Angelo Mortalli (Bloodshot)

bloodshotfilmThese guys have been waiting quite a while, but let’s start seeing them as well: a first trailer for the upcoming (official) webseries Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe has been released some weeks ago, and it gives us a look at most of the characters in it. Let’s start with one whose promotional image had been released even prior to the trailer: Bloodshot, portrayed by Jason David Frank. As for everybody else, we don’t know much of Bloodshot in the comics, apart from the fact that he’ll be a killer hired by a mysterious somebody to take out Ninjak…and judging from the trailer, and from the bullet-hole in the forehead Bloodshot is healing from, the two of them are not going easy on each other. Before enjoying the mayhem this series promises to be, let’s take a look to the original, indestructible killer.

First of all, Bloodshot’s memory has been erased and rewritten many times over history, so the story of his origins are contradictory, fragmentary and untrustworthy, to say the least. According to the longest lasting origin story, he was once Angelo Mortalli, a mobster working for a powerful and ruthless crime family, the Carbonis. His skills, ambition and professionality allowed him to climb the ranks, and even to obtain the trust and the esteem of Don Gino Canelli, his direct boss; when he started dating Canelli’s daughter, his position inside the family became even more important. Unfortunately, Mortalli underestimated Canelli’s love as a father, and he cheated on his daughter. Don Gino found out about it, and he didn’t take it too good: to avenge his daughter’s honor, he had Mortalli framed for the murder of a rival, and he let him be arrested. Not wanting to go down alone, Mortalli decided to become a witness against his old boss…but again, he underestimated Mafia‘s connections: some of the FBI agents taking him in custody, in fact, were on Canelli’s paybook, and they wouldn’t allow a simple hitman to compromise their main source of income. During the transport to a federal facility, Angelo Mortalli’s convoy changed course, and the ex mobster was abducted and brought to a secret location, some clandestine labs run by Project Rising Spirit, an unofficial government-funded bloodshotcomics1organization aiming to the creation of the perfect super-soldier since World War II. Angelo Mortalli became the last of a long list of guinea pigs PRS used to experiment on, and he was the first one to undergo a new and unexperimented process: he was injected with the Blood of Heroes, a serum containing high-tech nanites, micro-computers that bonded to his bloodcells. The nanites had incredible results on the man’s physiology, giving him unbelievable healing powers, enhanced strength, speed and reflexes, control on nearly every function of his body, and even allowing him to “communicate” with machines…but they completely wiped out his memory, transforming him into a nameless, perfectly efficient killing machine, codename: Bloodshot.

Taking advantage of Bloodshot’s amnesia, PRS implanted him with false memories, making him manipulable and motivating him to accomplish a number of suicidal missions…well, suicidal for anybody, but for an indestructible super-soldier, of course. Bloodshot relived in a number of ways his life prior to becoming the ultimate killing machine, from a spec ops specialist to a simple citizen…but everything proved to be false (maybe even his past as Angelo Mortalli was but one of the many false memories he had been implanted with, as another life in which he was a man named Raymond Garrison started surfacing…). Bloodshot never failed a mission, but eventually he started grasping something of his previous self…even if just enough to understand he had been betrayed and manipulated. Not wanting to be anybody’s puppet, Bloodshot rebelled to his creators, and broke free of their control, becoming a rogue operative. Realising how many horrible things he had done responding to the motivations of non-existent past lives, believing he was acting for a better good but really following the Rising Spirit’s interests, Bloodshot started a personal crusade to redeem himself from what he had done under PRS’ control, in the meanwhile making the ones who controlled him pay (just as the Mafia, the police, the FBI…). Plus, he wanted to understand who he truly was, and he began to rebuild his previous identity following his own trails step by step…even if every information he bloodshotcomics2discovered seemed to contradict the previous one, and his life looked like an insolvable puzzle. Project Rising Spirit didn’t sit on their hands, however: at first they tried to mass-produce Bloodshot, but once they realised they were unable to replicate the Blood of Heroes, they were more determined than ever to capture their original creation and to extract the serum directly from his body. Hideyoshi Iwatsu, founder and leader of the PRS, created a special team just for defeating Bloodshot and extract the Blood of Heroes, the Speedshot Warriors. Bloodshot was simply eager to show them all how they were tragically outmatched in dealing with the ultimate bio-weapon…

Angelo Mortalli (or Raymond Garrison…) has never been a nice guy: violent, pitiless, sadistic, overly ambitious and with a very volatile moral code, he’s a killer born…and now a broken man as well, split in different personalities that belong to the several false memories he’s been implanted with, and in constant talk with the “Goldies“, the sentient nanites inhabiting him, who consider him their god. As Bloodshot, the nanites in his blood increase his strength, speed, stamina, reflexes and senses, they give him an incredible healing factor able to save him even from mortal wounds, they make him able to interact with and reprogram virtually any digital or mechanic device, or even change his skin pigmentation to create an extremely effective “cloaking device” that makes him invisible to human eyes. A master of armed and unarmed combat, with access to a wide arsenal of assault weapons, Bloodshot is the ultimate super-soldier, a relentless killing machine bent on a revenge quest…the only problem is, his head is far too crowded to allow him to think his moves straight, and the collateral damage he causes is always a lot to deal with…

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