As I've read this mini-series, I've obviously had in the back of my mind whether I would wind up collecting a Valiant series after it ended (since it's essentially its whole point). It would definitely be easier if Valiant had some sort of team book, like the Avengers, where I could commit to one book and see where I wanted to go from there. But, they don't seem to have that. As such, it sort of puts you in the market for a favorite character to follow. After this issue, my guess is that I'm going with Bloodshot.
I had considered jumping on the new "Ninjack" series, because I also liked his character. But, at the end of the day, I just wasn't feeling it. He's essentially just a ninja. It doesn't seem much more complicated. Meanwhile, Bloodshot is a walking enigma, and Lemire does an amazing job of using Kay as a surrogate for the reader as we try to learn more about him. To be honest, I'm surprised that I find his story compelling, since I hate Wolverine and he's clearly his analogue. But, Bloodshot seems more human than Logan. As Lemire says in his notes, you could see him as a uncaring robot with an analytical approach to the world or as a tragic figure with a black sense of humor. He clearly wants us to believe the former, but Lemire uses Kay to show that it's the latter. The fact that she manages to pull out the nanites from him also seems to open up a lot of issues. Is Bloodshot going to have to chose to stay a "robot" now that he seemingly has the option of not being one, making him all the more tragic?
In terms of the issue itself, it's a pretty standard (if beautifully drawn) battle. The assembled heroes of the Valiantverse attack the Immortal Enemy, but they can't overcome his psychological warfare, as he confronts each hero with their worst failures and fears. Meanwhile, the spy folks seem ready to open (literally) Pandora's box. It's a little difficult to believe that we're going to wrap up this story next issue, but I guess we'll see.
*** (three of five stars)