Warning: This article contains one or two spoilers! Read on if you won’t send me angry messages for revealing stuff.
Dark Horse continues the tale of vampire hunter Lord Baltimore in the first issue of this new mini-series Baltimore: The Curse Bells, based off the novel by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden.
Thanks to the vampire Haigus, all sorts of demons, vampires, and various nasties are running amok all over Europe. However, it seems Baltimore is closing in on the monster as he nears a town. What he finds is a blood bath, and after slaying a few vampires and talking to a few townspeople, including a gentleman researching vampires, he seems one step closer to his goal.
From kicking vampires out windows to tangling with monsters in tress, the action is all here and great. The writing is a good old fashioned slay-em-dead story, and Mignola and Golden do a great job creating the material. For those unfamiliar with Baltimore, if you are a fan of Solomon Kane or Vampire Hunter D, you should certainly give this book a try. The story runs at a good pace between killing and plot, giving some great surprise moments. When the hot bar wench is just talking and he shoots her dead in the chest out of seemingly nowhere, revealing she is a vampire, it is one of the handful of great moments that keep the comic surprising and wonderful. The art by Stenbeck is crisp, clean, and drenched in blood: the best kind of art, in my book. When Baltimore first gets to the village and we get a great panel of severed heads and dead bodies hanging from trees, he truly captures the chaos that has been ensuing in Europe to a tee without being gross-out grotesque, but still a pretty damn dim picture.
This is the first of a six issue mini-series, and I’d say it’s off to a great start. The storytelling and art are both grade-A, so if you like the concept and wanna see some vampires get their heads smashed in, this is the book for you this year. Issue one is out on stands now.
A copy of this comic was provided by the publisher for review.