Essentially “Highlander” meets “Blade” and “Sherlock Holmes,” Mike Mignola and Chris Golden’s vampire hunter story continues to slide and dice the competition. With its eerie story and charismatic and brooding protagonist, the first issue of “The Infernal Train” is a white hot tale that will have you beg for more.
On the trail of the vampire Haigus, Baltimore must first confront a priest who wishes to end his life. Not scared of death, Baltimore is in no need to inform the priest which side he’s fighting for. If the man wants a fight, that’s exactly what he’ll get. Focused on his goal but horribly tormented by his past, Baltimore’s life has become a mission. Void of feeling, Baltimore is a killing machine. For that, the priest feels the vampire hunter must die.
Although their battle doesn’t take place in issue one, the main plot involving a train with vampires and a town infested with zombies is more than intriguing enough to keep your attention. Mignola and Golden’s plot pacing is perfect for a three-issue story and there’s plenty of development in act one to convince you the rest of the story will satisfy.
It also helps the series tremendously that Ben Stenbeck’s art is downright dark. Baltimore’s personality is part noir antihero and English emo and Stenbeck captures this perfectly with an equally blackened and moody palette. You can feel the terror in victims’ faces as they die. you can see the madness in the villains. you can feel Baltimore’s more times than not silent rage. While Golden and Mignola’s writing sets the scene, it’s Stenbeck’s art that truly brings it home.
Between the multi-angle plot, killer art and solid pacing, the first issue of “Baltimore: The Infernal Train” hits a stop or two you definitely don’t want to miss.