By Aleš Kot, Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson, Aditya Bidikar
Bloodborne #2 provides more questions and few answers in The Hunter’s journey. There are more action scenes, a hint of the child’s power, and even more mystery revolving around Gerhman. Kot keeps the plot moving at a fast pace with all these elements, making the issue quick yet satisfying. Each scene feels necessary, and looks gorgeous thanks to Kowalski and Simpson on art. The series’ grit is captured through hatching, the primarily dark tones, and, naturally, a bit of gore.
Kowalski shines in action scenes. When an attack connects with The Hunter or a monster, there’s weight to it. Kowalski connects the significance the game puts on getting hit with the way that he draws a panel. Even though readers familiar with the game mechanics know that death only means starting over, the art style gives each battle stakes. For instance, The Hunter landing a killing blow feels like a desperate last chance rather than a well thought out plan. At their best, the action scenes provide a unique sense of urgency. Despite the fact that The Hunter has likely been in innumerable fights, many portrayed here feel important.
When things calm down and the dust settles, the environments take the lead artistically. Establishing panels are some the best because of the victorian architecture and ominous forests that the art team is able to explore. Kowalski and Simpson put a great deal of detail into their backgrounds. They stand on their own as absorbing elements of the comic, and are easy to fall into.
From a writing standpoint, Bloodborne #2 tells a loose story that’s as peculiar and secretive as any. Similarly to the game, the visuals of the comic imply a straightforward narrative, but there are hints at much larger implications throughout. Unlike many adaptations, this one provides questions rather than an easily predictable outcome. Narrations from potentially multiple sources overlaying The Hunter’s actions throw a welcome wrench into what might otherwise be a one-noted story. Kot is able to hold the most intriguing elements of this story captive while Kowalski and Simpson throw an artistic smokescreen that keeps the issue running at a brisk pace. Before readers have time to realize the questions they should be asking, Kot whisks them away to another, equally intriguing scene.
Here, Kot pens a story that’s more than a retelling, but is still welcoming to the uninitiated. Anyone who simply enjoys the aesthetic of the Bloodborne game should pick up this series. At this point in the run, the story is still in its infancy. There’s no clear direction or reason for The Hunter to do what they’re doing, but it works because this purpose seems to be part of the mystery itself. Bloodborne #2, despite providing only breadcrumbs, satisfies. Another art team might not be able to pull this off. Simpson and Kowalski, beyond simply replicating the art style of the game, have a solid, addicting direction that seeps its way into each part of the issue.