Monday, August 08, 2011

Review - Baltimore Volume 1: The Plague Ships

Baltimore Volume 1: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden.

I got an advance copy via NetGalley.

If you aren't familiar with Mike Mignola's work, the blocky art can be a real turn off. I was turned off when I first encountered Mignola's artwork on an Aquaman cover many years ago. But since then I've read a bit more of his work, and come to appreciate his style and what it conveys. This book has that style, a deep feeling of horror and beauty at once. It works extremely well for this book.

Lord Baltimore is on the hunt, following a major vampire who is responsible for the plague that ended the Great War. This book details his visit to a town where he is helped by a woman who wants to escape the boredom and sense of waiting for death. Despite his warnings, she follows him, and learns exactly who and what he is.

The story is set in a Europe just after WWI has been ended by disease. Worse than a normal disease, some of the dead rise to kill the living. That's the horror part. Or at least a portion of the horror. There's much much more to it. Baltimore is an anti-hero with very good reasons for doing what he is doing. His unwitting follower sees more than any sane human would want to see. And there is lots of action in the form of fighting monsters and lots of atmosphere and build up to the fighting of the monsters.

If you like horror at all, this is worth a look. You should also seek out the Free Comic Book Day short story that also features Lord Baltimore, as it will tell you even more about what's happening in this world. I'm not a huge horror fan, but I think I'll be keeping an eye out for this series as it continues. It's just really well done.