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Review – Baltimore: Empty Graves #1 (of 5) (Dark Horse)

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Writer: Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden
Artist: Peter Bergting, Dave Stewart (Colours)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: 6th April 2016


Baltimore is something of an oft-overlooked offering from Dark Horse – Mignola and Golden have created here a piece of story-telling as detailed and intriguing as that other Mignola/DH behemoth, albeit with the fantasy trappings being a bit less prominent, yet still pulsing just beneath its skin.

The book is chock full of the trademark Mignola period detail – I’ll leave it to better historians than I to assess whether or not they’re accurate or not, but the satisfaction that they provide in terms of world-building is ultimately mutually exclusive to this point. Baltimore’s is a richly detailed world, and the historical details are expertly blended with the story’s over-arching occult themes.

Bergting and Stewart’s combined efforts on the art are fairly special – creating a texture that is at once comfortingly similar, and yet so completely distinct from the Hellworld stories. There’s a strong, steady pace to the story-telling that allows you to pause and ponder the above-mentioned exquisite detail, and appreciate Golden and Mignola’s carefully crafted dialogue.

But as always with the Dark Horse macro-series that Mignola is involved with, it’s difficult to really recommend this as a true jumping-on point – even if you dive back a volume to the Cult of the Red King (which this reviewer did), excellent in turn though that is, you’ll find yourself yearning to have a more complete picture of the story as a whole, which includes not just the 6 previous volumes, but also the original illustrated novel. They’re now on my list, but I can’t help but feel that I’ve ruined my reading of them somewhat by entering the he story a little too early.

As such, I’m not sure I want to compel y’all to head out and purchase this immediately, despite it being as engaging and terrific a read as you’ll find out there right now. Golden and Mignola showcase their combined rich story-telling ethic here, and it demands that you head back and read all of it. If you’ve been following Baltimore up until this point, there’s nothing not to love about this fresh chapter in the adventure. For the rest of us, save up them pennies, and get ye atop the beginning of the story.

Rating: 3/5.


RSavThe Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24


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