Baltimore: The Red Kingdom #1 ComicWow! Review

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Lord Baltimore is missing. The Red King has taken over the vast majority of the world. Baltimore’s team has been driven apart, some are fighting in the war, some are in hiding, and some are just plain missing. Ever since Baltimore set out to get revenge on the vampire who killed his family, his fight has only gotten bigger and bigger. Evil is consuming the world, but luckily, there’s a rumor that Baltimore is still alive. What is the fate of the world, and can it be altered?

The Baltimore series has been an insanely wild, emotional, and epic storyline. Now that the Red King has gained such an eclectic following of various evil beings, it’s virtually impossible to stop him from taking over the world. However, there are still people who are going to try.

Kidd and Harish are at the frontlines of battle, fighting their way through vampires and oversized killer worms to try and defeat the Red King. But with such a big army against them, it’s nearly hopeless. Rigo has gone into hiding, but has been summoned to help find and convince Lord Baltimore to trust a certain group of men. Sofia shows up to take the men on a very important mission…

Mignola and Golden do an awesome job of showing us Baltimore’s team, their feelings towards each other, and their reactions to the Red King’s rule. We as readers can only imagine how much pressure these characters must be going through; their entire world is being overtaken by evil incarnate.

I’ve always been a fan of Mignola’s writing. He has a certain style that can always be distinguished from the majority of writers these days. The dialogue is so fluid and just dramatic enough that it sounds like prose instead of simple dialogue. The progression of the issue is perfectly paced, and the surprises (that I won’t spoil—sorry) are introduces and managed in a really careful-yet-intriguing way.

Peter Bergting’s artwork is beautiful. It resembles Mignola’s, which is usually with a German expressionism-based art style. It isn’t exactly as “blocky” as Mignola’s own artwork, but a bit more realistic. The illustrations show a lot of detail in close ups of characters’ faces, depicting tons of emotion.

My favorite part of this issue has to be the splash page where Bergting shows us the immensity of the war. We see the Red King’s side charging, burrowing, flying, and leaping towards the soldiers fighting as hard as they can. Unfortunately, they’re not making all too much of a difference. This page is filled with witches, vampires, bats, wolves, monsters, and humans. The floating debris from the ground lets us know the sheer size of the armies and the war overall. The smoke lifting from the bright and warm fires tell us how much destruction such a war is causing. There is even close detail in the architecture of the buildings that stand behind the Red King’s army. I very rarely physically gasp at artwork, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t at this.

Lord Baltimore’s team and the Red King’s army are just getting started. It has been a long time coming, and it’ll be a long time until the end—or, at least four more issues until the end of the miniseries. The one thing that kind of sucks is that there are references to previous miniseries in this line of books, so you have to have read the others to fully understand this one. If you haven’t, you’ll still get the gist of the plot; you just won’t get all the references—which, admittedly, are part of what makes this issue so great. Catching up with characters and moving forward with them has never felt so personal. Looking at the state of the world now, there is quite the journey ahead of our team, and it would be almost criminal not to take it with them, especially if you’ve been reading the series up to this point.

Head to your local comic book shop and give this gem a read, then let us know what you think!

Written by: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden

Illustrated by: Peter Bergting

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