Monday, 21 December 2015

Baltimore, Volume 5: The Apostle and The Witch of Harju Review (Mike Mignola, Ben Stenbeck)


I wonder whether this book would be published if a no-name writer wrote this? The fifth Baltimore volume contains two short arcs, The Witch of Harju and The Wolf and the Apostle. In the Witch, Baltimore and his crew find a witch in a village and kill her. In the Wolf, a different crew find a werewolf in a castle and kill it. 

Seriously: if it weren’t for Mike Mignola’s involvement and his readership, NOBODY would read this crap (assuming it'd even be made available)! It could not be any less inspired. The summary above sounds like I’m skimming details, but I’m really not - that’s all there is to this one! 

There’s a black cat with red eyes and later a crow and I was thinking, maybe they’re MacGuffins - maybe the innocent girl villager turns out to be the witch and the animal/shapeshifter is trying to save the village? But no, the witch was the black cat/crow. There’s not even a hint of ambiguity in the werewolf story: some characters you’ve never heard of rock up to a stereotypically gothic castle on a crumbling mountainside and kill a werewolf. And?!

I enjoyed Peter Bergting’s art on the witch story and Ben Stenbeck’s on the werewolf one, and Dave Stewart’s colours always improves a comic, but holy shit is there nothing to this Baltimore book! This is a book of lazy, immensely boring, generic horror comics - Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden are firmly on autopilot throughout.

Baltimore, Volume 5: The Apostle and The Witch of Harju

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