We have arrived, Blood Bowl fans, to the review of the new comic for the series that promises ‘more guts and more glory.’ Will the action inside be a bone-crushing, violent, entertainment extravaganza, or will it be a bloody mess? Without further ado sports fans, it’s time for the whistle to be blown on whether Blood Bowl is worth a read.
The comic starts with a monologue from two commentators of the universe, Jim Johnson and Bob Bifford. Straight away the comic really feels like an authentic Blood Bowl experience, with some friendly back and forth sports banter between the two before the comic even dives into the main story. I think it’s a genius idea using the two commentators to set the scene and really adds to the flavour of the comic.
The comic focuses on former star player, Dreng Strumbold, who ended up losing his career and suffered as a penniless, alcoholic beggar ever since. That is until one fateful night, Doug is approached by a cloaked man offering him a chance to return to the game he loves. Readily agreeing, Dreng is directed to an out of the way, low tier Blood Bowl game, with Dreng playing for the Mootland Munchers, an all-dwarf team in their very first game!
The game brings back the rush Dreng loves, as well as a visual showing of his skills and talent in the game, which includes dwarf-carrying over long distances, to show he’s no push over. While scoring his first touchdown with the Munchers, it’s also clear it’s going to be his last as the team is literally beaten to a bloody pulp. Just when it seems like his career is over once again before it begins, a sudden twist means Dreng’s future might not as bleak as it seemd.
Dreng is introduced to a cast of quirky teammates, featuring a hook handed human, Gunter ‘The Mangler’ Marius, Gorgeous Gerrik, and “tiny” Gar, a massive ogre, and this is just to name a few. I love this cast of characters; it holds a lot of the charm that the Blood Bowl games do, and captures the level of variety that can be found within. With a game such as Blood Bowl it becomes quickly apparent that nothing is off-limits. This includes a cheating scryer spying on their training, and mysterious events taking place behind the scenes that have yet to be revealed.
The wackiness of the entire game is the best part of the series. It truly does shine a spotlight on how unique the game of Blood Bowl is, with living footballs, massive orcs and more dead players than touchdowns. It’s this wackiness that’ll draw people into this comic and, besides being able to experience it for ourselves, we also get to enjoy Dreng’s experienced point of view. The game is brought to life well, bringing the perfect mix of fantasy and sports that readers will enjoy.
The art is detailed, as each team member and outfit feels unique. Even those wearing the same team uniform have a different variation, each with their own unique twist, from spikes to full metal armour. The action is well illustrated as we are treated to blood and guts flying across the panels during the game, excitement and anger on the faces of the players, and the violent contact between players. The choice of having the artwork bright and colourful. yet not cartoonish, further enhances the action; little details are easier to notice in the busier panels, such as the football dancing across the field on page 21 after the Maulers first score. It has a great sense of silliness that compliments the mindless violence brought forward by the game.
I went into Blood Bowl knowing very little about the game. The writer leaves time to introduce newcomers to the world of Blood Bowl, with a chance to learn the basics around the central character before introducing us to the rest of the team and their enemies. The artwork is truly enjoyable and the story is as bloody as it is wacky. It’s a great combination that makes the comic even more enjoyable, as an action packed read that newcomers and fans of the game will embrace.