Staff Picks: Things get intense -- or, rather, more intense -- in 'Bloodshot Salvation' #3

Staff Picks: Things get intense — or, rather, more intense — in ‘Bloodshot Salvation’ #3

By Arpad Okay, Brendan F. Hodgdon, and Jarrod Jones. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. Here’s what has set our hearts ablaze this week.

Bloodshot Salvation #3Bloodshot Salvation #3

Valiant/$3.99

Written by Jeff Lemire.

Art by Lewis LaRosa and Mico Suayan.

Colors by Diego Rodriguez and Brian Reber.

Letters by Simon Bowland.

JJ: Revenge saga. Blood-thirsty villains. Stoic heroes. Bloodshot Salvation has a story to tell that we’ve definitely heard before. But give Jeff Lemire a little credit, here — you know that’s not going to be the entire gist.

No, Salvation is a Bloodshot story that takes two narratives from separate points of time (one a few years ahead of the other) and runs them parallel to each other. “Now” is illustrated by Lewis LaRosa and Diego Rodriguez, whose combined work has a painterly quality that gives the book its dramatic bonafides. Mico Suayan and Brian Reber leap into the near future with us as we watch important characters grow and change before our very eyes — and before we can adjust, Lemire sets the fireworks ablaze. This is a heartrending, thrilling story, filled with propulsion and daring. A reckoning is coming between Bloodshot and those who would hurt his family, one that’s absolutely dripping with foreboding. And blood, obviously.

Valiant has all but rolled out the red carpet for you to check out its killer new line of books. If I were you, I’d strut towards Bloodshot Salvation.

Bug! #5Bug! The Adventures of Forager #5

DC’s Young Animal/$3.99

Written by Lee Allred.

Art by Mike Allred.

Colors by Laura Allred.

Letters by Nate Piekos.

AOK: The Allreds squeeze forty years of Fourth World into six issues and here we are at the (literal) penultimate installment. Bug! The Adventures of Forager has been gleefully weird, lancing and loving on the DC pantheon in a way that only Young Animal can produce. Moreso with that Allred charm. It’s mythic. It’s hip. It would please the King.

A chase across time via Möbius strip of New God-adjacent oddballs. A stinkbug hero guy, a ghost girl and teddy bear, a Mother Box made from a WWII radio, another cosmic one made out of a series of unlikely events, a villain or two, and plenty of boom tubing. Does any of that make sense? It doesn’t matter. Bug! is fun, funny, complex, approachable, stylish, referential and reverent, totally its own thing. It shouldn’t be and it so very is. Each issue has been a consistently mind-blowing delight and things coming to a head should prove to be no different.

Evolution #1Evoluton #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela & Joshua Williamson.

Art by Joe Infurnari.

Colors by Jordan Boyd.

Letters by Pat Brousseau.

BFH: Consider the minds that must lurk behind books like All-New Inhumans, The Delinquents, Shutter, Ringside, Dead Letters, Demonic, Ghosted and Nailbiter. Now imagine those minds coming together to collaborate on one single original comic book and telling a world-spanning horror story. This is what Image is gifting to us this week with Evolution #1.

This collaboration feels like the indie comics version of 52, and with the plotlines teased for this series (a doctor seeking a cure, a nun grappling with her faith) against the backdrop of worldwide human mutation, it has the potential to be something really impactful and unsettling.

Combining the talents of Asmus, Keatinge, Sebela and Williamson under one narrative roof would be exciting enough, but when it’s presented through the artistic lens of an illustrator like Joe Infurnari it really has the chance to be something special. If his contributions to Evolution are anything like his work on The Bunker then I’m sure we can expect a moody, expressive look to the series that would go right along with the voices of the writing team, particularly Williamson and Sebela. It looks like it should be quite the ride, and I for one can’t wait to go along for it.

Wrapped Up #2Wrapped Up #2

Lion Forge/CubHouse/$3.99

Written by Dave Scheidt.

Art by Scoot McMahon.

JJ: Wrapped Up makes me wish I was twelve again, walking home from school re-reading a dog-eared comic while my kid brother kicked rocks down the street. When nights at a Pizza Hut could be considered the greatest thing that could ever happen to you. When characters like Robin, Gosalyn Waddlemeyer-Mallard, and yes, Wrapped Up‘s Milo could be considered dear friends.

Reading Wrapped Up lets me revisit those wistful feelings of burgeoning teenagerdom. It’s cool that way. And the second issue? A delight. Milo has a babysitter foisted upon him — one that’s younger than him, to boot. They get into a scrape, and need to fix things before Dad gets home. Where’s Dad? He’s out on a date. Complicated family stuff. And I haven’t even mentioned that Milo’s a mummy yet, or that Milo’s babysitter is a witch, one who can conjure instant dinners, natch.

So, yeah. I read kids’ comics. But that’s because they rule. And Wrapped Up definitely rules. So to all the Gen Xers, and older Millennials out there: If it’s a nostalgic itch you’re looking to scratch, one that’s also a whole heck of a mess of fun, go no further than Wrapped Up.

What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.

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