Valiant Entertainment's Bloodshot has been born, died, rebooted, and reborn - and in 2017 he will get salvation in a way that Jeff Lemire says speaks "to the ugly America that exists as we head into 2017."
In March 2017, Lemire and former Wolverine artist Renato Guedes bring all of the writer's stories with the character over the past two years and 25 issue to a close with Bloodshot Reborn #0. But while the book is an ending, it's also a beginning for Lemire's Bloodshot Salvation coming later in the year.
“From The Valiant to Bloodshot Reborn and Bloodshot U.S.A., Jeff Lemire has brought a level of vision and intensity to Bloodshot that has completely redefined the character and his place as one of Valiant’s most premier heroes,” said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. “Now, as Bloodshot Reborn draws towards its explosive finale, we stand poised on the brink of a series of seismic changes that will defy expectations and begin the bloodied road toward Bloodshot Salvation - Jeff’s next major Valiant project, and a title that will have major repercussions for the Valiant Universe in the weeks and months ahead…”
Newsarama spoke to Lemire about his plans for Bloodshot Reborn #0, the threads he's pulling together from his two years with the character, and also some revelations about what comes next that's so spoiler-y that the writer self-redacted himself to keep secret.
Newsarama: Jeff, Bloodshot Reborn #0 is coming in March - and it looks to be the reckoning point for your 25 issues thus far with the character. With Reborn and Bloodshot U.S.A. going on now, what can you say about this #0 issue?
Jeff Lemire: I felt like we needed a coda to Bloodshot Reborn after Bloodshot U.S.A.. Bloodshot U.S.A. is such a big story, with so much going on, that I wanted to be able to have some room to explore the aftermath and give each of the characters we established in the series a moment. So #0 is sort of a goodbye to Bloodshot Reborn, but also starts laying the groundwork for what comes next. So, in terms of the overall Bloodshot story I have been telling, this is an essential chapter.
And, I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a massive reveal in #0 here that will spin Bloodshot's world on its head.
Nrama: This comes as a new X-O Manowar series was announced, which Valiant’s Editor-In-Chief Warren Simons said is indicative of a different approach the company is having to titles in 2017. What can you say about Bloodshot's part in that approach?
Lemire: I believe Warren alluded to the fact that X-O Manowar and some other new titles in 2017 would be mapped out with long-term plans in mind, and would lead to some definitive changes for the characters. I don’t want to overstep, but I believe that what I did over the last two years on Bloodshot Reborn were exactly this, and maybe this led to Warren thinking of other books this way. When I came on Bloodshot Reborn back in 2014, I mapped out the whole 25-issue story that is now culminating, and I wrote really far ahead so that we could stagger high quality art teams. This approach worked really well for us.
Nrama: In your 25 issues so far, you've introduced numerous new and revamped characters - Magic being top of the list for me personally. What can you say about his past and present ensemble cast going into this new era?
Lemire: Bloodshot Reborn #0 will address all the characters we’ve set up (Magic, Agent Festival, Kay McHenry/Deathmate, the Bloodshot Squad, Bloodhound etc.) and give them all a moment of closure. Some of these characters will continue on as part of what we have planned next, and others will be given a nice ending. I should note, however, that not all of the characters we have set up in Bloodshot Reborn will survive Bloodshot U.S.A.
Nrama: With "Reborn" in the title of these series and it now ending is what comes after Bloodshot Reborn him growing up again?
Lemire: Interesting question. One that will seem very prescient after you read #0. And you are presuming there will be a new series, which is something I can’t confirm or deny at this point.
Nrama: I’m told that a new series will follow Bloodshot Reborn in 2017, titled Bloodshot Salvation. I know it’s still very early on, but what can you say about it?
Lemire: Project Codename: “Bloodshot Salvation” is under top-level classification, I’m afraid. Agent Simons and Agent Shamdasani have sworn me to total secrecy. I certainly can’t reveal that there will be a new REDACTED. Aside from that, another thing to keep in mind is that we will see the return of REDACTED and REDACTED into the Valiant Universe.
But mostly I wanted to do something that spoke to the ugly America that exists as we head into 2017. This new REDACTED will pit REDACTED against REDACTED. And that will all build to REDACTED, but will also carry a glimmer of hope, which I think we all need right now.
I hope that is a satisfactory answer? And if not, you can REDACTED off and kiss my REDACTED.
[Editor’s Note: Lemire “redacted” his last answer himself, and wasn’t censored by Newsarama.]