The city of Yharnam is not a place you’d really want to find yourself in what with the cursed creatures, disease, and almost certainty of death. Yet various people have joined the hunt to subdue the beasts within the city as it descends into a hellscape that could break even the most stoic of people. It’s at this juncture where the newest arc in the Bloodborne comic series begins, with comic nine being the first of a four-part story known as A Song of Crows.
The main character of this arc is Eileen The Crow who appeared in the Bloodborne game as another hunter who would hunt down those who had become corrupted. Players do interact with her in the game, but events prior to your meeting aren’t really alluded to. She wears a beak mask not dissimilar to those worn by doctors during the plague, though her way of healing comes from the end of her blades.
Instantly you’re drawn into a confusing narrative which is a deliberate narrative choice to mirror Eileen’s own confusion. This isn’t just general confusion about Yharnam, which she seems to deal with by burying the bodies of the dead in the frozen ground. Instead, she keeps repeating the same question: “When am I?” It appears time itself has torn asunder, and from Eileen’s reaction, it appears time is an anchor for her.
Time, in fact, is the biggest theme running through this first issue of A Song of Crows. Eileen speaks of how it flows and how, even as you experience it, you’ll never get the full picture. The writing throughout this comic is fantastic with every word uttered just adding to the mystery. You’ll find no answers here, just questions that you hope will be answered in some way down the road, but judging by Eileen’s talk of never getting the whole picture, some things may be left unanswered once we get to the end of Eileen’s story.
The artwork really captures the desolation that seeps through Yharnam with the art not shying away from corpses and their entrails. The colour used is very distinctive. Yharnam has muted greys and other colours, but then there are flashback sequences which are so much brighter, even if the subject of the panel is actually a bit disturbing. There’s also a dream sequence which is really stark, using a white background to signal its arrival in such an impactful way. There’s not one panel which doesn’t have details that you’ll pore over, spotting things in the background that add more details to the city of Yharnam and the world of Bloodborne.
A Song of Crows may be a confusing narrative at first, but it is an effective method to introduce us to Eileen’s story and comes after eight issues that have already established the world. The artwork is striking too and the combination of both presents what could be an intriguing and impactful arc. Bloodborne fans will likely be all over this, but even if you’re not familiar with the lore of Yharnam this may just be a comic run that’s worth picking up anyway.