First, Mico Suayan is a find, man. This issue practically vibrates thanks to him. He brings graphic detail to the scenes of Bloodshot murdering a wide variety of people during his days under the thumb of Project: Rising Spirit. But, this gore is necessary if you're going to really appreciate the horror that Ray feels as he's forced to come to terms with his past. You understand why he hits the bottle and snorts some pills to make it through the night. (Yes, you read that correctly. Suayan also doesn't flinch from showing Ray chop up some pills and snort the dust. It's not Marvel Comics around here!)
Meanwhile, Lemire is driving this train of despair. Ray isn't just sitting in bed trying to find a way to come to grips with his actions. He's also trying to decide whether he's going to open the dossier on his real past. Lemire leaves you with the sense that Ray doesn't want to open it because, if he does, he has to admit that he really did the things that Bloodshot did, even if it was under someone else's control. He's that good, Lemire, that he can hint that and not have to say it. Most authors would find a way to scream that from the mountaintops, but Lemire just somehow conveys it.
Of course, it gets worse for Ray. He's not just tormented by his memories of his past; no, his memories start to take form. Kay appears to prod him into becoming a hero, because it's better than a stint as a handyman at a crappy motel to get a free room. Then, a cartoonish version of him called Bloodsquirt tells him that he needs to fight again. Ray fights these impulses...until some guy dressed like Bloodshot shoots up a theater, and Kay and Squirt's exhortations for him to pick up his guns again find a target. So, he paints a red circle on a shirt and suddenly we have a Punisher with a heart.
I honestly can't wait for next issue.
***** (five of five stars)