Dark skies drive a wind that rings a lone bell on a leafless tree to set the haunting mood for this issue of the World War I era monster hunter. Baltimore and his crew battle with the vile creatures of the forest while the Witch of Harju descends upon them. As a storm of blood drops crimson precipitation, Lord Baltimore strikes off on his own to battle the witch. Ramifications of this fight include fallen heroes and new members added to the ranks.
As this issue’s story begins, Golden and crew treat us readers to most breathtaking and cinematic opening. If the sound of the bell doesn’t resound in your thoughts as you experience the first page, then you have not properly invested yourself in this outstanding story. Bergting’s art captures Mignola’s style well, and the use of lines and shadows makes for eerie and foreboding illustrations.
My one gripe about the story comes from the plotting. While the action does get intense immediately, the climax comes around two-thirds of the way in. Afterwards, we have a dénouement that drags slightly.
Nevertheless, Baltimore defies convention with the character’s setting and broad menagerie of menacing occult foes. I wonder why no one has optioned this to be a film. With mediocre hits like Hansel and Gretel, a Baltimore script would be smart and visual beyond measure and only add to the genre. If you don’t believe me, check the final panel of the comic where the heroes walk line abreast towards the reader and get those cool chills that come from being pumped up with adrenaline.
Writers: Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden Artist: Peter Bergting Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/24/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital