Baltimore (comics)

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Baltimore
Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire (Dark Horse paperback edition).jpg
The cover for Dark Horse's release of the novel in paperback
DateAugust 28, 2007 – Present
PublisherBantam Spectra, Dark Horse Comics
Creative team
WritersMike Mignola
Christopher Golden
ArtistsMike Mignola
Ben Stenbeck
Peter Bergting
LettererClem Robins
ColoristDave Stewart
Michelle Madsen
EditorScott Allie
Original publication
LanguageEnglish

Baltimore is an American horror comic book series created by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. The series originally began with an illustrated novel, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire in 2007. It followed the story of Lord Baltimore's hunt of the vampire Haigus as told by his three friends, Doctor Lemuel Rose, Thomas Childress Jr., and Demetrius Aischros.

Comics[edit]

In 2010 Dark Horse Comics began the comic series Baltimore, following Lord Baltimore's hunt for Haigus during the years the original novel skipped over.[1][2][3] From the fifth volume onward, the comic's story has moved beyond the events of the original novel.

Baltimore is a series of miniseries, with each miniseries having its own numbering, but each issue also has an ongoing overall numbering on the inside front cover. Empty Graves #5 is "NUMBER 35 IN A SERIES" and The Red Kingdom #1 is "NUMBER 37 IN A SERIES", implying there is missing number 36.

Issues[edit]

Number
in Series
Issue Release Date Arc Story Art Colors Cover
1 #1 August 4, 2010[4] The Plague Ships Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
2 #2 September 1, 2010[5]
3 #3 October 6, 2010[6]
4 #4 November 3, 2010[7]
5 #5 December 1, 2010[8]
France, August, 1916: Lord Henry Baltimore follows the trail of his nemesis, the vampire Haigus, to a coastal village of Villefranche, where he is arrested by the suspicious local authorities, who summon an inquisitor to interrogate him. Baltimore is freed by a young woman, Vanessa, who insists that he take her with him when he escapes the town. Their ship is attacked at sea and they are stranded on an island filled with derelict ships. When the corpses of the ships' crews rise up to attack them, Baltimore locks Vanessa inside a wrecked U-boat and holds off the horde of revenants until dawn. Vanessa chooses to return home, not knowing that the inquisitor, Judge Duvic, has arrived and is torturing her grandmother to learn Baltimore's whereabouts.

NB Includes several scenes from the novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire in flashback as Baltimore recounts parts of his story.

FCBD 2011 May 7, 2011[9] A Passing Stranger Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
Germany, October, 1916: When Baltimore passes through the village of Tülingart at night, unmolested, a young boy, Maxie, takes it as proof that the vampires are gone, and convinces his best friend, Rolf, to come outside and see for himself. Rolf is lured under a bridge and almost devoured by gigantic spiders, before Baltimore appears and saves him, killing the spiders and Maxie, who has turned into one of them. Baltimore confirms that the vampires are gone, but the plague has drawn all manner of evil creatures out of hiding.
6 #1 August 10, 2011[10][11] The Curse Bells Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
VARIANT:
Francesco Francavilla
7 #2 September 14, 2011[12] Mike Mignola
8 #3 October 12, 2011[13]
9 #4 November 9, 2011[14]
10 #5 December 14, 2011[15]
Austria, October, 1916: Baltimore meets American war correspondent Simon Hodge, who was fired from The Boston Globe after insisting that vampires were the cause of the plague. They go to a convent where Haigus is held prisoner by nuns (now vampires), in the service of an occultist (Adolf Hitler) who promised to cure them. The occultist uses Haigus's blood to resurrect Helena Blavatsky, who is "birthed" as a homunculus. In exchange for resurrecting her, the occultist demands that she place a curse on the convent's bells so that all who hear them will become his slaves. When Baltimore reveals to the nuns there is no cure for their vampirism, they turn on the occultist and tear him apart. The nuns kneel in the courtyard and wait for death by the rising sun.

Meanwhile, Judge Duvic continues pursuing Baltimore, torturing and sometimes killing several of the people Baltimore has encountered.

11 #1 June 20, 2012[16][17] Dr. Leskovar's Remedy Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
VARIANT:
Mike Mignola
12 #2 July 18, 2012[18] Ben Stenbeck
Croatia, May, 1917: While fighting a monstrous creature in mid flight, Baltimore crashes near a makeshift fishing settlement. The locals have abandoned their village to escape Dr. Leskovar, who tried to develop a cure for vampirism, but only succeeded in creating mutated creatures, which he sent out to capture more "subjects" to perfect his cure. Baltimore needs to pass through the village to pick up Haigus's trail, but his conscience won't let him ignore the threat Dr. Leskovar poses. Leskovar drinks a formula that turns him into a monstrous creature so that he can hunt down and destroy all of his creations. Leskovar and Baltimore run back to the fishing camp, where crabs that ate the remains of the monster that crashed Baltimore's plane have mutated. They fight off the mutant crabs, but Leskovar is dragged underwater and drowns.
13 #1 November 21, 2012[19] The Play Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
Verona, Italy, January, 1917: Haigus is working on set paintings for play, La Morte Rossa Trionfante, by theatrical director named Gnecco with lyrics by the severed head of Edgar Allan Poe. All three men are in love with the play's star, Isabella. When Haigus realizes that Isabella is an immortal Muse, he breaks her hold over him, killing Gnecco and burning the theatre down. Meanwhile, Isabella escapes with Poe's head. A week later, Baltimore passes through, and the remaining members of the theatre troupe, now vampires, emerge from hiding to prey on the town.
14 #1 February 20, 2013[20] The Widow and the Tank Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
The WidowEngland, June, 1916: Baltimore visits the wife of an old Army comrade in Lincolnshire, who insists her husband is dead. At night, the woman's husband, now a vampire, leaves the house to prey on the townspeople. After confirming that he does not know Haigus's whereabouts, Baltimore dispatches him, then confronts the widow. Seeing that she has been recently turned herself, Baltimore invites her to open the curtains and view the sunrise, which incinerates her.

The TankFrance, July, 1916: Stopping for a meal in a small village in Aquitaine, Baltimore learns of a monster supposedly hiding in a derelict tank left in the middle of a field. Baltimore confronts the monster, a vampire hiding from worse monsters—goblin-like creatures that rise out of the earth and try to devour Baltimore. With the goblins distracted, the vampire attempts to escape, but is caught. Baltimore kills all the goblin creatures and the now half-eaten vampire.

15 #1 June 19, 2013[21] The Inquisitor Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
September, 1917: Inquisitor Judge Duvic arrives in an Austro-Hungarian town to interrogate Simon Hodge for Baltimore's whereabouts. Duvic relates how he was raised as a priest and trained to be an inquisitor by the Church, in response to the vampire plague. He believes Baltimore is tainted by the plague. The interrogation is interrupted when Vanessa (from The Plague Ships) appears in the cell and attacks Duvic, revenge for her grandmother's murder. After Duvic kills her, Hodge furiously challenges his righteousness when Duvic could have easily disarmed her. Shaken, Duvic allows Hodge to leave. Hodge tells him Baltimore will be in Budapest in three weeks' time, and afterward sends a letter to Baltimore, inviting him to deal with a true "monster."
16 #1 September 4, 2013[22] The Infernal Train Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
17 #2 October 16, 2013[23]
18 #3 November 6, 2013[24]
Budapest, Hungary, October, 1917: Baltimore arrives, intending to keep his rendezvous with Judge Duvic. By enforcing strict quarantine measures, the city authorities believe they have succeeded in creating a sanctuary from the plague. A mysterious woman, Signora Fulcanelli, claims to have invented a furnace hot enough to safely incinerate all of the plague's victims. Baltimore spies on her at night, but is distracted by the arrival of Judge Duvic and the two fight. They are interrupted by a swarm of newly-created vampires, and Fulcanelli's men take Baltimore prisoner. Fulcanelli is housing a coven of elder vampires—the "high priests" of the Red King, the ancient deity that created the vampires—and collecting plague victims to burn as a beacon to hasten the King's reawakening. Haigus is the eldest of these high priests, but like all of their kind, he had grown savage and apathetic as humanity developed and forgot to worship the Red King, until Baltimore awoke his consciousness on the Ardennes battlefield. Baltimore breaks free and destroys the train's boiler, killing the vampire priests and causing the train to derail. Fulcanelli is trapped on the riverbank by a spike of metal impaled through her shoulder. She confesses to Baltimore that Haigus is headed to London, but he leaves her to die, unable to escape the rising river as it is swelled by a rainstorm. Duvic confronts Baltimore, who stabs him in the chest with a crucifix just as Duvic shoots him in the heart, seemingly without wounding him. After Baltimore leaves, a group of priests gather up Duvic's body and administer last rites, only for Duvic to re-animate as a werewolf and kill all of them.
19 #1 January 1, 2014[25] Chapel of Bones Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
20 #2 February 5, 2014[26]
London, England, November 30, 1919: Baltimore's three friends—Demetrius Aischros, Thomas Childress, Jr., and Dr. Lemuel Rose—meet in a pub in response to Baltimore's summons, but when he doesn't arrive, they accept the invitation of an artist, Bentley, to sleep in his upstairs studio. There, they find an enormous painting of the Red King, and the walls decorated with skeletons, which come alive to attack them. Baltimore's nemesis, Haigus, has become old and weary from all the years of pursuit, and lured them there to draw Baltimore out. Just as the three men are cornered and all seems lost, Baltimore arrives. Haigus gloats that it was Baltimore's own actions that "awoke" Haigus's consciousness, and humanity will never be rid of the vampires now. Baltimore kills Haigus, but is chilled to realize that he feels nothing. In anger and frustration, Baltimore slashes the painting, and the Red King fixes its eyes upon him. Baltimore realizes he had been fighting the symptom all this time, and the true enemy had barely been aware of him until that moment. Later, while recuperating downstairs, Baltimore reaches into his chest and removes his heart, now a lump of tin with his wife's wedding ring set into its side.

In an epilogue, the three companions relate their story to Simon Hodge, with Rose carrying Baltimore's tin heart in a box for evidence. When Hodge asks where Baltimore is now, Rose replies that evil things are awakening all over the world and Baltimore is trying to wipe them out to prevent the Red King from reawakening. NB Chapel of Bones is an adaptation of the chapters Crescendo: Lux et Aeternum, Finale: Libera Me, and Coda from the novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire.

21 #1 July 30, 2014[27] The Witch of Harju Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Peter Bergting Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
22 #2 August 27, 2014[28]
23 #3 September 24, 2014[29]
24 #1 October 29, 2014[30] The Wolf and the Apostle Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
25 #2 November 26, 2014[31]
26 #1 May 6, 2015[32] The Cult of the Red King Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Peter Bergting Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
27 #2 June 3, 2015[33]
28 #3 July 1, 2015[34]
29 #4 August 5, 2015[35]
30 #5 September 2, 2015[36]
31 #1 April 6, 2016 Empty Graves Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Peter Bergting Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
32 #2 May 4, 2016 Michelle Madsen
33 #3 June 1, 2016
34 #4 July 6, 2016
35 #5 August 3, 2016
37 #1 February 1, 2017 The Red Kingdom Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Peter Bergting Michelle Madsen Ben Stenbeck
38 #2 March 1, 2017
39 #3 April 5, 2017
40 #4 May 3, 2017
41 #5 June 7, 2017

Collected editions[edit]

The comic book series has been collected in hardcover volumes. Only the first volume has been published in paperback.

There are currently plans for the series to be released in a hardback omnibus edition. Omnibus one will consist of volumes 1-4, and will be released November 2019.

Volume Title Collects Special Features Published ISBN
1 The Plague Ships
  • The Plague Ships
  • Introduction:
    Back From the Dead
    by Joe Hill
  • 14-page sketchbook
June 8, 2011 (HC)
December 21, 2011 (TPB)
9781595826732 (HC)
9781595826770 (TPB)
2 The Curse Bells
  • The Curse Bells
  • Introduction:
    A World of Chilled Shadows
    by Joe R. Lansdale
  • 17-page sketchbook
June 13, 2012 9781595826749
3 A Passing Stranger
and Other Stories
  • The Widow and the Tank
  • A Passing Stranger
  • The Play
  • Dr. Leskovar's Remedy
  • The Inquisitor[37]
  • Introduction:
    Spectres of the War
    by Kim Newman
  • 10-page sketchbook
November 20, 2013 9781616551827
4 Chapel of Bones
  • The Infernal Train
  • Chapel of Bones
  • Introduction
    by Stephen R. Bissette
  • 13-page sketchbook
June 11, 2014 9781616553289
5 The Apostle and the Witch of Harju
  • The Witch of Harju
  • The Wolf and the Apostle
  • 18-page sketchbook
March 18, 2015 9781616556181
6 The Cult of the Red King
  • The Cult of the Red King
  • 18-page sketchbook
January 6, 2016 9781616558215
7 Empty Graves
  • Empty Graves
  • 18-page sketchbook
December 7, 2016 9781506700427
8 The Red Kingdom
  • The Red Kingdom
  • Afterword
    by Christopher Golden
  • 12-page sketchbook
October 25, 2017 9781506701974

Film adaptation[edit]

New Regency optioned the rights to adapt Baltimore as a film in September 2007. The novel's authors wrote a screenplay, while David S. Goyer was set to direct. After a leadership change at New Regency, the studio abandoned the project, and the rights have reverted to the authors.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Shaun (July 6, 2010). "Golden Sails on "The Plague Ships"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  2. ^ Manning, Shaun (December 13, 2010). "HELL(BOY) ON EARTH: Beyond the Hellverse". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  3. ^ Manning, Shaun (October 8, 2010). "NYCC: Golden Rings "Baltimore: The Curse Bells"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Baltimore: The Plague Ships #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Baltimore: The Plague Ships #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Baltimore: The Plague Ships #3". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Baltimore: The Plague Ships #4". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Baltimore: The Plague Ships #5". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Free Comic Book Day 2011: Baltimore/Criminal Macabre". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 (Mike Mignola cover)". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 (Francesco Francavilla cover)". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #3". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #4". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Baltimore: The Curse Bells #5". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy #1 (Ben Stenbeck cover)". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy #1 (Mike Mignola cover)". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Baltimore: The Play". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Baltimore: The Inquisitor". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Baltimore: The Infernal Train #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Baltimore: The Infernal Train #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Baltimore: The Infernal Train #3". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Baltimore: Chapel of Bones #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Baltimore: Chapel of Bones #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Baltimore: The Witch of Harju #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  28. ^ "Baltimore: The Witch of Harju #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  29. ^ "Baltimore: The Witch of Harju #3". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  30. ^ "Baltimore: The Wolf and the Apostle #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Baltimore: The Wolf and the Apostle #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  32. ^ "Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #1". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  33. ^ "Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #2". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #3". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  35. ^ "Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #4". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King #5". DarkHorse.com. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  37. ^ Manning, Shaun (March 1, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Golden Reveals "Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar's Remedy"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  38. ^ Fleming, Michael (2007-09-27). "David Goyer to direct 'Vampire'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2007-12-09.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]