Last week, Valiant announced a series of major, long-term plans for the return of their flagship character with a new ongoing series in March's X-O Manowar #1. In doing so, Valiant also outlined the first year's worth of story arcs in advance, and revealed that they would be teaming a writer Matt Kindt with an all-star roster of interior artists across the series' first 13 issues that is already slated to include Tomas Giorello, Doug Braithwaite, Clayton Crain , Ryan Bodenheim, and Mico Suayan.
Could they be gearing up to give the same A-list treatment to Bloodshot?
Revealed today in Diamond's announcement of the Gold Free Comic Book Day titles for May 6th 2017 at the Hollywood Reporter, about 2 minutes after Bleeding Cool ran the leak for all of them – Valiant's Gold-level title for this year's FCBD – the Valiant: X-O Manowar FCBD Special – will not only feature an exclusive prelude to the new X-O Manowar series by Kindt and the series' artistic cast, but also the first hint of something called Bloodshot Salvation by writer Jeff Lemire, which promises big changes for the character in 2017.
Here's what we have to go on:
Then: comics superstar Jeff Lemire (Inhumans vs. X-Men, Black Hammer) begins the march toward BLOODSHOT SALVATION – a top-secret new series coming in 2017 – with the FIRST APPEARANCE of A MAJOR NEW CHARACTER in AN EXCLUSIVE FCBD STORY that will forever redefine Bloodshot's place in a violent world of heroes, soldiers, and survivors!
Lemire first tackled Bloodshot as a central figure of The Valiant – the much-acclaimed limited series he co-wrote with Kindt and artist Paolo Rivera – before launching Bloodshot Reborn, which topped the nominations at this year's Harvey Awards and will soon draw to the planned conclusion of its 25-issue run at the end of the Bloodshot USA event in a few months time.
Could Bloodshot Salvation be the next step in that plan? Or something else entirely? And just who might that "major new character" be anyway?
And they don't seem content to stop the questions there… The FCBD announcement also includes mentions of "stories, sneak peaks, teasers, and more" for multiple properties teased in years past, including Psi-Lords, War Mother, Shadowman, Secret Weapons, and the publisher's previously announced 2018 event, Harbinger Wars 2.
Looks like Valiant is drafting some big plans for this year's Free Comic Book Day…