Synopsis: As the forces of G.A.T.E. try and fail to contain the bloodshot virus and its victims, Bloodshot and his crew must handle the newly infected Ninjak! And when that crisis is contained, the appearance of Deathmate further complicates things. Meanwhile, Agent Festival and Magic attempt to breakout of the PRS facility in an attempt to quell the violence. With all of the heroes scattered and fighting desperately, will anyone survive the devastation?
Review: The first issue of Bloodshot U.S.A. went in swinging for the rafters to set the stakes. This was a smart idea because the reader is able to see and feel the urgency of the outbreak facing Manhattan. Issue #2, while still maintaining the constant threat of annihilation, slows down and really focuses on character beats. We get to see Bloodshot lead his ragtag team against a virus infected ninja (totally cool if not short-lived!), and the quite capable duo of Agent Festival and Magic team up to escape from their captors. Veering away from the action is a gambit in a four issue series, but Lemire and Braithwaite, like always, puts a quirky spin on the slower moments.
The panel where our main group must find a way to Manhattan, after Ninjak’s plane has crashed, is comedic gold! Seeing these deadly men climb into a small minivan is HILARIOUS. The panel layout for this is so mundane, and it highlights just how absurd the moment is. Kudos to Doug Braithwaite for this beat, for being able to jump from harrowing to LOL moments is no easy task. Also, the panels where the action is displayed are tight and dynamic. Deathmate looks positively lethal and powerful.
Bloodshot U.S.A #2 pumps the breaks a little in this issue. Sometimes, this dramatically slows down a story unnecessarily, yet here it allows the story to breathe and not careen into a ditch. Less action works in this instance. Plus, the series has only made it to the halfway mark. More violence is up ahead, but it was nice to see how funny a book about a terrifying viral outbreak could be.