Just last post, I talked about how the 90’s were a dark time for comic books, a dark time full of bad writing and excessive gore. The one real good thing I can say about the 90’s is, as terrible as they were for comics, it’s an era that we escaped from, an era we left behind. Thankfully, the terrible 90’s did not creep into the modern day comic book movies.
Or at least, I could have said that, until I came across…this.
See, there were two comic book companies that arose in the 90’s. Well, there is a lie, there were dozens, but there were only really two to achieve anything close to success. Using a very, very loose definition of success. One of those was Image Comics, which gave us Spawn and…nothing anyone else cares about. Literally no one. Hey, you, the one person in the back raising their hand to mention Youngbloods. Be honest. You haven’t thought of that comic in years, and it just occurred to you so you could try to make a snarky point on the internet. No one cares about Youngbloods. Rob Liefeld, who created Youngbloods, doesn’t care about Youngbloods.
The other was Valiant comics. No one remembers Valiant comics these days, and for good reason. They produced some of the worst trash of the 90’s comic world, and did so well they were bought by Acclaim and forced to make shitty video-game tie-in comics until that company went belly-up. However, back in the 90’s, I did read a single Valiant title. A title I had not thought of in decades, a series so forgettable that when the above trailer was released, it wasn’t until halfway through I remembered the comic existed.
That comic was, of course, Bloodshot.
Who is Bloodshot, and why is he getting a movie?
Bloodshot was about the titular character, a character dripping with so much originality that he didn’t initially even get another name to distract from how awful a name “Bloodshot” is. Seriously, take a moment. Say “Bloodshot” out loud. Don’t read any further, just do it. Good. Now you sound like a twit for saying “Bloodshot” in the bathroom, which is not half as big a twit as I feel for having once read and enjoyed these comics. Bloodshot was a former US Soldier who had his memory wiped and was stuffed full of nanobots that gave him super strength, enhanced speed, and insane amounts of regeneration, so…he was Deadshot, okay? He was DC’s Deadshot without the terrifying calm, mixed with Marvel’s Wolverine sans the semi-interesting bloodlust and Captain America without the inspiring vision of what America could be. He was Deadpool without the self-aware irony of how stupid he was. Oh, and he could also shapeshift because he wasn’t powerful enough, and he had Cyberkinesis, which is like Technopathy but more X-TREAM because 90’s.
Bloodshot is what happens if you take the worst elements of four different characters, remove the things that make them interesting, and put them in a blender. He is the apotheosis of what I was talking about last time, aping something popular while entirely missing the point.
And in 7th and 8th grade, I loved Bloodshot.
Because it was edgy. It was full of blood and guts and the main hero being so unstoppable that you never once felt he was in danger. I’m pretty sure that, in one issue, I saw a female nipple, which blew my little brain. Or at least, the silhouette of a nipple. Or maybe it was just a female character wearing so little clothing I mistook pasties for nipples. I was a thirteen year old boy, I probably could have convinced myself I saw an exposed breast in a particularly curvy piece of driftwood.
The biggest evidence against time travel existing in my lifetime is that I have no memory of being smacked upside my damn fool head by my older self.
Ignoring that little aside, Bloodshot was the kind of edgy that majorly appeals to that age range, because its fun to imagine you are him. You get to pretend to be unstoppable and attractive and someone who totally makes the sex like, all the time. At least twelve sex. Twelve. If I’m not adequately conveying how immature Bloodshot was, let me make that clear with exactly one more sentence – I stopped reading Bloodshot in 8th grade because I felt it was immature.
And now it’s getting a major motion picture. Starring Vin Diesel.
Dear God Why?
I’ll be honest, when I started this post, I fully intended on trying to break down Bloodshot’s few merits. I was going to mention the one memorable character it had, or the interesting story arc, or that even though I now despise it and everything it says about me that I used to like it, I can at least look back on it fondly. Then I went over my memories and read over Bloodshot’s synopsis and looked at images on google and I realized that I can’t do that. I cannot point out the merits of Bloodshot because Bloodshot is utterly without merit. The best thing I can say about it is Rob Liefeld didn’t draw it, which is the definition of damning with faint praise. It was among the cheapest, sleaziest cash-in of an era rife with cheap, sleazy cash ins. It makes me nostalgic for the day before yesterday, when I lived with a brain that did not remember Bloodshot existed.
As for why…given his film trajectory and his well-known nerdiness, I can only assume that Bloodshot exists because Vin Diesel does remember it fondly, and therefore willed this into existence by buying the film rights. He then went to a producer and said “Hey, you know how Fast and Furious made a billion dollars? And Endgame made three billion dollars? Math says that a comic book movie starring my face would probably make like four billion dollars! And I have the rights to one! I’m already built like a brick shithouse. What do you say?” That producer then made a strangled noise as he pictured the money, and he gibbered excitedly as ran off to Sony, so thrilled for this opportunity he forgot it’s the future and he can get an Uber as opposed to running across LA. He got there, he burst in, dollar signs in his eyes, and begged Sony for all the money to make it. Sony went “Yup, math checks out, here’s millions of dollars. We are reasonable adults who make reasonable business decisions. Look at us, we have ties. This is a good thing we will not regret.”
Presumably, that producer has now read Bloodshot. Presumably, that producer regrets what he’s unleashed. Presumably, that producer now has a drinking problem and a job hunt in his future.
Does that mean the movie will be offensively bad? Honestly, after watching the trailer, I don’t think so. The film Bloodshot looks like it will be exactly like the comic book – forgettably bad. Unremarkably bad. It will, ultimately, be like a minor sinus infection – annoying, lingering for about a month, and then once it’s gone you’ll never think about it again unless someone reminds you. Then you will hate yourself for remembering, and you’ll be glad to know you’ll forget it again soon. It will be the 2020’s answer to 2019’s Hellboy.
It’s not going to be something worth missing work for. And it’s certainly nothing you’ll want to talk about.
Am I going to see it? Of course I am. I can probably get a damn good angry rant on this blog about it, and who knows? Maybe it won’t suck like a stellar mass black hole. I’m sure it will, but I yearn to be proven wrong. And if I’m really lucky, it will be memorably, offensively bad, and that will get me good and frothed up for my review.
Let’s find out in a few months, shall we?
Want to read something I can definitely say is better than Bloodshot? Try my book, which is better than Bloodshot, because it has at least twelve fans. Twelve. That’s eleven more than Bloodshot’s one, which is you, Mr. Diesel. You are the only one. Sorry. Loved Pitch Black though!
And if you want to support me in other ways, that link to Pitch Black and the other one to Weird Theology are affiliate links. If you click them and buy anything on Amazon, I make a tiny bit of money. Appreciate it!