The Ninjabot

Interview: Valiant EIC Warren Simons talks “Bloodshot Reborn”

Posted on March 26, 2015 at 9:00 am by Tyler Waterman

If you’re like me, you finished The Valiant #4 yesterday and the first thing you thought was “what now?!” (And if you didn’t read it, you should get on that… I’m kind of a fan.)

The final pages spelled major changes for the Valiant Universe as a whole, but no one was more affected than Bloodshot. Fitting, then, that the next major Valiant premier is Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan’s Bloodshot Reborn, which spins directly out of the epic conclusion to The Valiant and promises to continue to redefine on of Valiant’s most iconic characters.

Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons was kind enough to answer a few questions about the upcoming title, the creative team behind it, and what it is about Bloodshot that makes him so compelling. Check it out below, along with a sneak peek at Bloodshot Reborn #1!

Geek Legacy: When it comes to comic universes, everyone has their own favorites, but a handful of characters always become the faces of the brand. For Valiant, Bloodshot is one of those characters; like X-O Manowar and Ninjak, he’s transcended the books to become a character recognized by all fans, even those not reading Valiant titles. As there is no shortage of gun-toting antiheroes in comics, what do you think it is about Bloodshot that’s set him above the rest?

Warren Simons: It starts with his backstory:  Good man, no memory, who finds out that once upon a time he was a real piece of work, injured a lot of people who maybe didn’t deserve it.  But he’s a good man now.  He’s wrestling with those demons, those actions, looking at his past, and can’t believe he was that man.  Which in some ways he wasn’t, but in other ways he was.  It touched a nerve with people.  It’s something everyone can relate to:  how to deal with mistakes, the past.  He’s also got an incredibly compelling design, and there’ve been some great stories by Kevin Van Hook and Duane Swierczynski and Joshua Dysart and Christos Gage, so I think he’s struck a chord over the years. So I think those are some of the reasons.  And the guns.  Lots and lots of guns, which is actually really important to the story Jeff’s telling.

GL: From a slave of Project Rising Spirit to a protector of children, from H.A.R.D. Corps to Unity, from thinking he knew everything to realizing he knows almost nothing; since the 2012 launch, Bloodshot has gone through a lot. Is it safe to say change has affected Bloodshot more than any other Valiant character?

WS: It’s been a tough few years.  Bloodshot’s first year was like a house on fire rolling down a mountain of dynamite.  But what Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan have planned is in a much different vein.  I’m excited for it.

GL: Speaking of change, series writer Jeff Lemire has made it clear that both The Valiant and Bloodshot Reborn are going to reinvent Bloodshot in ways we haven’t seen before. Was that always one of the main goals of the Valiant Next initiative, or is it something that evolved naturally through Lemire’s ideas for the books?

WS: It evolved naturally through Jeff’s ideas.   He’s really done a wonderful job of organically building this thing.  He’s got tremendous plans in place for the next few years.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.

GL: One of the things that separates Valiant from the competition is the creative consistency on its titles. For instance, Robert Venditti hasn’t moved from X-O Manowar since the launch, and creators like Lemire, Fred Van Lente, Matt Kindt, Clayton Henry or Trevor Hairsine are a constant presence across the brand. That being said, Bloodshot Reborn features Mico Suayan on art, who, besides some great covers, is a relatively new face at Valiant. Was it important to you to bring a fresh new look to this title?

WS: Mico’s an extraordinary talent, and I think a great match for both Bloodshot and the story.  I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  I feel really lucky to have this crew of creators at Valiant.  They’re great people, exceptional collaborators, and I think it’s been a great environment for creators to create.

GL: Between all the new Valiant Next titles, the introduction of new original characters and major changes to fan favorites, and the massive Dead Hand event on the horizon, you’ve given Valiant fans a lot to be excited about for 2015, and the year has just begun. Is it safe to assume that 2015 is going to be the biggest year yet for Valiant?

WS: Yes.  And don’t forget Divinity!  It’s kinda awesome!!!

GL: Finally, since so much about the book is still shrouded in secrecy, what can you tell Bloodshot fans like myself to get us even more excited about Bloodshot Reborn

WS: Make sure to check out The Valiant #4 and our FCBD special.  They’ll tell you more than I can.

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