Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy #2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Colors: Dave Stewart
When your name is Lord Henry Baltimore, you’ve already seen more of WWI than you’d like to remember, then had to witness your fallen troops be feasted on by vampires. If that wasn’t enough, you also witnessed your family succumb to the “plague,” also known as vampirism. Everything he’s ever loved or held dear in his life is taken away, and he’s now on a mission to seek vengeance against any and all vampires that get in his way. Upon crash landing on a remote shore, he quickly figures out that the area he’s in is besieged by a mad doctor that originally has good intentions, but his experiments that are supposed to cure people of vampirism, actually turn them into hideous creatures. Some of which maintain their vampiric qualities as well as gain new abilities. Baltimore sets out to find Leskovar, and when he confronts him in his laboratory, Leskovar, feeling that he has no other alternative, drinks his own “cure,” and becomes a huge, ravenous beast himself. He does retain most of his faculties, and Baltimore tries to reason with him, all the while fighting off all of his patients that he tried to cure. Can Baltimore stop an army of bloodthirsty freaks, and contain the good doctor, too? Oh, and there is also an army of crabs that seem to have acquired a taste for human flesh…no big deal, right?
When Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden first introduced the world to Henry Baltimore (2007), they must have thought they had a decent property, but to think they had something this impressive, is highly unlikely. That statement only echoes how cool this book (and the previous series) has been. The lead character is driven by vengeance, but also struggles with his faith, too. Many times during the issue, he questions God and his reason for allowing these abominations to kill innocent people. He seems determined to blame a higher power for these events, but in doing so, he also is struggling with his inner demons from seeing his family and comrades killed. The best part of the book is certainly the action between Baltimore and the beasts, but the psychological aspect is also superb.
The artist, Ben Stenbeck, really knows how to drive home a point with his work. The creatures are definitely scary and the settings look great, too. The awesome Dave Stewart is responsible for the colors, and he works his usual magic with dark settings, but a splash of color when he needs it. Especially when a bit of blood is needed to accent a death scene. A quick two issue series was great, but honestly, this character needs to be on an ongoing book pronto. Definitely check out previous series Plague Ships and Curse Bells, and you’ll be hooked! Rating 4/5