Part two of the arc and issue 10 of the Bloodborne series kicks off with ramping up the dread and offering no real reprieve for Eileen the Crow or the audience. (To see impressions of the previous part, check them out here.)
Horror dips into nauseating territory with a very detailed drawing of Eileen’s body rotting with worms, and the narration about rats decomposing in her stomach does not help. While utterly disgusting, the narration then suggests this is a visualization of Eileen’s intense emotional state of shame, guilt, and loss. There’s also a nice form of sequential art at play when it shifts from Eileen and the worms to her normal body in the next and adjacent panel. The second panel also features body language in the form of a hand over her face, indicating exhaustion and other feelings.
Visual language to convey Eileen’s emotions in spite of her mask and heavy costuming continue throughout the issue. Though she wears a mask, little details in art and writing make what she’s feeling clearer, especially her own dread. Small clarifications and new details in the plot add more weight and context to Eileen’s growing internal crisis.
In part two, a little more of the arc’s story can be pieced together, but much of it remains vague and hidden underneath ambiguous poetical language. It feels like even more questions are raised. Still, it becomes more likely that the issue’s last flashback showed Eileen as a child, and the loss of her brother. That is something that begins to center the story with a more clear and emotional core. A line like “you were a part of me” indicates a familial blood bond, a sibling tie, and that line is largely applied to both the fallen child from last issue and the mysterious enemy. This suggests they are one and the same. Either Eileen was mistaken about her brother’s death, or a twisted resurrection may have occurred.
It’s fascinating to contrast the visuals of Eileen and her mysterious opponent during a fight that happens later in the issue. He has an eerily human-looking mask, with visible eyes poking out that appear completely blank and unfeeling. Her face is obscured by a more bird-like mask, but playing with the art gives her more emotion, such as the interplay of shadows and the hat coming together to indicate brow lines tilting up in despair, or down into a glare. Even with a nonhuman mask, Eileen shows more emotion than her foe. Witnessing the character’s internal dialogue adds to a greater understanding of her tumultuous feelings too.
At the start of the fight, Eileen concludes that this is a doppelgänger, not truly who she had lost before. While it’s possible, it also feels like something she wants to believe. It would be easier. It would be less horrifying.
Eileen gets no closure or true answers as she loses the fight, but is apparently spared by her enemy. Is his mercy confirmation that he is—or was—Eileen’s lost brother? Future parts may have at least some answers, or again raise more questions. Keep an eye out for the next issue in April.
A PDF copy of this issue was provided by Titan Comics.
Have you been following Bloodborne: A Song of Crows? Who is the mysterious stranger that Eileen the Crow fought? Leave your thoughts in the comments blow.