I would definitely call this series a “pulse pounder” since you’re constantly left wondering what’s going to happen to our main character Lord Baltimore. That’s really where this book has always stood out to me in the fact that due to its time setting dead means dead and if someone meets their end there’s nothing to save them. This issue picks up with Baltimore approaching the abbey that’s all been turned into vampires. He’s hot on the path of Haigus, but as he arrives at the Abbey he finds nun centuries lining the walls. He also finds the reporter that turned him onto the path following behind in an attempt to document Baltimore’s journey. Baltimore leaves him to guard his weapons as he scouts the abbey to see what he’s up against. He finds a disturbing ceremony happening in which a priest is forcing a pregnant woman to drink blood, vampire blood which leads him to a trapped and weakened Haigus.
He leaves his enemy in clutches of the curse abbey and heads back to gather weapons and supplies before launching his attack. Back in town he heads into a church and finds a priest tied up on the cross of Jesus. From behind the cross a giant snake appears speaking in tongues which Baltimore quickly dispatches. It’s an interesting scene as it shows just how far gone the European society has fallen due to the war and the plague. Upon returning to launch his assault he tells the journalist that his priority is Haigus, even it means sacrificing the woman trapped in the demonic ceremony.
The scene I absolutely loved the most was the giant snake. It was shocking and very interesting to see these people take up and worship this being of evil simple because it told them too. I really like the idea of this old evil spreading out and that the more it spreads the less people are afraid of it and become almost excepting of their new rulers. Mignola and Christopher Golden continue Baltimore’s journey with another issue that offers twists and intrigue. What this issue really showed me was that Baltimore doesn’t want to die, otherwise he would have lunged head first at Haigus when given the chance and he didn’t. That’s why the writing is so good, because it puts human fears onto fictional characters.
Here’s all I have to say about the art: It’s still great! Ben Stenbeck has a solid issue and although there aren’t any surprises that doesn’t mean the art isn’t great. Stenbeck is very consistent and he tackles a world that only he and the other creators can truly bring to life. Frankly, when it comes to comic book art, no surprises and consistency beat out the opposite any day.
This is a heavy week for Dark Horse, but for sure this issue is worth picking up. Its recaps enough that new readers can still approach this issue and series with the second issue which isn’t true with a lot of storylines and series. So don’t miss this great series just because it doesn’t have a shiny #1 on the cover, because it shines much brighter.
Writers: Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics