Bloodshot is arguably the flagship character of the modern Valiant Universe, and this June he’s going to meet another character who was once an important part of the mythos: Deathmate.
Beginning this June in a new arc of Bloodshot Reborn titled “Blood Island,” the namesake of the 1990s Valiant/Image crossover Deathmate returns in the rebooted Valiant Universe.
"Deathmate isn't an event or a crossover – she's much, much more. This is an all-new character, created by Jeff Lemire for ‘Bloodshot Island’ and brought to life with a brilliant design by Jeff, Mico Suayan, and David Baron," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "The secret of her creation and purpose is a central mystery to ‘Bloodshot Island’ – and, in the very first issue alone, she cements herself as Valiant's newest A-level threat."
But as series writer Jeff Lemire tells Newsarama, that’s not all Bloodshot will face; he also has other Bloodshots fighting for survival on the island.
Compared by the writer to the classic 1980s film Predator, “Bloodshot Island” also welcomes back original series artist Mico Suayan.
Valiant plans to talk about this new Bloodshot Reborn more at C2E2 this weekend, but Newsarama has the first-word with Lemire about this new story-arc.
Newsarama: Jeff, this was teased back in December but I hear you're ready to talk about "Bloodshot Island." It's said to begin in June's Bloodshot Reborn #14. What can you tell us?
Jeff Lemire: Unfortunately, I can’t reveal too much without spoiling the ending of our current Bloodshot Reborn arc, “The Analog Man”. What I can say is that it will be a big world-building arc for the Bloodshot mythology. A lot of new characters and elements will be weaved into the history of Bloodshot and will also make readers re-evaluate the things they have already read.
It’s a really action-packed arc. Our first two arcs were more horror/thriller. “The Analog Man” was more sci-fi, and now with “Bloodshot Island” we go full-on action. If “The Analog Man” was a nod to Mad Max then Bloodshot Island is a nod to Predator.
Nrama: What Valiant has told me is that this takes place on an island with several different Bloodshots. Can you tell us about them, and their names to differentiate them?
Lemire: Their codenames are Tank Man, Cold Man, Viet Man, and Quiet Man. I’ll let that be teaser enough.
Nrama: Valiant teased me with the notion that “Bloodshot Island” would be re-introducing Deathmate into the modern Valiant universe.
That name hits a specific nerve for Valiant (and Image) fans given the beleaguered crossover from the early 1990s. What can you tell us about the modern Deathmate character?
Lemire: Nothing. This is the first I’ve heard of Deathmate actually. Not sure what you’re referring to.
Nrama: Really? Even after the teaser Valiant released last week about Deathmate?
Lemire: Again, I’m uncertain as to what you’re referring to. And if I did know anything about Deathmate, I certainly would not be at liberty to disclose it.
Nrama: Ah, you can’t talk about it. Okay.
What you may be able to talk about is the whereabouts of Magic in all of this. She seems a big part of "Analog Man" currently.
Lemire: Magic will continue to be a part of the overall Bloodshot Reborn story that I’m telling. Her location during “Bloodshot Island” will be one of the big motivations for Ray/Bloodshot to get off the island. I can’t say anything else at this time. There will be a lot of mystery around what has happened to her.
Nrama: And what about the island itself -- how is it unique?
Lemire: JL: Other than the fact that it has multiple Bloodshots living on it, there’s not much else I can say. Obviously, this arc centers around a number of mysteries, and I don’t want to spoil anything here. The questions of who these Bloodshots are, how they got there, and what exactly the island is will be answered as the arc unfolds.
Nrama: Does any of this fit in at all with 4001 A.D. and the Bloodshot story you're creating for that event?
Lemire: Yes, it all links together. Everything I’m doing the “present day” Bloodshot stories will line up with what I did in the Book of Death: Bloodshot story and in the Bloodshot’s 4001 A.D. story. It is all connected and all part of the larger tapestry.
Nrama: Mico Suayan is returning to the series to illustrate this arc -- was it always the plan for you two to reteam for this story following the launch of Bloodshot Reborn? And what makes him the right choice for this story?
Lemire: It was always the plan for Mico to do more. He’s an amazing artist, but he also requires a bit more time to do his work than the monthly deadline provides, so we staggered his workload. I started writing “Bloodshot Island” for him a year ago, so that he could jump right into it after he finished the first four issues of the series. He’s perfect for the world-building, action and the heavy character work of “Bloodshot Island.”
Nrama: That being said, this seems a dramatically different kind of arc than previous ones for you with Bloodshot Reborn. Is that intentional -- and what would you say are the big things you're trying to do with this arc?
Lemire: I really wanted each arc to feel like its own story. I wanted to explore different genres with the Bloodshot character, and yet still have them all connect into a larger overall story. It keeps me interested as a writer, and hopefully keeps things fresh and interesting for the readers as well.