Bloodshot is back with an all-new ongoing series, but this time that big red dot on his chest is symbolic of the target on his back by a deep-state military unit known as the Black Bar.
Series writer Tim Seeley tells Newsarama that He's "a sucker for a good action comic," and his new series with artist Brett Booth aims to deliver that - and take the implicit idea that the character is a high-tech Frankenstein's Monster and make it explicit with high-tech vampires, ghosts, and werewolves to match.
With Bloodshot #1 scheduled to debut September 25, Newsarama spoke with Seeley and Booth about this throwback action comic book, their thoughts on the character's evocative design, and how much fun they're having (hint: lots).
Newsarama: Tim, what do you find engrossing about Bloodshot?
Tim Seeley: I’m a sucker for a good action comic, and Bloodshot is perfect for that kind of story. Plus, he just looks cool. Always has. It’s a perfect, simple design. There’s also something compelling about a Frankenstein character... a monster who did not ask to be born, which is obviously something we can all relate to.
Nrama: Brett, what do you think of Bloodshot’s design and how is it drawing him?
Booth: I was a bit worried... he’s very white. But after a few doodles I just sort of went a bit heavier on the shadows and rendering. I didn’t really change anything on him - I just went with my version of his current look. Belts, straps and pouches. Being an old Image guy, it’s right up my alley! [Laughs]
And the pages coming back from Adelso Corona and Andrew Dalhouse with the inks and colors, they are making it look darn pretty! I couldn’t be happier with the team on this book!
Nrama: You’ve done gun-toting warriors before, what makes Bloodshot unique?
Seeley: I think it’s the fact that he’s not some Bernie Goetz-type vigilante. He’s not out for revenge, he’s out to even up the body count. He was used as a weapon, and now he wants to make sure no one else is.
Nrama: What is he up against here in this relaunched series?
Seeley: We’re going to give him multiple new villains, because villains are fun. First is Black Bar, a deep-state military unit so deep, they don’t know their own name or who they work for. And then we’ll meet the Burned, a movement of ex-spies who spy on the spymasters who used to employ them.
Booth: The Black Bar are complicated to draw! Of course, that’s my fault, but they need to look good. Tim mentioned future gear in the script so I based their designs on some techie gear I saw and went from there.
Nrama: Tim, how did you come about writing Bloodshot in the first place?
Seeley: I was asked to pitch a year or so ago, and worked with Valiant’s excellent editorial team
Nrama: Brett, this is a long time coming after your brief stint drawing part of the Image/Valiant Deathmate crossover in the early 1990s. What made you strike up a partnership with Valiant here?
Booth: After DC, I was looking for something fun to do, something different. Andrew Dalhouse suggested Valiant so I emailed them. I heard back later that day; it was surprisingly quick! I honestly don’t really remember the Deathmate stuff... I had just started at Homage (pre-Wildstorm) and I think that might have been the second thing I drew there? Maybe third... I do remember watching Blade Runner for the backgrounds....
Nrama: On the outside, of all Valiant’s heroes, Bloodshot seems to be an ideal pairing for you. How’d you and them decide on you doing this book in particular?
Booth: Editor Lysa Hawkins had asked if I’d be interested in doing pages. Covers are cool and all, don’t get me wrong, but I really like drawing the stories. They offered me Bloodshot the next week. I was totally on board when they said Tim was writing. I’ve been wanting to work with him for a bit, and I have not been disappointed! Crazy action! Drawing lots of different things. Very fun for an artist!
Nrama: You were writing this as Vin Diesel was filming the Bloodshot movie, but unlike him you have an unlimited special effects budget with Brett Booth drawing. Anything you can tease that’d make Diesel jealous?
Seeley: [Laughs] Nah, because I wouldn’t want to put an actor through what we put Bloodshot through in the comics. We really beat him up.
Nrama: Brett, Tim is an artist-turned-writer so knows a bit more about what he’s asking for in his scripts. What are you having the most fun drawing so far?
Booth: Half the time, Bloodshot is completely messed up! The Melty Man in issue #2 was really fun. Adelso hooked those pages up! The bat creature in issue #3 was really fun as are the monsters in #4. And they really are just letting me off leash for this. Tim sort of points me in a direction and just lets me go.
Nrama: Brett, I have to ask - you're doing this, while also drawing Flash Forward for DC. How do you do it all?
Booth: Luckily, we are pretty far ahead on Bloodshot; I’m currently on issue #4. So, I’m basically stopping any non-essential outside drawing to get both of these done. My Patreon comic will be posted in drips and drabs for a bit but I couldn’t pass up Wally and didn’t want to leave Bloodshot, so it’s just for a little while. Basically, I’m getting to work on a bunch of projects that I’m really enjoying right now. I just wish I had like two more days in the week to get everything done!
Nrama: Tim, we joked about this at C2e2, but how many copies of Bloodshot #1 would have to be sold for you to get the red dot Bloodshot tattoo on your chest?
Seeley: [Laughs] 200,000 and I’ll do it.
Nrama: We'll hold you to that.
More seriously, how far out do you have planned for Bloodshot?
Seeley: I have it very detailed up through issue #6 or so. Then some good ideas for where to go after that!
Nrama: Then what are your big, over-arching goals for Bloodshot going through #6 and possibly beyond?
Seeley: The plan is to supply readers with something they say they want—a big, apolitical, stakes-filled action comic about a hero who is desperately trying to be better despite knowing what a monster he’s been in the past. And I want to add in more of the “monster” aspect to this, not just in the deeds of our hero, but playing around with the idea that if Bloodshot is a high-tech Frankenstein’s monster, then he should have enemies that are high-tech vampires, ghosts, werewolves... all my favorite stuff. [Laughs]
Booth: I could say I’m looking to make my mark on a definitive run or something, wanting it to sell a million copies, but really, I want to have fun and do a book people enjoy. I hope it does well for Valiant, they’ve been so nice and I hope people can see what a fantastic inker and colorist Adelso and Andrew are. At the end of the day, it’s all about making good books that I’m proud of. Bloodshot is definitely one of them!