A couple of weeks ago I read my first Duane Swierczynski novel – Fun & Games, and I became an instant fan. A couple of days ago I received in the mail a paperback anthology of a Valiant comic book called Bloodshot. I was excited when I saw the name of the writer: Duane Swierczynski.
Bloodshot is the code name of a man who has billions of self-repairing/self-replicating nanoscale robots inhabiting his body. Bloodshot is part of a secret government defense project. The nanobots coursing through his system give him enormous strength and the ability to survive being shot, stabbed, or bombed, because they detect and repair damage. All they ask in return is that their host eats plenty of protein to keep them fueled. (That means cattle that happen to be grazing in a field should be afraid when Bloodshot is near.)
In issues one through four (which make up this anthology) Bloodshot struggles to figure out his true identity. That's because the government scientists who designed Bloodshot have implanted in his brain a bunch of different identities, each with fabricated memories of wife and children, which the scientists can switch on like a TV channel to persuade Bloodshot to participate on a mission.
In these issues of the comic, Bloodshot's already bizarre life gets even stranger. For one thing, the nanobots in his body had become intelligent and are communicating with him in the form of gold-colored apparitions of his imaginary wife and kids. For another thing, the scientist who created Bloodshot has gone rogue and is trying to use Bloodshot against his former colleagues.
With shades of Greg Bear's Blood Music and Philip K Dick's novels, I had a blast reading Bloodshot and I'm eager to read volume 2, which comes out in July.
(I should also mention that the art, by Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi is excellent.)