November 26, 2012

Dark Horse Reviews: Baltimore: The Play (one-shot)

Baltimore: The Play (one-shot)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Colors: Dave Stewart

Verona Italy looks like a beautiful place, except for the cadavers, plague running rampant, and the vampires. The first thing that Lord Baltimore sees, is a couple of unsavory types dumping bodies into the river. They explain to him that these unfortunate souls were victims of the plague. This is exactly what he wanted to hear, because he then knows that he’s still hot on the trail of Haigus. One of the men tells Baltimore that he saw this man down at the local theater, so he heads that way quickly. At this point, the story dips into the recent past, to show what exactly Haigus has been up to in this village. Not only that, but also a few others that have joined the cast of characters in this play – a talking head, and a man colored red that is comprised of nothing but bones!

Wow, was this a great change of pace for the Baltimore series! It had a lot of the typical elements, but the action at the theater with Haigus and his crew was spectacular. An eclectic group indeed, but the scenes in the theater were actually quite well done. A part of Edgar Allan Poe’s ” The Conqueror Worm” was acted out by the macabre cast that’s probably better than most on Broadway right now. Also, the panels that featured the head in a jar and the woman controlling it, were quite disturbing. In a good way, of course. Hopefully the Haigus story line will come to a close soon, because it does¬† seem to be getting slightly stale. That being said, this crazy twist made this issue really seem refreshing.

As usual, the artwork by Ben Stenbeck and Dave Stewart was top notch. There should really be zero trepidation when you see their names attached to anything at this point. From the scary looking creatures, to the timely use of reds on the bloody panels, you really get your money’s worth. This goes for quite a few of the books at Dark Horse right now, to be honest. The cover is absolutely fantastic, as well, and really gives you a great glimpse inside the actual story itself. Obviously, the name Mignola carries a lot of weight, as should Golden, Stenbeck, and Stewart! Do yourself a favor, and enter the world of Lord Baltimore!¬†Rating 4.5/5

Billy Dunleavy



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