Bloodshot (comics)

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Bloodshot 1 2012.jpg
Textless cover of Bloodshot #1 (July 2012).
Art by Arturo Lozzi.
Publication information
PublisherValiant Comics
First appearanceCameo appearance: Eternal Warrior #4 (November 1992)
Full appearance: Rai #0 (November 1992)
Created byKevin VanHook
Don Perlin
Bob Layton
In-story information
Alter egoRaymond Garrison
Team affiliationsUnity
Notable aliasesAngelo Mortalli
Psiot Killer
Abilities Formerly: Access to H.A.R.D. Corps implants
Transparent bar.svg
Publication information
PublisherValiant Comics
FormatOngoing series
No. of issues

Bloodshot is a fictional superhero appearing in books published by the American publisher Valiant Comics. The character was created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton.

Publication history[edit]

Bloodshot was created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton during a wave of popularity for Valiant Comics.[1] The character's name was suggested by artist David Chlystek.[2] The character first appeared in three panels on the last page of Eternal Warrior #4 (November 1992), before making his first full appearance in Rai #0 (November 1992) a week later.

Plot summary[edit]

Bloodshot is a former soldier with powers of regeneration and meta-morphing made possible through nanites injected into his blood, hence the name Bloodshot. After having his memory wiped numerous times, Bloodshot is out to discover who he really is and get vengeance on those who did this to him.[3] Bloodshot's bloodstream contains a billion nanobots, enabling him to heal from injuries quickly, interface with technology, and shape shift his mass.

Project Rising Spirit's program to create the ultimate soldier stretches back decades, and reached critical mass in the depths of World War II. Though the initial products of the program were crudely enhanced and highly expendable foot soldiers suitable only for the simplest scenarios, these early subjects were able to complete high-intensity missions regardless of any obstacles. Over the decades, these results ensured that the "Bloodshot" program was consistently earmarked for future development and continued to break new ground.

Throughout the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, P.R.S. redefined the nanotechnology that would power Bloodshot, and develop a new artificial intelligence system that allowed him to be deployed in a wider array of off-the-battlefield counterintelligence and espionage missions. While Bloodshot was self-aware to a degree, the human-machine hybrid was still deemed to inflict unacceptably high levels of collateral damage. In 2007, another P.R.S. scientist, Dr. Emmanuel Kuretich, discovered his employers' intention to redirect the Bloodshot program in to a new area: the targeting and capture of the extremely rare, psionically powered children called "psiots." Alarmed, Kuretich fled P.R.S. for Toyo Harada's Harbinger Foundation, where he secretly began forging a plan to undo P.R.S.

Several years later, while on a routine mission in Afghanistan, Bloodshot is captured by Kuretich, who forcibly extracts the records of Bloodshot's missions with the intent of exposing Project Rising Spirit to the world. The process, however, unlocks all of Bloodshot's false memories, which had been used to motivate him in war zones throughout the world, all at once.

P.R.S., fearing that Bloodshot has finally gone rogue, decides to rein him in. Bloodshot escapes capture with the aid of an ambulance driver named Kara Murphy before finally returning to P.R.S. to uncover the truth behind his identity. Tipped off by Kuretich, Bloodshot storms a P.R.S. facility in Nevada, but finds only the sub-basement facility known as the Nursery. Built to house the empowered psiot children captured by Bloodshot, freeing the Nursery's captives has been Kuretich and Harada's true objective all along. Bloodshot is forced to combat the Nursery's sadistic psiot jailer Gamma and P.R.S.'s outdated cyborg hit squad Chainsaw. Bloodshot frees the captive children, including generation Zero, an action that inadvertently sets off a chain reaction of events that would culminate in the Harbinger Wars in the Las Vegas Strip.

Confronted by Toyo Harada in the aftermath of the P.R.S. breakout, Bloodshot's capacity for free will is overridden by the "Harada Protocol", a piece of hidden P.R.S. programming that compels him to terminate Harada. A vicious battle ensues, which leaves Harada seriously wounded, and Bloodshot with a depleted nanite count.

In the closing moments of the Harbinger wars, Bloodshot again falls into Harada's clutches, and spends several weeks as a prisoner of the Harbinger Foundation. During this time, Harada subjects Bloodshot to cruel and painful experiments as he attempts to solve the secret behind the incredibly rare nanites in Bloodshot's bloodstream.

However, Project Rising Spirit quickly expedites a rescue led by the H.A.R.D. Corps. After storming Harada's El Segundo facility, they successfully extract Bloodshot, who shortly thereafter accepts a spot on the H.A.R.D. Corps roster. Bloodshot is rewarded with a hard copy of the P.R.S. file on his true identity.

Bloodshot is deployed across the globe on various missions alongside the H.A.R.D. Corps, including as assignment to retrieve a former P.R.S. test subject codenamed Prodigal and his supposedly "immortal" bodyguard.

Volume One and Volume Two of Bloodshot keeps the same core story elements with different settings and plots.

Volume One[edit]

Cover image of Bloodshot #40. Art by Jeff Johnson.

Angelo Mortalli has become the ultimate killing machine. His memories have been erased and his blood has been infused with microscopic computers called nanites. These nanites allow him to heal wounds quickly, dominate electronic devices, and fully control every aspect of his body to maximize his physical capabilities. A modern-day Frankenstein's monster, he wages a one-man war, taking out the mob, the police and his covert government creators, in his struggle to find out who he was and what he has become.


Angelo Mortalli, a.k.a. Bloodshot

Mortalli is a ruthless killer climbing the mob ranks when his crime family betrays him and has him framed for murder. He goes into federal witness protection but is betrayed by one of the FBI members guarding him. He is then kidnapped and taken to be part of an experimental procedure known as "Project Rising Spirit". His body is injected with microscopic computers called nanites (nanobots). The nanites quickly go to work, rebuilding his brain and then the rest of his body, unexpectedly reviving Angelo but erasing his memory in the process. The nanites (nanobots) now fully control Angelo's body (manipulating blood flow, adrenaline levels etc.) giving him augmented reflexes and strength, enhanced hearing; the ability to heal rapidly, and control of electronic devices. Angry, violent and unsure of what he has become, he escapes. Taking the name Bloodshot, he begins the process of piecing together who he was.

Don Gino Canelli

Angelo Mortalli's mafia boss and his girlfriend's father is Gino, a ruthless man who will do anything to protect his family. He treats Angelo like a son. When he learns that Angelo has been cheating on his daughter, he orders Angelo set up for the murder of a rival without a second thought.

Hideyoshi Iwatsu

Iwatsu is an old and dangerous Japanese scientist who created the Bloodshot procedure. He is extremely immoral, using unwilling “volunteers” for his experiments, most of whom die as a result.


Tanaka is Hideyoshi Iwatsu's aide and right-hand man. More trusted by Hideyoshi than he does his own son, Tanaka is a brilliant manipulator. His arrogance blinds him, however, and leads to stupid mistakes on his part.

Volume Two[edit]

Angelo Mortalli has been subjected against his will to a scientific experiment that has remade him into the ultimate killing machine, an engine of destruction codenamed Bloodshot. But, in the process, his memories were lost. His creators mean to use him as a weapon, an unstoppable assassin. But he breaks free and escapes. In this rendition, the writer Len Kaminski elaborates on BloodShot's nano technology. They turn out to be like sentient beings that see him as their God and provoke him to self-induce a trance-like state using a mixture of substances in order to communicate with him directly. Deadly operatives of the super-secret government agency that sponsored his creation hunt him down. Following a broken trail of fragmentary recollections, Bloodshot fights a running battle against them, the mob and the police.



The first and only success of Project Lazarus, Bloodshot is a miracle of technology, far exceeding his creators’ expectations. Microscopic machines called nanites injected into his blood maximize his physicality, heal his wounds, extend his senses and imbue him with the ability to interface with any electronic device. In his former life as Angelo Mortalli, he learns, he was a rising star in a New York crime family...but the trail doesn't end there. He was someone else before he was Mortalli. Who was Raymond Garrison?

Simon Oreck

The Director in Chief of the Domestic Operations Authority (DOA), a covert operations arm of the United States government. An information trader, his business is knowledge and he has his eyes and ears in every branch of government – all of which is fed to him constantly by the wall of computers and monitors that fill his office. Despite usually preferring his department to remain behind the scenes, Oreck offers to commit DOA resources to helping the FBI extract information on the Cianelli crime family from the brain of recently deceased mobster Angelo Mortalli. But as always, Oreck is hiding his true motives.

Doctor Frederick J. Stroheim

Son of Nazi scientist Klaus Stroheim, the “Mengele of Dachau,” Frederick inherited his father's genius and his utter inhumanity. Project Lazarus is his brainchild.

Gina DeCarlo

In the process of eliminating all evidence that Angelo Mortalli ever existed, D.O.A. operatives expunged all documentation, razed his home, and even had phone books reprinted without his name. He also discovers that they coldly murdered Gina, the love of his life, to silence her. As if he didn't hate them enough already....

The Chainsaw

Known as the Special Circumstances Division, codename: The Chainsaw are a highly trained team of mercenaries that work for the Domestic Operations Authority (DOA). Utilizing a state-of-the-art group combat technology called Chainlink, the members of The Chainsaw are provided with instant data and communication tools that allow for perfect combat tactics and strategy. Each member is specialized in one area of covert warfare and utilizes the latest in DOA technology.

Michael Pileggi

A made man in the Cianelli crime family, Michael Pileggi is one of the few who know the truth behind Angelo Mortalli's death. Don Cianelli had ordered Pileggi to fake a funeral for Mortalli in order to prevent the Don's daughter and Mortalli's girlfriend Gina from becoming suspicious. When he hears that someone has been asking questions about Mortalli and killing his men for answers, he becomes paranoid and holes up in his heavily guarded mansion.

Volume Three[edit]

There are 25 issues in this volume, including #0.[4] A 2012 relaunch by Valiant Publishing: Bloodshot is a man searching for his identity. He is a weapon, one built for military destruction. Using false memories the government has motivated him to do things while believing to himself that he was protecting an imagined family. But no more. When the weapon awakens, it malfunctions thus beginning a war over the control of Bloodshot's mind. Leaving a trail of destruction he breaks away from the military base he is being held at. A man marked with gray skin and a red mark on his chest, Bloodshot chooses to trust no one as he fights to figure out who he used to be, and what it is he has become. Series written by Duane Swierczynski.[5] The series tied into the Harbinger Wars event with issues 10 through 13. Starting with issue 14, the series was retitled Bloodshot and Hard Corps, with the character as a member of the Hard Corps team. The series crossed over with Archer And Armstrong in a story arc titled "Mission: Improbable".

Volume Four - Bloodshot Reborn[edit]

Relaunched in 2015 by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan it ran for 18 regular issues, plus a #0, and annual, and the Bloodshot Island 4 issue miniseries. Bloodshot has had his nanites removed by Kay McHenry (Geomancer) and is trying to live a normal life. But when a number of shootings are carried out by men who look like Bloodshot, he must go back into the world he tried to leave behind.

Volume Five - Bloodshot Salvation[edit]

Relaunched again by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan, this time in 2017 with the addition of artist Lewis LaRosa, it ran for 12 regular issue plus a number of event tie ins. Following directly on from Bloodshot Reborn, Bloodshot must now protect his girlfriend Magic and their daughter from Magic's sadistic family.

Volume Six - Bloodshot Rising Spirit[edit]

In 2018 the writing trio of Kevin Grevioux, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson, with artist Ken Lashley launched a new volume. It ran for 8 issues and as of January 2020 has not been collected in paperback or hardcover.

Volume Seven[edit]

Another relaunch happened in 2019, with Tim Seeley writing and Brett Booth on art duties. This is the current ongoing Bloodshot volume.

Connections between Bloodshot and other Valiant characters[edit]

Generally, the characters published by Valiant inhabit a shared universe/continuity. Characters appear or are referenced in each other's books. For example, there is a very definite connection between Rai and Bloodshot. Bloodshot's silicon based, nanite powered blood flows through Takao Konishi's veins (the last Rai). It grants him some of Bloodshot's memories and all of Bloodshot's powers. The entire line of warriors who were known as Rai were created by Grandmother in the image of Bloodshot to honor his heroism.


Bloodshot is one of the best selling Valiant characters with total sales in all languages approaching seven million comics. Shortly before the debut of the Bloodshot series the title character made two introductory appearances in popular titles Rai and Eternal Warrior. Based on these appearances there was a groundswell of demand for the character to return and high anticipation for the premier issue. Bloodshot #1 (February 1993) was a much anticipated comic that became a best selling issue and has gone on to sell approximately one million copies.[6] The original series was written by Kevin VanHook and drawn by Don Perlin. The premiere issue featured the first "Chromium" comic book cover.[7]

Bloodshot #1 (July 2012) was awarded "Best Comic" by Diamond Comic Distributors (the American comics industry's leading distributor) and "Best Innovation" for its chromium cover.[citation needed] Bloodshot was named one of the Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012 by Nerdage.[8]

In other media[edit]


Video games[edit]

Web series[edit]


  1. ^ "NYCC 2017: Valiant Offers Limited-Edition BLOODSHOT SALVATION BEAR – Available Exclusively at New York Comic Con 2017!". Valiant Entertainment. September 15, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  2. ^ @dinesh_s (8 January 2018). "With all the BLOODSHOT talk today the great @Bob_Layton, one of the characters chief architects, reminds us that Dave Chlystek named him!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Bloodshot (Character) - Comic Vine".
  4. ^ "Bloodshot (Volume) - Comic Vine". Comic Vine. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  5. ^ "Valiant Entertainment".
  6. ^ " Home Page".
  7. ^ Mark Ginocchio (2014-06-07). "10 silliest comic book gimmick covers from the 1990s".
  8. ^ Matt Price (2013-04-01). "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  9. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming; Hipes, Patrick (March 8, 2018). "Vin Diesel Back In Action With Sony's 'Bloodshot', Valiant Comic Adaptation With Dave Wilson Directing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bloodshot". Cyplexia. Paul Taylor. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Acclaim Kills Bloodshot". IGN. Imagine Media. January 6, 1999. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  12. ^ @ValiantComics (30 September 2016). "Look who's joining us at @NY_Comic_Con, @jdfffn! #NYCC" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Mueller, Matthew (September 30, 2016). "First Look At Jason David Frank As Bloodshot".
  14. ^ Lovett, Jamie (October 8, 2016). "Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe Trailer Released At NYCC".

External links[edit]