1st Impressions: Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps: H.A.R.D. Corps # 0

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS: H.A.R.D. CORPS #0
Written by Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart
Art by Valentine De Landro, Joseph Cooper, ChrisCross, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba & Ian Hannin
Valiant Comics

FLIPPING THROUGH:

                We get a look at the rise of the H.A.R.D. Corps and then see its fall in the early 90s.
ART:
                We got 3 distinctive stories from three different decades. So, we are gonna do down each of them.
                The 1970s story was well done with De Landro giving us a dark and gritty look that not only reflects the story itself but the decade that its been held in. With the Cold War going on and Communism being a big concern for the United States, De Landro integrates the dark feel for the time alongside the dark overtones of the story. Some decent panel work that gives some strong visuals as we see H.A.R.D. Corps being formed and going into action. The effects of the decade and story get some grim visuals. We got some good panel composition and Hannin complements the style well with just enough color for when it needs it and just enough shadow and shade when he doesn’t. A good kick off story.
                The 1980s story definitely had the feel of the 80s artistically. The panel work was solid with some very eye-popping visuals by Cooper and Livesay. Cooper and Livesay also have a great sense of proportions on a human body as we saw soldiers of different shapes and sizes and they all seemed to fit their body type. The action looked great and very late 80s/early 90s style and Cooper and Livesay bring everything to life so well. Hannin again holds it down with great colors that actually are different from the first story but giving the tones a slightly lighter feel when needed. And the exploding head was just gruesome, disgusting and wonderfully colored.
                The 1990s story was handed with a good amount of style and expression from ChrisCross and Victor Olazaba. They did a good job of focusing on giving off human emotions and movements that really helped give this last story some weight.  There was tension going into the story that ChrisCross and Olazaba illustrated well throughout the story. The action was kinetic as always with ChrisCross.  Panel work was solid and a lot of the story was easily told through the panels themselves. A good use of perspective as well as angles alongside Hannin’s stellar colors made this a treat to read.

WRITING:

                Gage and Dysart continue to build upon what was already there and add their own spin on things.  From the  1970’s letter narrated by the main connecting component in each story to the couples argument in the 1980s to the last two pages of the 1990s story, the humanity from each of the characters spring forth; bringing us a very satisfying and emotionally charged issue. Gage and Dysart do a great job giving us the mood for the 1970s with the use of Communisim. They narration of that story gave the events throughout its panels a good amount of weight while showing us the rise of the H.A.R.D. Corps.
                The 1980s story definitely felt like it was at the top of H.A.R.D. Corps original golden age while also adding in some good human elements and characterization. The pacing of the story was great as well as us getting a glimpse of some of H.A.R.D. Corps that wanted out during that time.
                The final story capped things off well while connecting to other issues and flashbacks we have seen throughout the series. Palmer makes an appearance and leaves a strong yet bittersweet ending for this Zero issue.
                Overall, there are some strong characterization, dialogue and pacing for each story. Each tale was told in a different style while also trying to reflect the year it was from. While, I do not feel that the year of the story mattered too much for the last two, the first story dealing with 1970s really did an amazing job reflecting that year.
                I also give props to the writers for using Arthur as our anchor to go from year to year. It was definitely a good idea and a smooth transition from one thing to another. Very well done.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

                This was definitely a strong origin issue for the H.A.R.D. Corps with its ups and downs. The art was from very good to great and the writing was superb overall.

RATING:

                I give Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps: H.A.R.D. Corps #0 an 8.5 out of 10.