Comic Book Review: Bloodstrike #26

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Greg takes the time to come from behind the counter of running his comic book shop to tell you what he thinks of Bloodstrike #26! Wait, maybe he stays behind the counter because you look sketchy. Regardless, when Greg speaks, you listen. Right?

Bloodstrike #26 (or #1 if you see fit)

Image Comics
Release date: 3/28/12
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Franchesco Gaston

If you’re like me, you met the news of the relaunch/continuation of Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Entertainment comics with skepticism, laughter, or outright disgust. Also, if you’re like me, you choked on all your preconceived notions and were surprised by some well thought out, creatively stimulating books. Glory and Prophet continue to surprise, and Bloodstrike is the latest in that line to reinvent everything that was wrong with the 90’s into a lot that’s right with the 2000’s.

Tim Seeley, most well known for his creator owned hit Hack/Slash, has been recruited to write the ongoing exploits of Bloodstrike, the take no prisoners, violent loose cannon of the Youngblood team. And he does it well.

The first issue starts with a somewhat typical first page bad ass comic dude talking to headquarters about the mission he’s on. We’ve been dropped into the middle of it, as Bloodstrike prepares to kick some butt as only stereotypical Image characters can. The thing that immediately differentiates it, however, is the level of realism in Seeley’s dialogue. For the first time ever, this guy seems like he could be real. A far cry from what you may remember.

The next thing that will strike (no pun intended) you is the artwork. It’s a mix of classic comics and new technology. The pencils are very solid, with absolutely no confusion as to what’s happening. The colors are vibrant, without being obnoxious. There is very little wrong with this book visually.

Story-wise, as we progress past the first page, we are treated to yet another rarity with this type of comic: a multi layered plot. There is more characterization in just these first 4 or 5 pages for the title character than in the previous 25 issues put together. I actually found myself caring for the character and the situations he’s been put in. But for those of you that need action, there’s no shortage of that, either. There’s some beautiful fight scenes, and gore galore for those, like me, that crave it.

At times Bloodstrike comes off as being a little bit Deadpool-ish, especially because of the outfit and mask, but that’s a minor complaint. The more personal scenes and dialogue dispel that notion almost as soon as it enters my head.

Perhaps the most pleasing thing about this book is the fact that it’s written for a more of an adult audience, with people speaking like people speak and character’s acting like people act. It’s not written down to a level where you have to embrace your inner teenage shallowness to enjoy it.

All in all, this is a solid debut for Seeley and Gaston. And just so you don’t think it’s a flash in the pan, I’ve read the first 3 issues, and they all hold up to the first one. Well played, Image. Well played, indeed!

Preview images taken from CBR

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