Once again, Lemire is using one of Valiant Comics’ most intense and violent characters to tackle a social and political issue. “Bloodshot Reborn” looked at the community effects of gun violence and mass shootings after the same technology that turned Bloodshot into a living weapon began infecting normal people and causing them to kill.
“Violence has always been a big part of [Bloodshot’s] DNA,” Lemire told The Post’s Comic Riffs. “Originally, he was created as this ultra-violent, ’90s anti-hero. Then when I took over the character a couple of years ago, I kind of took a look at that and twisted it inside out. ‘Bloodshot Reborn’ became more of a commentary on violence and specifically mass shootings and gun control in the U.S.”
In “Bloodshot Salvation,” Bloodshot finds out that the love of his life, Magic, was raised by white supremacists who have found her in the present day and want her to return home. It’s a plot that Lemire says at times seems surreal to put into a comic in 2017 and know that it could be linked to rising real-life sentiments in the United States. (Lemire is Canadian, and still resides in Canada).
“It did always feel like that Captain America punching Nazis [moment] was a part of our past. I don’t think I would have ever anticipated the things that have happened over the last couple of years,” Lemire said. “It’s certainly kind of still shocking and in the moment. I never really thought I’d be commenting on this stuff the way I am or feeling compelled to, that’s for sure.”
Valiant Comics tackling political topics is nothing new. In November, Valiant released an issue of “Faith” featuring Hillary Clinton that was intended to point out the importance of voting. But to some, it could have been seen as the publisher leaning to the left politically. Valiant Editor in Chief Warren Simons says that’s far from the case.
“We’ve always tried to build a big tent that allows for all different kinds of stories,” Simons said. “We have lots of people in the office who are on both sides of the political parties. We definitely try to build an environment where all thoughts are welcome.”
But Lemire says “Salvation” will be a balanced story, and won’t focus entirely on the character singlehandedly taking on a cult-like group. The next generation of Bloodshot will also be a big part of this series’ storyline: his daughter Jessie.
“Bloodshot Salvation” will take place in the present day and the future. The future arcs will feature Jessie as an eight year old as she deals with inheriting the same powers as her father that turn her into a destructive force and cause her to be hunted by an evil squad called Omen.
“I think anyone who becomes a parent, their world view instantly changes. [Bloodshot] is no different,” Lemire said. “Being this character that comes from such a history of violence and has so much violence built into him, I think that would be terrifying. You wouldn’t want to bring that into your child’s life at all. I think that tension is exactly what the book is kind of about.”