Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Nick Kyme
Artist(s): Jack Jadson, Fabricio Guerra
Release Date: 31st May 2017
Blood Bowl – Games Workshop’s ultra-violent take on the world of American Football – has always been a personal favourite of mine. Granted, my miniature gaming days are long behind me, and were limited at best to begin with, but I always seemed to find myself gravitating towards Blood Bowl rather than the more traditional Warhammer-esque tabletop games. Something about the mix of strategy, sports and bone-crunching violence really appealed to my adolescent self, so the prospect of seeing that translated onto the printed page in “More Guts, More Glory”, a brand new mini-series from Titan Comics, definitely grabbed my attention.
Unfortunately, I have to report that the latest comicbook offering from the property, the first issue of which goes on sale this week, falls more than a little flat. I’m not sure how quite much freedom writer Nick Kyme was given with the story, but it does seem to fall listlessly into familiar “sports movie” territory, with a down-and-out former Blood Bowl superstar joining a rag-tag group of misfits with hopes of championship success. The characters feel generic and superficial, and while the action sequences are enjoyable, there’s nothing here to really draw the reader in and get them invested in picking up the second issue.
Thankfully the artwork holds up its end of the bargain, providing the only thing that really stands out from this first issue. Jack Jadson and Fabricio Guerra combine to provide a slick, clean aesthetic that truly comes to life during the sequences on the Blood Bowl field. Everything is satisfyingly solid and violent, and while there are some occasionally confusing anatomical contortions along the way, for the most part everything flows smoothly and dynamically.
I’m sure that for casual readers, the juxtaposition between the fantasy world of orcs, goblins and ogres and the glitz and glamour of the NFL will give them a reason to pick this one up, but as I mentioned, there’s just not enough of a hook to the series to make them want to keep reading the rest of the way.
If you’re a fan of the board game then you’ll likely get a kick out of this, but it’s going to be a really hard sell for casual readers given the fairly uninspired and ‘safe’ story. The artwork is well worth a look, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go, and in a world of exciting and inventive comic books based on licensed content, Blood Bowl: More Guts, More Glory finds itself getting sacked before it has even crossed the line of scrimmage.
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