Bloodborne #1 Review

Posted February 20, 2018 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Ales Kot

Art By: Piotr Kowalski

Published By: Titan Comics

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why I’m here. Video game comic tie-ins are almost never good (or rather, I almost never like them), and I feel like I’ve long-since learned my lesson on the matter. There are better stories to read. Yet Bloodborne has two things going for it. First, it’s Bloodborne, and second, it’s written by Ales Kot. I like Ales Kot. Days of Hate has my attention, and Generation Gone does too. He also wrote Wolf, which was really friggen’ awesome.

Maybe, just maybe, this will be the first tie in to impress!

It is.

What Bloodborne #1 does that other comic tie ins don’t is actually work with the rules of the video game. In Bloodborne you die–a lot–and then start over. The book opens with this concept, with the nameless hunter feeling a sense of deja vu as she slaughters her way through Old Yharnam. She recognizes monsters and people, and as someone who has played the game, I do too. It’s fun. It’s less about a real danger and more about the concept of being stuck in this nightmare that only ever ends in pain. Or the core of the video game.

From a narrative standpoint, Kot is exploring paleblood. In the video game, it’s an item that’s mentioned with no real resolution to it. Fan theories abound. As someone who isn’t married to any fan theories, I suppose I’m down for this tale then. I’m not sure if this book is canon or not, but the idea of one hunter actually transcending the hunt is pretty cool.

I will say, as an actual narrative there isn’t a whole lot going on. I’ve mentioned the big points in this review, but because this is Bloodborne, violence and action dominate the pages more than anything else. I’m not sure if this is a good thing as of yet. For a video game it works since you’re the one performing the violence, but in a narrative, I prefer more. It’s hard to care about a character with no name.

The artwork is at least good, owed to the fact that Bloodborne has amazing monster design. I’m not blown away by it like the Dark Souls comic tie in, but it does manage to deliver some nice, meaty stabs and gross monsters. The coloring and lighting are also pretty on point. In general, I suppose it feels like Bloodborne, just a little more cartoony than I’m used to. Not a bad thing, but a little jarring at first.

Perhaps surprising no one, putting a good property in the hands of a good writer will yield a good story. Bloodborne is the first video game comic tie-in I’ll recommend, which feels a little odd if I’m being honest. Yet, I’m glad it’s good. The property deserves it because the property is awesome. Enjoy the hunt!

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.