By Josh Davison
Something is amiss in Yarnham. Citizens have been found in the street dead, torn open and infected with the Ashen Blood. A self-taught doctor named Alfredius is investigating the dead against the wishes of the Hunters and the Healing Church. A priest of the Healing Church named Clement questions the merits of the church and especially the cruel Father Galhad. Yarnham is sick, and no one may be able to stop it.
Titan’s Bloodborne comic returns with a tale from the common folk of Yarnham watching the city and its institutions decay in the face of the Ashen Blood Disease and the beast curse.
It’s a change of pace from the first arc, which focused upon the Hunter investigating the Pale Blood. Alfredius and Clement are unaware of the scope of the disaster falling upon their city. The reader is in the same boat if they don’t know the lore of Bloodborne. If you have played the game, then you’re waiting for the leads to catch up.
I appreciate the “view from the streets” world expansion taking place in Bloodborne #5 and clearing the more opaque qualities of the game’s story seems wise if Ales Kot and Piotr Kowalski intend to keep this comic going for the long haul—especially since it seems FromSoftware isn’t going to release a sequel anytime soon.
That said, I found myself bored by this comic. Alfredius and Clement are decent characters, and the story of Bloodborne is great. However, this comic fails to exploit either, spending much of its time on the inner ponderances of Alfredius and Clement as they question what is happening in Yarnham. They do little to answer those questions, and the comic mainly shows the two characters journaling.
Kowalski and color artist Brad Simpson maintain the comic’s streak of impeccable artwork. Yarnham is as darkly gorgeous as ever, and it’s actually nice to see a bit more of it in the light of day as opposed to the grim nights of the game and first four issues.
Bloodborne #5 takes shaky first steps into this new storyline, introducing characters with potential into a fantastic gothic/Lovecraftian story but doing little with the concept. It’s not an unbearable read, and the art of Kowalski and Simpson is phenomenal. If you’re starving for more Bloodborne content, this is your only current source and is far from awful. A newbie to the franchise may be taken in by the more focused look at the backstory of Yarnham too. However, I wouldn’t call this book a must-read in the scope of this week’s releases.
This comic comes courtesy of writer Ales Kot, artist Piotr Kowalski, color artist Brad Simpson, letterer Aditya Bidikar, cover artists Tradd and Heather Moore, and variant cover artists Kowalski and Simpson. Titan Comics is the publisher, and the book is available now for $3.99.