 2014 and beyond with new creator owned titles from Jeff Parker of Aquaman, Batman ’66, Thunderbolts and Hulk Ray Fawkes of Constantine, One Soul and Justice League Dark Paul Tobin of Amazing Spiderman, Spider Girl, The Age of Sentry, Hulk and Conan the Barbarian among others while publishing continuations and spin offs from Greg Rucka’s Stump Town Cullen Bunn’s The Sixth Gun and Helheim. More details at Comic Bastard
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