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Bloodborne #1

Review by Paul Bowler

Get ready to delve into the dark world of Yharnam once more in Bloodborne #1: The Death of Sleep, from Titan Comics, written by Ales Kot (Generation Gone, Zero), with art by Piotr Kowalski (Wolfenstein, Dark Souls).

A nameless Hunter awakens in a foreboding, ancient, city, a place gripped by a horrifying epidemic. Here, terrifying monsters are waiting to strike at every turn and the streets are awash with blood. Into this nightmare the Hunter seeks a way to escape the seemingly endless Night of the Hunt that has damned Yharnam There is only one hope left and the Hunter must set out on a gruesome, blood-soaked quest to bring this nightmare to an end once and for all…

Based on the best selling videogame world of Bloodborne and its expansion DLC content The Old Hunters, Bloodborne #1: The Death of Sleep will mark a welcome return to Yharnam for fans of the gory, tough-as-nails game. Indeed, writer Ales Kot ensures this first issue includes all the familiar Bloodborne tropes – and then some! From the lone Hunters introduction to his initial encounters with the beastly horrors stalking Yharnam’s shadows, Kot quickly sets the scene. One particular narrative thread – the pale blood – is a mystery that was never really fully explained in videogame itself, and as such it provides a rich vein of drama for Kot to tap and facilitate key plot developments in the issue.

Piotr Kowalski’s artwork brings every visceral, blood-drenched moment of Kot’s intense script to life while the gorgeous colors by Brad Simpson adds vivid clarity to the flesh-rending carnage. If you’ve played the game, you’ll know how hideous and grotesque the monsters in Bloodborne are, and Kowalski’s art impressively recreates the distinctive look and feel of these monstrous creatures. As you’d expect, the action is slick and brutal too, and like the games unforgiving nature that all-too familiar “You Died” moment is something that surprisingly feels almost serene here – rather than the almost throwing the controller across the room rage that the Bloodborne game often made you feel when your Hunter met a grisly end.

While obviously aimed at fans of the Bloodborne game, there’s plenty of mystery and terror for horror fans to enjoy as well without any prior knowledge of the game. Boasting a striking cover by Jeff Stokley, along with a choice of three variant covers, the strong story and impressive art in Bloodborne #1 gets this new Titan Comics book off to a great start and I’m eager to see where the Hunter’s quest takes him next.

Publisher: Titan Comics.

Writer: Ales Kot / Art: Piotr Kowalski.

Colors: Brad Simpson / Lettering: Aditya Bidikar

Cover: A Jeff Stokley, Cover B: Game Cover, Cover C: Potr Kowalski & Brad Simpson, Cover D: Andre Lima Arujo & Chris O’Halloran.