Review - Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep (@comicstitan)

"I am awake again. Am I awake?"

Video games have always relied on a mentality that the player learns from their mistakes; with each successive mistake, the player moves slightly further in the game. Few publishers take that mentality to heart like FromSoftware and Bloodborne is no exception. In Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep from Titan Comics, die, rinse repeat is in rare form. The book is written by AleŇ° Kot, illustrated by Piotr Kowalski, colored by Brad Simpson and Kevin Enhart and lettered by Aditya Bidikar,

Awakening in an ancient city plagued by a twisted endemic - Where horrific beasts stalk the shadows and the streets run slick with the blood of the damned - A nameless hunter embarks on a dangerous quest in search of paleblood...

Bloodborne is predicated on the notion that death isn't permanent which Kot stresses in the Bloodborne graphic novel. Kot moves through the story following the Hunter as they encounter the same enemy repeatedly, using the knowledge of the previous encounters to get one stop further in the battle. That's exactly how the game plays out and Kot infuses the book with a similar mentality that underscores the importance of patience, even if the Hunter isn't entirely aware of what's going on. Kot also works in another character that the Hunter is tasked with protecting as a means of demonstrating the steady sense of decay that accompanies the Hunter in their mission. And for fans of the game, Kot does a great job of working in some of the lore, including Djura and the Blood-Starved Beast to keep the issue grounded in the property it's based on.

Kowalski's artwork is a great rendering of the world as introduced by the game. The approach does a great job of evoking a sense of horror throughout the comic while also showing characters who are familiar to the players of the game. The Blood-Starved Beast in particular looks chilling, with Kowalski effectively capturing the creature's horrid appearance in emphasizing the dangers the hunter is faced with. Kowlaski moves back and forth between calmer and more frenetic scenes; again, mirroring the beats of the game. Simpson and Enhart do a strong job on colors, washing the world in primarily reds befitting of the book's title.

Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep is a very strong tie-in to the game that doesn't seek to really expand the universe; rather, it fleshes out the main storyline a bit more. The unnamed Hunter is tasked with fighting an onslaught of evil and no matter how much effort is put into surviving even the best-laid plans go to waste to some extent. Kot's script moves fairly quickly and solidifies the intent of the Hunter in their quest for freedom. Kowalski's illustrations really get the essence of the Gothic atmosphere. Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep is an adventurous read that blends together equal parts horror and homage.

Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep is available now.