Tim Seeley Discusses Bloodshot, the industry, and #WhoWouldWin
I had the pleasure of interviewing legendary comic book writer and artist Tim Seeley at Chicago’s C2E2 2019 event. His credits include the groundbreaking (at least in my opinion) Hack/Slash, G.I. Joe vs Transformers, and Revival. He’s also the writer of one of my all time favorite titles, ‘Loaded Bible’ which tells the all too familiar tale of Jesus coming back in a post apocalyptic world in order to fight the vampire overlords who control it. You know…the usual type of Jesus story.
In this interview Tim Seeley discusses the staying power of Bloodshot, the character’s significance, and answers some #WhoWouldWin questions on how Bloodshot would do in a fight against other powerful characters from comic books.
James: Tim, you’ve got this huge body of work and now you find yourself working on the new Bloodshot series, who is the flagship characters of Valiant Comics.
Tim: The public face of Valiant Comics. Yeah, right. He’s their pet character. What is it about red circles?
James: Yeah, this is a character that started in 1992. Why do you think he’s had such staying power over all these years?
Tim: I mean, first one is that he looks cool as shit, you know? I think that’s the thing with him is the design is so perfect, it’s so simple. The story kind of stays relevant all the time because it’s a technology story with the nanites running through Bloodshot’s body.
James: So the nanites will continue to play a big role in the Bloodshot series?
Tim: Absolutely! And the nanites fit the modern world so well. Think about it, what’s increased since 1992 is this idea that the technology controls us, right? I mean like how many times do we check out our Twitter feed? Our technology is taking over us and that’s exactly Bloodshot’s story. The base metaphor is still intact. And it’s only become more relevant since ‘92.
James: How significant are the nanites in Bloodshot?
James: What is it that people can look forward to for Bloodshot? I know you can’t give away details but what are people going to be feeling when they read Bloodshot.
Tim: People can expect Bloodshot to be exhilarating and fun first but it’s also going to be kind of a tragic story. I feel for the characters. Something we all understand is being sick of taking people shit. He’s sick of people using him and he’s breaking out like he’s a rebel punk rocker. And that’s what’s cool about him you, know? He’s what we wish we could do everybody who took advantage of us. It’s kind of a reflection of a lot of the American people right now. Yeah, that’s why I love it.
James: Is that what will be motivating Bloodshot?
Tim: Without saying too much Bloodshot will continue on his noble journey. I mean that’s pretty much what my arc is about. He’s not an anti-hero because he keeps on fighting for people that don’t and that don’t want him around, Right? I mean like he’s a freakin monster. And yet he still saves people. He keeps fighting knowing that he’s potentially being used by someone else. So, I say he’s a hero.
James: Ok, so that’s a really good distinction. When I talk to people about Bloodshot and Valiant comics in general I get the same response. It’s a lot of ‘That sounds amazing! That sounds really cool! Where can I get it! How come I haven’t heard of this before?’
Tim: Yeah, It’s ridiculous. It is ridiculous that the general public doesn’t know about Bloodshot especially since Wolverine and Deadpool are doing their thing. Bloodshot fits that same narrative very, very well. And people should be consuming Bloodshot comics.
James: I agree 100%. So, let’s say I’m selling Bloodshot. What’s the pitch to people?
Tim: Right. So if we’re doing that with Bloodshot it’s like Frankenstein meets G.I. Joe meets Superman.
Tim: That’s right. That’s kind of a good pitch. Because it’s got that military kind of fantasy edge like this kind of Punisher team in a way. But like, he’s not a revenge driven guy. But he does love the guns! It’s got cool devices and cool military. I know that there’s this sort of underserved population of fans that love the Punisher and they love his armory and all that sort of stuff. Bloodshot is a comic MADE for those people. So that’s the idea here is like let’s lean into that. Let’s make a big crazy military fantasy but around a guy who looks like he could be an antihero but he’s really a misunderstood hero.
James: What is it that you want to see happen in the super hero industry? Other comic book writers have said that their big wish is that they want everyone who goes to superhero films to start buying and consuming comic books at the same level because that’s not necessarily happening now.
Tim: I can see why that’s happening.
James: Really? How?
Tim: Look, there are millions of yards of the Walking Dead trades. And the Umbrella Academy Netflix series apparently is causing a big rush on a number of Academy trades. So people do buy more comic books if they really like a movie or tv series. They do. The reason why is because in the case of the Walking Dead or Umbrella Academy people know exactly what to look for. An example of what other industry people are telling you when they say the comic book buys don’t keep up with movie ticket sales is when Iron Man came out. We all loved Iron Man. Most of America did. So after you watched that movie and decided to buy the comic books which trade exactly should you pick up?
James: That’s a great point. If you became a fan after watching the Iron Man movie where would you start when it came to buying Iron Man comics. So there’s so much out there.
Tim: Exactly. Is it the standalone Iron Man series, is it the Avengers, is it some alternative dimension Iron Man? Which one?
James: So, what does that mean with the Bloodshot film starring Vin Diesel coming out?
Tim: Simple. Our job is to make this Bloodshot series the one you pick up. Right when this movie comes out. You watch Bloodshot, you decide to buy Bloodshot comics and we’ll make sure you know exactly where to start and what to buy to make sure you love the character even more. Hopefully the timing is right so that his book is in the store and we’re saying you only have to buy this title. If you like enough you can certainly go through and buy the rest of them. And I hope they do.
James: Okay. So I run a show called #WhoWouldWin where we put characters into hypothetical battles like a Luke Skywalker versus Spider-Man kind of thing. Who would you say is the top level character that Bloodshot could take out?
Tim: Well it depends on how we’re playing this because we just fighting hand-to-hand, right?
James: Right. The way I see it he’s potentially the most dangerous combatant out there due to the nanites that give him an insane healing factor, his super strength, his speed, reflexes, and combative ability.
Tim: Yeah, right. I’m fine with that. It also depends on where we’re fighting.
James: Right. So, think of neutral territory with zero prep time and no previous knowledge of the character. You’ve got to incapacitate so that you can walk away safely.
Tim: Got it. Let’s hear them.
James: Bloodshot vs Daredevil.
Tim: Daredevil is very tough and a great fighter but I think Bloodshot’s healing factor and fighting ability will eventually wear down Daredevil. So, yeah, Bloodshot would beat Daredevil.
James: Bloodshot vs Wolverine?
Tim: Shit. Ok, Bloodshot’s got endurance to keep going, right? This is tough. I’d say Bloodshot beats Wolverine.
James: Bloodshot vs Captain America.
Tim: Captain America!
James: You said that really quickly. Why do you think Captain America beats Bloodshot?
Tim: It’s because Captain America always finds a way. It’s the greatest thing about him. He’s like Batman..but not like Batman.
James: Let’s go up a couple of weight classes. How about Bloodshot vs Lobo?
Tim: That’s a good one. Lobo is smart but he can be fooled or tricked. They both have great healing powers. I’d say Bloodshot would find a way to beat Lobo.
James: Really? Bloodshot would beat Lobo?
Tim: Never underestimate Bloodshot!
Written By James Gavsie
Host, #WhoWouldWin Show
Twitter: @JamesGavsie and @whowouldwinshow