Synopsis: Bloodshot has faced terrible foes before, but Deathmate proves to be his most difficult. Other threats Bloodshot could just shoot or maim. Deathmate was once Kay McHenry, a geomancer tasked with protecting the earth. She and Bloodshot have a history together, and that history may be the key to defeating not just her but the deadly nano virus infecting Manhattan.
Review: One of the best things about Jeff Lemire is that he knows how to write the little things. Specifically, he knows how to exploit character beats. Where most people would dash over the smaller idiosyncratic parts of a character’s story, Lemire dives right in. Bloodshot U.S.A. #3 doesn’t focus on the brutal carnage in Manhattan. The story pivots to the internal struggle of both Bloodshot and Deathmate (a risky departure). These two characters lives have been warped by greed, cruelty, and horror. Normal is a concept that no longer applies to them. Seeing both characters regress as they runaway from certain truths, only to be stymied more truths, is fun yet heartfelt. Lemire gives the reader a fundamental understanding of how trapped and damaged these characters are, which makes their breakthrough very powerful.
One could only assume that artist Dough Braithwaite must have had a lot of fun with issue #3. The breakneck speed in which the locales change is dizzying. As the characters move through past memories, the world becomes less concrete and more dreamlike, yet still somehow must remain grounded with terror on the edges. To balance the real and surreal elements takes a lot of talent and attention to detail. Panel after panel needs to progress the idea of escapism while conveying a sense of being stalked by the inevitable. Braithwaite accomplishes this elegantly.
Every issue of Bloodshot U.S.A continues to surprise readers. Whether with comedic beats or personal revelations, these creators are delivering an atypical event story. I find it quite refreshing because it is something we don’t get to see everyday. Those looking for nothing but straight up action issue after issue will be disappointed. The rest of us, however, are having a blast.