Early Book Review: Baltimore Volume 2: Curse Bells by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

Baltimore Volume 2: Curse Bells by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Ben Stenbeck, and Dave Stewart is a graphic novel collecting the five issues of this miniseries. It is scheduled for release on June 12 2012 and is a follow up to the Baltimore: The Plague Ships collection. In this graphic novel readers reenter the horrific world where a plague and vampire brought an end to World War II and a revival of the inquisition. Baltimore is still on the hunt for the vampire known as Haigus, who destroyed his family. In his search Baltimore discovers a horrific plot by a warlock seeking more power and domination. Can Baltimore save the innocents, himself, and the reporter looking for a story and still have his revenge?

Baltimore Volume 2: Curse Bells carries the level of horror as the first volume of Baltimore that I read. There is a resonance of Poe and Dracula in the entire story, with those declaring themselves holy as terrifying as the evil they claim to battle against. Baltimore  is driven by revenge, the ultimate tortured hero. The news reporter is both innocent and honestly fearful of what he knows to be at hand. The Inquisitor is terrifying in his own right, claiming to purify souls through torture and death with no awareness of his own possible taint or perspective innocence of those he 'questions'. The vampires, the forces or evil, are pure evil with no camp or sparkles. This is no romanticized version of monsters.

I recommend Baltimore Volume 2: Curse Bells to horror fans and graphic novel fans. It will, of course, be especially interesting to those that read the first volume or fans of the artists and writers that came together to create it. It should go without saying, but you never know. This is a horror story, a graphic novel about evil, vampires, and a nasty ritual. There is blood, and violence, and graphic images. So, if these things are what you would rather avoid, then skip this story altogether. However, I think anyone that has read this far has some interest in a darker look at the vampire legends.
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