Review – Bloodborne: The Lady of the Lanterns #3 (Titan Comics)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colorist: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Andworld Design
Release Date: 23rd November 2022

The first two issues of Titan’s latest Bloodborne miniseries were enjoyable and atmospheric, but – on the surface, at least – completely unconnected. Thankfully, this third issue brings everything together seamlessly as our missing father from issue one finally returns home from his search for food to discover both of his children gone. From here, he finds himself wandering the streets of Yharnam before crossing paths with a Hunter named Wilhelm and being drawn in a violent life-or-death situation.

One thing Cullen Bunn and Piotr Kowalski really excel at is bringing the moody atmosphere of the fan-favourite FromSoftware video game to the printed page, and that really shines though here once again. Kowalski faithfully recreates both the distinctive architecture and the monstrous inhabitants of the cursed city – including the appearance of a hulking, axe-wielding Executioner – and colourist Brad Simpson keeps things suitably dark and oppressive while still ensuring the story is clear and easy to follow.

Bunn really leans into the sense of despair here, particularly when it comes to our tragic father, Lamont, as he recounts his guilt over what he sees as “abandoning” his children to the horrors of Yharnam.  This issue sees him struggling to overcome his cowardice when faced with those horrors firsthand, and all the while the Lady of the Lanterns remains a haunting presence in the background, overshadowing everything that happens.

The final pages help to tie the story neatly into the events of issue two, and set things up for what should hopefully be cracking conclusion in next month’s finale.  It’s going to be interesting to see what direction Bunn and co. take this final chapter, particularly given the frankly hopeless feeling of the series to this point. A ‘happy ending’ of any kind may end up feeling jarring, but after seeing the “Lady” evolving into her familiar video game form last time out, I can’t wait to see what happens when our group of survivors finally cross paths with her.

This issue manages to emphatically erase my main criticism of the series so far (namely the lack of cohesive narrative), serving as a bridge to bring the various storyline threads together. Once again, the mood and look of this series is going to be a real treat for fans of the video game source material, but even if you’ve never picked up a controller and taken to the streets of Yharnam yourself, this is still a horror series that comes highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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