The trailers for Bloodshot reflect some of Vin Diesel’s strongest history on the big screen, combining all the action-pack fun of the Fast & Furious franchise with the gory, sci-fi glory of Chronicles of Riddick. The movie will also continue Vin Diesel’s comics cinema credits (fans might remember his voice, if not his face as Groot in the MCU) with his portrayal of Valiant Comics’ Bloodshot. In the midst of all the actor’s history, however, the question remains: Who exactly is Bloodshot anyway?
Like many comics characters, Bloodshot has more than one origin story. The codename was originally given Angelo Mortalli, a mobster forced to become a test subject after being sold out by his cronies. During testing as part of Project Rising Spirit (founded by Hideyoshi Iwatsu), Mortalli was injected with the “Blood of Heroes,” a nanite formula that gave him incredible powers of regeneration and combat. Bloodshot made his first appearance in the earlier days of Valiant with a cameo in Eternal Warriors #4 and his first full appearance in Rai #0. The character was created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton though Bob Layton attributes the name Bloodshot to David Chlystek. Bloodshot became a major part of the fabric of Valiant’s heroes before the publisher ran into some troubles.
The incarnation of Bloodshot bring transferred to the big screen, Ray Garrison, came to life during Valiant Entertainment’s “Summer of Valiant” reboot in 2012. While Ray shares many overlaps with Mortalli, including being created by Project Rising Spirit, this incarnation of Bloodshot was built to be a weapon used to eliminate choice military targets all in the name of his beloved family. Before this story starts to veer into the Punisher’s lane, however, there is a catch. None of Ray’s memories are real, and all of his vengeance has been carefully fabricated again and again to achieve the desired results.
Like many secrets, the threat of the truth is always looming, and Bloodshot gets the truth of his own situation when one of Project Rising Spirit’s enemies releases all of his memories. The realization sends Bloodshot on a (presumably real this time) quest for vengeance against his creators and leads up to the events of the Harbinger Wars (though this chronicle may play out in a different cinematic universe).
Bloodshot’s nanotechnology gives him powers that make him almost unkillable – if not without fault or weakness. First and foremost, Bloodshot has regenerative abilities that would make Wolverine blush. This ability is shown to great effect both in the trailers and in the comics. His regenerative abilities also come with a sonic scream and a Predator-like ability to blend in with his surroundings. The heightened sensibilities the nanites provide also enhance Bloodshot’s learned abilities of hand-to-hand combat and the use of military ordinance weapons.
Once Bloodshoot becomes aware of his false realities, the nanites also seem to have the ability to update him about his status like he’s in his own personal first-person shooter. This connection also seems to extend to other technology, giving Bloodshot a touch of technopathy.
At this point in time, Bloodshot has been in hundreds of Valiant comics. For fans of Bloodshot and Vin Diesel alike who are looking to get into the character or just want to feel Bloodshot revitalized before the movie, Valiant has put together a delicious new Bloodshot series for their most resilient hero. The series is helmed by writer Tim Seeley (G.I. Joe) along with artist Brett Booth (The Flash), and so far they have done the character justice for both long-time fans and anyone new to the nanite-enhanced warrior. The new series does not add a third origin story, but rather picks Bloodshot back up after a major turning point in his chaotic history of allegiances.
Catch up quick! The new issue, Bloodshot #5, is out January 15, 2020 and promises to be a great prelude for the movie release later this year.
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