Cover of Bloodshot #1, textless variant.
Art by Arturo Lozzi.
|First appearance||Eternal Warrior #4 (November 1992)|
|Created by||Kevin VanHook
|Alter ego||Angelo Mortalli|
Bloodshot is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in books published by of the American publisher Valiant Comics. The character was created in 1992 Kevin VanHook and Yvel Guichet.
Bloodshot was created by Kevin VanHook and Yvel Guichet in 1992 during a wave of popularity for the Valiant Universe and became an immediate hit with readers, with the first issue ranking number 4 on the Diamond Comic Distributors Top 100 for November 1992. As one of the most popular Valiant characters, Bloodshot had a continuing run of success, selling millions of copies until Valiant was purchased out for $65 million by Acclaim Entertainment. The comics have been translated into a number of languages including German, Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Filipino and Chinese, among others. In 1996, Bloodshot and a majority of other Valiant Universe characters were re-booted under the banner of Acclaim Comics. The re-launch saw the title moving in a new direction which could be more easily adaptable to video games. Valiant Entertainment is the current owner of the Valiant Character Catalog, including Bloodshot.
A new volume of Bloodshot was released on July 2012, written by Duane Swierczynski, following Valiant Comics's relaunch.
Bloodshot is a former soldier with powers of regeneration and meta-morphing made possible through nanites injected into his blood. 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. Bloodshot's bloodstream contains a billion nanocomputers, enabling him to heal from injuries quickly, interface with technology, and shape shift his mass. However, his oxygen-starved brain has lost its memories.
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 cumulate 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 lead 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.
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, 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. 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 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.
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.
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 makers 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?
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.
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….
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.
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.
There are 17 issues and counting in this volume, including #0. 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. The series tied in to the Harbinger Wars event with issues 10 through 13. Starting with issue 14, the series is retitled Bloodshot and Hard Corps, with the character as a member of the Hard Corps team. The series will crossover with Archer And Armstrong in a story arc titled "Mission: Improbable".
Connections between Bloodshot and other Valiant characters
Generally speaking, the Valiant Universe is very coherent, and the characters from one book will often appear in another book, or references to other characters will be made. This is a regular occurrence even outside of crossover events. 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 (March 1994) was a much anticipated comic that became a best selling issue and has gone on to sell approximately one million copies. The original series was written by Kevin VanHook and drawn by Don Perlin. The premiere issue featured the first "Chromium" comic book cover.
Bloodshot #1 was awarded "Best Comic" by Diamond Distributors (the American comics industry's leading distributor) and "Best Innovation" for its chromium cover, beating out books such as Spider-Man, Batman and Superman.
- Bloodshot was named in the Nerdage "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012".
With Valiant Comics returning to prominence this year—their new "X-O Manowar" series premieres in May and "Harbinger" premieres in June—it was only a matter of time before the popular characters from the comics line created by publisher Jim Shooter in 1992 would start seeing some possible movement on the movie front.
Sony Pictures and Neal Moritz's Original Film have teamed to acquire the rights to make a movie based on the Valiant Comics series Bloodshot, a deal that came out of the purchase of a spec script by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, Tony Jaffe and Dinesh Shamdasani will produce on behalf of Valiant, Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will executive produced & David Leitch and Chad Stahelski will co-direct the film. Bloodshot will have a sequel and a crossover movie with Harbinger. It was announced by Columbia president of production Hannah Minghella that the film adaptation will take place.
Bloodshot #0 Platinum Edition
Considered the most rare and sought after comic book published by Valiant comics is the platinum error edition of Bloodshot #0. It is rumored that fewer than 25 copies of the Platinum error covers exist, though it is assumed there were up to 300 based on interviews with staff members involved in the production process.
The 1993 series has begun being collected in hardcovers under the Valiant Masters banner:
- Valiant Masters: Bloodshot Vol. 1: Blood of the Machine (collects Bloodshot (1993) #1-8)
The 2012 relaunch series has been collected into several volumes:
- Bloodshot Vol. 1: Setting the World on Fire (collects Bloodshot (2012) #1-4)
- Bloodshot Vol. 2: The Rise and the Fall (collects Bloodshot (2012) #5-9)
- Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars (collects Bloodshot (2012) #10-13)
- Bloodshot Vol. 4: H.A.R.D. Corps (collects Bloodshot (2012) #0 and Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps (2013) #14-17)
- Bloodshot Vol. 5: Get Some and Other Stories (collects Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #18-19 & #22-23)
- Bloodshot Vol. 6: The Glitch and Other Tales (collects Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #24-25, Director's Cut of Bloodshot #1)
Additionally, the 2012 relaunch series has been collected into Deluxe Edition hardcovers:
- Bloodshot: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 (collects Bloodshot (2012) #1-13)
- Bloodshot: Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 (collects Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14-23, Bloodshot #24-25, Bloodshot #0, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps: H.A.R.D. Corps #0, Archer & Armstrong #18-19)
- "Top 100: November 1992". Wizard (Wizard Entertainment) (17): 110. January 1993.
- Mark Ginocchio (2014-06-07). "10 silliest comic book gimmick covers from the 1990s". comicbook.com.
- Matt Price (2013-04-01). "Top Ten Comic-Book Series of 2012". Newsok.com. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- , Crave Online, March 02, 2012
- McMillan, Graeme (April 21, 2015). "'Bloodshot', 'Harbinger' Comics to Get Film Treatment From Sony, Valiant Entertainment (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Bloodshot at the Valiant Comics wiki
- Bloodshot Fan Site
- "Valiant Days, Valiant Nights - A Look Back at the Rise and Fall of Valiant, Newsarama