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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Baltimore Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden review


Order Baltimore Ombinus Vol. 1 over HERE.

About Mark Mignola: Mike Mignola is best known as the multiple award-winning creator, writer, and artist of "B.P.R.D." and "Hellboy", but has fostered several other projects like "The Amazing Screw-On Head" and "Baltimore" with Christopher Golden. Mike Mignola currently lives in southern California with his wife, daughter, and cat.

About Christopher Golden: CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as Ararat, Red Hands, or Snowblind. Golden co-created (with Mike Mignola) the comic book universe known as The Outerverse, featuring such characters as Baltimore, Joe Golem, and Lady Baltimore. 

FORMAT: Published by Dark Horse Books on October 22, 2019. Page count: 568.

OVERVIEW: Lord Baltimore first appeared in Mike Mignola’s illustrated novel, called Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. Later on, the novel evolved into a comic book series co-written by Mignola and Christopher Golden. Omnibus Vol. 1 collects four out of the eight volumes released in the past. It contains the following stories: The Plague Ships, The Curse Bells, A Passing Stranger, and Chapel of Bones. They are self-contained but each one progresses the metaplot and character development. 


Lord Baltimore destroys evil where he finds it, but he hunts only one creature - a vampire named Haigus who murdered his family. In a world ravaged by a contagion, Baltimore wants to be left to his vengeance. Somehow, though, he never succeeds at turning a blind eye to the suffering of innocents. New horrors hide in every shadow, and he makes them vanish in a spray of blood (or ichor).


The series takes place around World War I. A devastating plague ends the war. Vampires, fungus zombies, giant jellyfish, and other monsters ravage cities and villages, destroying all who stand in their way. Except for Lord Baltimore. Driven by a desire for vengeance and gifted (or cursed) with preternatural skills, he fears nothing and no one. The story chronicles his pursuit of Haigus and struggles with the scourge of the undead. As the story progresses, we learn more about him but a lot remains to discover in the later parts of the story. 


Ben Stenbeck’s artwork enhances the plot and creates a gloomy atmosphere. It's dark and cramped. Don't expect blue skies or sunny days, because you won't find them. You'll get lots of shadows with monsters waiting for their chance to strike, instead. This choice of art and colors enhances Baltimore's belief he's already lost and dead inside. 

Dave Stewart's coloring makes Stenbeck's artwork so much stronger! Their portrayal of characters giving in to their bloodlust and madness awed me. Stewart applies his colors with great skill, setting the mood of every page, and creating a bleak world dominated by colors of decay and blood. 

As you've probably guessed, I loved this book. Contrary to Mignola's Hellboy it contains less humor and more terrifying moments. Not all stories are great but as a whole, it's a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.

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