Baltimore #1 Chapel of Bones Review

Baltimore #1 Chapel of Bones Review

Dark Horse Comics
Story: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art: Ben Stenbeck
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Cover: Ben Stenbeck & Dave Stewart

Review by: Tom Barnett

Baltimore is a vampire hunter. Thanks to the Twilight series of books and movies, vampires seem to be everywhere in pop culture. Baltimore is not Twilight. Baltimore is gritty, pulpy, moody and creepy. Chapel of Bones is issue 1 of a new story arc, but like all Mignolaverse books it is really another issue in an ongoing series. I love how they market and number these titles. Every story arc is a new series, but on the inside front cover it will tell you that it is number 19 in a series or whatever issue it is on. Smart marketing for the new reader and the repeat customer.

In this issue we find three acquaintances of Lord Baltimore’s waiting for him in a dark pub in London, the Ugly Muse. What a great name for a pub. Its details like this that are part of the reason, I love this title. Each character relates to the others how they know Baltimore as they await his arrival. Before he can get there though, sinister characters befall the group of men. Yeah, all hell breaks loose.

Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden give such care to the crafting their horror style books, mixing real world folklore with pulp style characters. I deeply enjoy how, regardless of the title, Abe Sapien, Baltimore, Hellboy, BPRD, Sledgehammer 44 and Lobster Johnson all exist in the same universe and they all share some common history. This makes for a rich world of stories.

Ben Stenbeck’s art is masterful in relating this dark tale. His details are fantastic and his action sequences come alive on the page. The final panel of the issue is great. I won’t tell you what it is, because you need to go buy this book. Stenbeck has a great feel for storytelling. His pacing is cinematic. In the midst of the action he mixed in one small panel of eyes watching the scene. Those details add another level of creepiness.

Colorist Dave Stewart should not be overlooked. His palette defines the tone of the book and adds to the weirdness and macabre that is the Mignolaverse. His colors always leave you feeling like you just witnessed the story as if you were really there.

Great pulpy horror. Always a solid read. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.

Story: 5/5
Art: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Tom is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @tphoto10.

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