Review: Baltimore: The Witch of Harju #1

At dusk in 1920, a young woman runs from the forest just outside Harju, Estonia.  A tall, deranged man chases her.  Luckily for the young woman, Lord Baltimore and his compatriots happen by.  A battle ensues in which the man gets stabbed, shot, and beaten but does not die.  After suffering a loss, Baltimore beats back the creature and saves the young woman. The young woman explains that the creature had once been her husband, and that an evil omen in the form of a black cat signaled the man’s undeath.  Baltimore investigates and learns that the town of Harju harbors a terrible curse.  Witchcraft plagues the town and troubles its residents.

BALTIMORE THE WITCH OF HARJU #1As Baltimore searches he discovers the black cat from the woman’s story.  With that finding, he knows that there will be a terrific battle with a new evil in order to free Harju.

Peter Bergting continues the Mignola style by keeping the images detailed and gory while also utilizing the best of colors and shadows to present the eyes with a dark and somber look.

Newcomers to the series may have some difficulty understanding Baltimore’s character and motivation.  Some background may help, but that unknowing doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book too much.

With a new supernatural foe to contend with, Baltimore must fight an unfamiliar enemy.  Having tussled so long with vampires, the hero shifts to a witchcraft menace.  The idea that the first monster he encounters essentially wins the fight makes this latest chapter in Baltimore’s story inviting.  With the promise of such a fight forthcoming, we readers get a welcomed change in the plot and another series to continue building the dark and mysterious world of the latest monster hunter.

The added detail of the setting makes this series outstanding, while this new chapter promises a hell of a fight for Baltimore and his crew.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden Artist: Peter Bergting Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release: 7/30/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital