Reviewed by Eric Switzer. “Bloodstrike” #1 continues Rob Liefeld’s short lived 90s series of the same name by reintroducing us to a group of assassins cursed with immortality. No matter how mutilated or dismembered they become their bodies can be regrown almost instantly. This conceit is played up to its most excessive, lowbrow extent in what seems to be the Liefeld-iest book to date. The age of thoughtful and complex comics be damned, the 90s are alive and well, Rob Liefeld is making sure of it.
WRITTEN BY: Rob Liefeld
ART BY: Rob Liefeld
RELEASE: July 8th 2015
If you read the solicits for “Bloodstrike” you’ll see it described as the most mature book Liefeld has ever written. After reading it I found that the word “mature” here is being used to mean “explicit”. “The Great Gatsby” is a mature book. “Bloodstrike” is about an assassin that has to chew his own arms off so he can chase after a ninja that stole his massive uncircumcised penis.
Please don’t mistake me for being stuck up. Carnage and bloodlust have just as much room in my heart as heavy themes and dramatic storytelling. Everyone knows I’m nuts about Williamson’s recent “Robocop” series for one example, I am no prude. What I struggle with in “Bloodstrike” is identifying the appropriate audience. It seems to be targeted at pre-teens that are going to sneak the book home and read it by flashlight in their closet. That may have been Liefeld’s audience in the 90’s but those kids have grown into adult comic readers and expect more substance. I’m not sure that fan base still exists.
Speaking of the 90’s, “Bloodstrike” is like a love-letter to the days of Zwaps! and Pows! and truly outrageous body shapes. If you seek that kind of nostalgia you might find something to enjoy in this series, personally I knew it was crap back then so I had no emotional connection to it whatsoever.
Its easy to bag on Liefeld ofcourse, I have no interest in piling on because it’s popular. No he can’t draw feet but nothing in his art stood out as particularly bad and some of the layouts I thought were actually pretty creative and eye catching. The book is full of color and broad expressions and if you aren’t bothered by the fact the all of the characters are uninspired approximations of Marvel heroes (at one point literally Wolverine) the book is not bad to look at, again through the lens of 90s action books. The theme of my review, as I said before, and that I don’t know who the book is for. Yes it has boobs, and people say the fuck word, and there is gratuitous violence but that does not a good book make. Call me jaded but I need more than that if I’m going to come back around, even if the entire hook is a throwback, I just don’t have a ton of fond Liefeld memories growing up I guess.