The GeeksverseBaltimore: The Curse Bells #1 – Advanced Review

Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 – Advanced Review
Published on Monday, August 8, 2011 by

Written by: Christopher Golden w/ Mike Mignola
Art by: Ben Stenbeck
Colored by: Dave Stewart
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Cover Art: A- Mike Mignola w/ Dave Stewart; B- Francesco Francavilla
Assistant Editor: Daniel Chabon
Editor: Scott Allie

I really enjoyed the Baltimore novel. It was well written, well paced and plotted. I was excited to see Baltimore make his way to comics with the novels writers fleshing out the story that was hinted at in the novel. The Plague Ships, the first Baltimore mini-series, was decent but didn’t have the same tone as the novel. I was hoping that the Curse Bells would be closer to the novel.

Like The Plague Ships it doesn’t end up having the same feel or tone. Which is a disappointment. Taken on it’s own, it’s a good story with a bit of an odd structure.

The opening is a bit word heavy. The tense changes from present to past as Baltimore gives background on who he is, who he’s chasing and why. He alternates between the background and the present, following a couple to where they said they saw Haigus. The narration might have been better served in the front cover or as a single page bringing the reader up to speed. As it is though, it’s overpowering. It’s too much text.

The story picks up with Baltimore continuing the chase where he meets a would be vampire expert and learns about a local convent. This is a bit odd and comes off as a bit too convienant. The convent that Haigus goes to just happens to have a couple of local stories about it.

This is an oddly paced first issue. The normal beats that a first issue would want to meet are absent, giving it an odd feel. It’s not a bad read, but it’s not as good as it could have been.

Stenbeck’s art is good. He’s got a good style for the type of story. The colors could be darker though. It does feel a bit odd to be seeing Baltimore in full light. He’s someone that should always be shadowed, never seeing his features completely.

Baltimore: The Curse Bells #1 receives
3.5 out of 5

It still doesn’t quite feel like the book and has an odd pace, but was a good read overall.

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