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
Date August 28, 2007 – Present
Publisher Bantam Spectra, Dark Horse Comics
Creative team
Writers Mike Mignola
Christopher Golden
Artists Mike Mignola
Ben Stenbeck
Peter Bergting
Letterer Clem Robins
Colorist Dave Stewart
Michelle Madsen
Editor Scott Allie
Original publication
Language English

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]
Baltimore follows the trail of his nemesis, the vampire Haigus, to a coastal village in France, where he is arrested by the suspicious local authorities, who summon an Inquisitor to interrogate him. He 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. The corpses of the crews rise up to attack them, and 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 has arrived and is torturing her grandmother to learn Baltimore's whereabouts.

N.B. Several scenes from the novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire are rendered in graphic format, as Baltimore recounts parts of his story in flashback.

FCBD 2011 May 7, 2011[9] A Passing Stranger Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Mike Mignola
October 1916: When Baltimore passes through the village of Tülingart in Germany, 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]
October, 1916: Following Haigus's trail through Austria, Baltimore meets American war correspondent Simon Hodges, who was fired from The Boston Globe after insisting that vampires were the cause of the plague. He follows Baltimore to a convent in the forest, finding Haigus being held prisoner by the nuns (now vampires), led by a Bavarian occultist, using the vampire's blood to resurrect Helena Blavatsky, who is "birthed" as a homunculus. In exchange for resurrecting her, the magician demands that she place a curse on the convent's bells, so that all who hear them will become his slaves, so that he can build an army and conquer the world. She does so, but Baltimore resists the curse, and informs the nuns that the magician has lied to them, and there is no cure for their vampirism. The nuns turn on the magician and tear him apart, then kneel in the courtyard and allow themselves to be destroyed by the rising sun. Baltimore is unable to prevent Haigus escaping and pursues him, while Blavatsky stays behind and continues playing the bells. Meanwhile, the Inquisitor summoned to interrogate Baltimore in France continues on his trail, torturing and sometimes killing several of the people Baltimore has encountered along the way.
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: A plane carrying Baltimore and a monstrous creature crashes near a makeshift fishing village, the inhabitants of which abandoned their village after a local doctor, Leskovar, tried to develop a cure for vampirism, but only succeeded in creating mutant versions of them, which he sent out to capture more "subjects" in his desperation to succeed. Baltimore tries to pass through the village to pick up Haigus's trail in Belgrade, but is forced to confront Leskovar, who claims he was being forced to act by some unseen masters. Hearing Baltimore coming, he decided on his own solution: he drank a formula that turns him into a monstrous creature, allowing him to hunt down and destroy all of his creations. Leskovar and Baltimore run back to the fishing camp, where the crabs have mutated after eating the remains of the monster that crashed Baltimore's plane. They fight off the monsters, though 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: One week before Baltimore's arrival, Haigus is entangled in a love quadrangle, between himself, a theatrical director named Gnecco, and Edgar Allan Poe's severed head, all of them in love with the same actress, Isabella, the star of Gnecco's play, with lyrics written by Poe and set paintings provided by Haigus. Haigus eventually realizes that Isabella is an immortal Muse, and tries to break her hold over him. When Gnecco tries to stop him, Haigus kills him and burns the theatre down, moving on while Isabella escapes with Poe's head. After Baltimore passes through, 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 Widow: June 1916: Baltimore visits the wife of an old Army comrade in Lincolnshire, who insists that her husband is dead. Baltimore waits, and is not surprised when the man, 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, who insists that her husband is not evil, he returned to her because he loves her. Seeing that she has been recently turned herself, Baltimore invites her to open the curtains and view the sunrise, which incinerates her.

The Tank: 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. When Baltimore confronts him, the vampire reveals that it has been hiding from worse monsters - goblin-like creatures that rise out of the earth and try to devour Baltimore. Believing that Baltimore has created a sufficient diversion, the vampire leaves the tank and tries to run, only to be caught by the goblins, before Baltimore kills both of them.

15 #1 June 19, 2013[21] The Inquisitor Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Ben Stenbeck Dave Stewart Ben Stenbeck
September, 1917: Inquisitor Duvic arrives in an Austro-Hungarian town to interrogate Simon Hodges 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. Hodges calmly replies that Duvic must be insane, and also a fool for believing that Baltimore has been tainted by his contact with the vampires, while believing himself wholly untainted by the same contact. The interrogation is interrupted when Vanessa (from The Plague Ships) appears in the cell and attacks Duvic, in revenge for her grandmother's murder. Duvic kills her reflexively, and Hodges furiously challenges him to call himself a righteous man, when he could just as easily have disarmed her. Shaken, Duvic allows Hodges to leave, and Hodges tells him Baltimore will be in Sarajevo in three weeks' time. After escaping the town, he 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]
October, 1917: Baltimore arrives in Budapest 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. As part of the quarantine, they accept the offer of a mysterious woman, Signora Fulcanelli, who arrives on a train claiming to have invented a furnace hot enough to safely incinerate all of the plague's victims. Baltimore, remembering seeing Fulcanelli's train in France (during The Plague Ships), spies on her at night but is distracted by the arrival of Judge Duvic. Their fight is interrupted by a swarm of newly-created vampires, and Baltimore escapes to confront Fulcanelli. Her men take him prisoner, and she reveals that she 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. She tries to hypnotize Baltimore, but he 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, 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 sculpted of bones, 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 them now. Baltimore kills Haigus, but is chilled to realize that he feels nothing. In anger and frustration, Baltimore slashes the painting of the Red King. Baltimore and his three companions suddenly feel as though an immense presence has filled the room, and the Red King in the painting fixes its eyes upon Baltimore. He realizes that all this time he had been fighting the symptom, and the true enemy had barely been aware of him until that very moment. They go downstairs to recuperate, and the other three men are horrified when Baltimore reaches into his chest and removes his heart, now a lump of tin with his wife's wedding ring set into its side. (N.B. Chapel of Bones is a graphic 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.)

In an epilogue, the three companions relate their story to Simon Hodges, with Rose carrying Baltimore's tin heart in a box for evidence. When Hodges asks where Baltimore is now, Rose replies that evil things are awakening all over the world, and Baltimore is trying to wipe them out and prevent the Red King from reawakening, even while knowing that the Red King is aware of Baltimore and all his friends now.

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
36 #1 February 1, 2017 The Red Kingdom Mike Mignola
and Christopher Golden
Peter Bergting Michelle Madsen Ben Stenbeck
37 #2 March 1, 2017
38 #3 April 5, 2017
39 #4 May 3, 2017
40 #5 June 7, 2017

Collected editions[edit]

The comic book series has been collected hardcover volumes. Only the first volume has been published in paperback and there are currently no plans to release any others in this format.

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]