Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
It’s been quite some time since I last reviewed a Valiant comic book. Previously, I reviewed Bloodshot #6 (1993) which not only had the first appearance of Colin King (AKA Ninjak) but also had some of the spotlight on my native Philippines as a destination. To be specific, back in the 1990s, it was rare for the Philippines to get mentioned or visualized in American superhero comic books.
Anyway, we can return to the 1990s universe of Valiant Comics following the misadventure of Bloodshot in this look back at Bloodshot #7, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story by Kevin VanHook and art by Don Perlin.
The story begins 1,500 feet in the air above the Philippines with Leigh falling down followed by Bloodshot with the airplane leaving them. After some struggle, Bloodshot manages to grab her boot which turned out helpful as Leigh had been controlling her fall by gliding on the air currents. After breaking the fall, the boot of Leigh slips off separating the them. Bloodshot falls on the jungle’s foliage while the other landed safely.
Over at the Manila International Airport, the secret assassin Marco is weak and was assisted by a certain guy and placed on one of the toilets in the restroom. After being left there alone, Marco wakes up and leaves the restroom to make a telephone call. He does not realize that the same man who assisted him is trailing him.
Back in the jungle, Bloodshot gradually adjusts himself to get moving just as his nanites are healing his fractured right leg and broken rib. With no time to lose, he decides to continue his mission even though he is still injured….
I can say that this comic book has a stronger story and better spectacle. It is indeed a solid payoff to the build-up in issue #6. Kevin VanHook took his time in pacing the story allowing readers to follow the details behind the events while giving ample spotlight to other characters. Bloodshot is still in the center of the story only this time he’s a lot more vulnerable and less capable as an action hero. As seen in the cover of this comic book, he truly is vulnerable and therefore he is presented more as a survivor striving hard to complete his detective work no matter the costs.
This is not a straightforward action tale. There is still a good amount of intrigue and espionage that happens in the Philippines (as Valiant’s creators imagined it). It should be noted that this comic book marks the first-ever appearance of Ninjak in his costumed form (note: Ninjak appeared in Bloodshot #6 in his civilian form as Colin King) as well as the first-ever personal encounter between Ninjak and Bloodshot (which was written to be believable). Artist Don Perlin cleverly crafted the way Ninjak performs action and evasive maneuvers setting the basic standards that other artists would do later in further comic book featuring the character (who eventually got his own monthly series in 1994).
Bloodshot #7 (1993) is a great comic book to read and it also happens to be one of the more memorable character debuts Valiant Comics ever published in the 1990s. The debut of Ninjak in his costume alone makes this one a must-have and it so happens that the story and art were both of very good quality. The gritty realism applied to the tone of the presentation makes the story believable and there never was a moment when the events felt outlandish.
Going back to Ninjak, the character went on to become one of Valiant’s most original and major superheroes of all. In 1994, the Ninjak monthly series launched big time with an issue #1 that had a chromium cover and the great Joe Quesada drew the cover and interior art. In 2015, Valiant Entertainment launched another Ninjak series.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Bloodshot #7 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $40.
Overall, Bloodshot #7 (1993) is highly recommended.
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