Bloodstrike Brutalists Issue 0 (Image Comics)

Words, Pictures, Lettering and Edits: Michel Fiffe

Bloodstrike Created by: Rob Liefeld

Bloodstrike is Cabbot, Fourplay, Deadlock, Shogun and Tag. Born Nu-Gene positive, the vanguard of a new era.

Killed in Action doing dirty deeds for Uncle Sam

Revived by Project: Born Again. stitched up, drugged up, upgraded and sent back out onto the battlefield

Beyond Good and Evil

Not dead but not quite alive

Deniable assets, disposable heroes

Almost Perfect. Almost Under Control

Rob Liefeld first unleashed the rabid dogs of Bloodstrike onto an unsuspecting comic book world in the spring of 1993.  25 years later Michel (Copra) Fiffe has his finger on the trigger and the team has been been rebooted, reloaded and released ready to wreck and ruin.

At first glance Bloodstrike is a triple distilled shot of Liefeld extremity and intensity right in your eyes. The characters and stories have all the signature Liefeld-isms (if that isn’t a world, well tough it is now) that the Rob is (in)famous for.

  • Long Legs (CHECK)
  • Giant Hair Dryer Death Ray Guns (CHECK)
  • Shoulder Pads engulfing Tiny Heads (CHECK)
  • Absent, Tiny or Misshapen Feet (CHECK)
  • Splash pages full of characters impossibly kicking and leaping through brightly coloured featureless voids (CHECK)

But somehow, as if propelled purely by the righteous force of its own radness, it works. You can love or hate Liefeld and his creations all you want but you can’t deny their uncanny staying power or their creator’s willingness to give other writers and artists the freedom to do rework and reimagine his creations.

Fiffe grabs this rampaging bull the horns and charges head long into this latest relaunch of comics’ most Extreme Black Ops team.  This debut issue is an 80s period piece reintroducing us to the grim and gritty heroes of Bloodstrike.

Fiffe plots the bloody death and brutal rise of the member of Bloodstrike from the urban battlefield of Detroit to the to the shadowy labs of Project Born Again to the battlefields of Morocco.  It’s all captured here in all its glorious gory detail as only Fiffe can.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fiffe perfectly enhances the bold strong lines and kinetic carnage of his black and white with splashes and slices of colour to create a comic book alchemy which transforms the base and mundane into a golden lightning bolt which will catch you unsuspecting and zap you right between the eyes.

The complete commitment to craft is evident from the front cover to the back. The credits page on the issues inner front cover could’ve been ripped from any first wave IMAGE book from 1992 or 92.  This zero issue is a prelude to “missing issues” 23 and 24 of the original Bloodstrike series that were never published. The back up stories and solicitations promise great comics that never happened like Youngblood books by Ed Piskor or Benjamin Marra.

Free from irony or knowing winks to the audience Bloodstrike delivers excitement, energy and bombastic brilliance that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Bloodstrike is available from Image Comics, Comixology and all good comic book stores.  For more information on Michel Fiffe, Copra and his other books visit his website or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.