The GeeksverseFCBD Baltimore/Criminal Macabre Flip Book

FCBD Baltimore/Criminal Macabre Flip Book
Published on Friday, May 6, 2011 by

Written by: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art by: Ben Stenbeck
Colored by: Dave Stewart
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Cover Art: Mike Mignola w/ Dave Stewart
Assistant Editor: Daniel Chabon
Editor: Scott Allie

The idea behind FCBD is to get new readers into comics book. You give them stories that are designed to draw them in, to get them interested, and you hopefully hook them. Baltimore, one of Dark Horse’s offerings for 2011, does that.

It gives you the world of Baltimore in a nutshell. If you knew nothing about this character, you get the basics. He’s a monster hunter and he’s hunting a very specific monster but he’ll fight any evil he finds. The “origin” of Baltimore’s world, the plague spreading the evil after WWI, is told at the start of the issue and we’re given a feel, from the townsfolk, of what life is like in this ‘new’ world.

It does what it’s supposed. You want to learn more about Baltimore. Golden does good with a single flashback, the story providing some backdrop to that flashback, but not enough to let us know what it truly is about. It makes the character more interesting, shows that there is depth.

But none of that depth is shown. It makes you want to pick up more Baltimore stories.

Baltimore FCBD receives:
4.5 out of 5

This does the job. It gives enough of the concept and character to make you interested in wanting to learn more.

Written by: Steve Niles
Art by: Christopher Mitten
Colored by: Michelle Madsen
Lettered by: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
Cover Art: Christopher Mitten w/ Michelle Madsen
Assistant Editor: Daniel Chabon
Editor: Scott Allie

Unlike Baltimore, I really had no idea who Cal McDonald was. I had heard of the title, Criminal Macabre, but had never seen an issue or read an issue. So like Baltimore, this story does the job of a Free Comic Book Day title.

We get a good feeling for who Cal McDonald is and what kind of cases he’s involved with. The resolution of the story is a bit off. The story falters at the end.

But it does the job. We learn about the character. We get a feel for the tone of the book, a supernatural noirish story. There’s not much more we need. It’s not as hook worthy as Baltimore was but it still does a good job.

It’s interesting, it has a certain fun charm to it. It’s hard to get a total handle on Cal’s character though. The idea that he’d do the job for free comes out of nowhere and the set-up for the “case” takes too long and too easily resolved.

But as a FCBD issue, it works.

Criminal Macabre receives
4 out of 5

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