“Number Ones!” is an article series on NerdMerge.com where we sit down with issue number one of new releases and older comics books. Are they worth looking into? Should you skip it? That’s what we are here to help you figure out! Just a quick review to help you with your shopping and pull lists.
This week we are diving into “Baltimore: The Red Kingdom”
Released on February 2nd, 2016 by Dark Horse Comics; Baltimore: The Red Kingdom is part one of a five-part story from the Baltimore series written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden with art by Peter Bergting.
“Lord Baltimore is missing. The Red King—evil incarnate—is taking over the world. Baltimore’s team has been driven apart, with some of them dying on the front lines while others are in hiding.
Since the day he set out for revenge on the vampire who killed his family, Baltimore’s fight has gotten bigger than he’d ever imagined, but what role will he take as evil finally threatens to consume the world?”
The art by Peter Berting looks like it could be Mignola’s handy work but to my surprise, it is not. Mignola just handled the story in this issue. The similar art style, however, allows this tale to blend in seamlessly with Mignola’s established stories and universe and does not feel out of place. It handles the pushing the flow of the story forward without being confusing or too much at once.
The art gives a clear picture of what is going on without sacrificing anything in the story. Which is a huge plus as this issue isn’t as letter heavy as some of Mignola’s other stories, so you actually gain perspective of what is going on through the panels alone. One of my favorite designs lies with the Red King’s monsters. While not overly complicated, they are bizarre and unsettling. This is my favorite kind of creature and I have always enjoyed the creatures in Mignola’s work.
The story is where things get shaky. Not because the story is bad but because it is part of an existing series, you aren’t able to just jump right in without prior knowledge of some characters and events. The story assumes you know who these people are and of their past excursions. While this isn’t ideal when you see this on the shelf and think it looks cool, it isn’t a deal breaker either. It may be a bit off-putting to read not knowing exactly who some of the characters are, it is still worth a read as the premise is entertaining and it is bound to be an interesting story.
If you enjoy Baltimore, Hellboy, Mike Mignola, or horror-esque comics; this is a number one you should check out.
Pros: Interesting Story, Great Art, Interesting Characters, Designs, Excellent Cover
Cons: Some prior knowledge required.