Review: Blood Bowl #1 (of 4)

“I-right, x blast, y34,watch me for the waggle, on 3.  Ready? Break!”

If you have any inkling as to the language I am speaking, you are one of many millions of people who enjoy the great game of the NFL.  If you are watch the somewhat sanitized version of the sport that gets relayed around the globe, you may harken for the brutal action, vicious hard-hitting violence games of the past, then Blood Bowl may be for you.  Of course it would help if you like your linebackers to be orcs, but hey that’s the problem of draft day; do you go for speed or strength?

Blood Bowl is a fantasy football game from Games Workshop which is an amalgam of the typical NFL action with teams made of traditional fantasy characters.  In this first issue we are introduced to down-on-his luck Dreng Sturmblud, former star player and current resident of the gutter.  Now he has the chance to win one more game for the Gipper, or some such.

Writer Nick Kyme has taken the framework of the board game and tried to apply some characters in which to build a comic book series.  Some of the characters are forgettable; others such as Crumpet give the book a sense of pacing of sorts.  What Kyme does excel at are the commentators Jim Johnson and Bob Bifford who are true parodies of any number of telecasters, although I am not sure we need another Phil Simms or Greg Gumbel.  Kyme has a hard job inasmuch as he need to get the point of the game across, introduce the characters and of course explain the rules.  Quick note, there are no rules.

Jack Jadson is the artist who is on call for this book, with a style that has a cartoony feel that is required for the aforementioned violence inherent in the book.  Framing the story of Dreng, the art at the beginning of the book seems stronger than the actual sport elements.  This may have something to do with the colors from Fabricio Guerra who delivers the darkness of the destitute prior to giving way to the brightness of the game and its conflicts.

American football has been in any number of media, some good, some bad.  Blood Bowl is probably one of the more popular applications of the sport, from the UK, which isn’t as ironic as you may think, being as the games origins date back to rugby.  Still, despite the high calibre of the production values on show, in a similar vein to Freeway Fighter, I am not sure of the attraction of comic based on a board game where you have a sense of control.

Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars

Writer Nick Kyme
Artists Jack Jadson, Fabricio Guerra

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