Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baltimore: The Curse Bells #4

Written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Art by Ben Stenbeck

The character of Lord Baltimore, the one-legged vampire hunter who is the star of this Mike Mignola title that is not set in the Hellboy continuity, has stayed more or less a cipher since he was introduced to comics with his last mini-series (I still don't know about how he was portrayed in the novel).  Sure, we've learned why he is on such a single-minded quest for revenge on the vampire Haggis, but we know very little about his character.

Some of who he is stands revealed with this issue, where he is given a choice.  He has the opportunity to kill Haggis, and thereby complete his mission, or he can stop the recently returned Madame Blavatsky from cursing the bells in the large church complex where this story is happening, and thereby save thousands of people from a life on ensorcelled servitude.  In most comics, the decision would be clear, but in this one it's not.

Mignola and Golden have built up a nice scenario for this character, and it helps the reader learn a lot about him.  The rest of the comic plays out like many Mignola comics do - it's heavy on symbolism, with a hint of pretension about it (especially when the guy trying to take power quotes Poe at length), but it's a very good read with nice, moody art.

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