Vaulting out of the hallowed horror grounds of Mike Mignola's Baltimore/Joe Golem shared Outerverse, Dark Horse Comics is delivering a tempting new tale of witches, vampires, Nazis, and other evil monstrosities in a fresh five-issue miniseries revisiting that realm titled Lady Baltimore — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive peek inside the premiere issue with comments from its acclaimed creative clan.
The seeds of this nightmarish new adventure were first germinated in the 2007 illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, co-written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, with art by Mignola.
Its occult storyline unspooled with the gallant Lord Henry Baltimore wounding a vampire (named Haigus in the comics) on the brutal battlefields of World War I, inciting a vampiric plague that descends in the aftermath. A series of monster-hunting Baltimore one-shots and limited series ensued over the years, ending with 2017's Baltimore: The Red Kingdom.
Lady Baltimore #1 arrives on June 10 and reteams Mignola and Golden, along with new illustrator Bridgit Connell, colors via Michelle Madsen, and striking covers courtesy of Hugo Award-winning artist Abigail Larson.
Now, 13 years after the events of The Red Kingdom in the early days of World War II, the former companion and widow of Lord Baltimore, an Estonian girl born as Sofia Valk, has taken up the heroic cause and embarks on a perilous path to continue the family business and rid the world of sinister forces.
Golden has collaborated with Mignola for over two decades, and teases that this bewitched Baltimore spinoff series is the beginning of something quite unexpected.
"In some ways, I’m having more fun with this than with anything else I’ve done in ages," Golden tells SYFY WIRE. "Baltimore is a doomed man, a character steeped in his own damnation. Sofia has had her own sense of doom, her own dark experiences, her own times when she thought she would never survive, but unlike Baltimore she was not ordained by some higher power to fight the darkness. She chose this fight. She chose to fight her first husband when he abused her, chose to survive when he came back from the dead, chose to join Baltimore to fight monsters and vampires and the minions of the Red King, and chose to carry on after he had died.
"Much of the time she can be grim, but she’s also able to find some lightness. She’s open to finding a new life, even in the midst of war and evil. Also, I don’t ever think of her as Baltimore’s widow. That’s something Baltimore did for her, a gift he gave her as the one person he felt close to near the end of his life, so that she would have a foundation upon which to build her future. She’s Sofia, Lady Baltimore, and she’s her own woman."
"We open the first issue with Sofia and her allies rescuing a new character from the clutches of the Hexenkorps, an army of witches in league with the Nazi party," Golden continues. "And then an old friend reenters her life with word that in various places around Europe, people are claiming to have seen the wandering ghost of Lord Baltimore.
"Bridgit’s art is gorgeous, she’s incredibly talented, and what she brings in addition to that is energy and passion and her own curiosity," he adds. "She needs to know things, loves to do research, loves to stretch the muscles of her imagination. She’s bringing a ton of new energy to the whole process. I can’t wait for everyone to read the first issue!"
"Sofia is a character who is always quick on her feet, relying on any resources at her disposal," Connell reveals to SYFY WIRE. "In and out of battle she's been the one to rally the group. Now that she has inherited Baltimore's title and estate, and is leading her own group of impressive fighters, she has become a very serious threat to the evil still seeping out into the world.
"The monsters she's fighting in this arc are pretty gnarly, too. It's been a blast learning from Mike and tossing around ideas with him and Chris—like that harpy design. I think she ended up being a monster mix of a crab, a lion, a bat, a stingray, and a hairless cat. So much weird and so much fun!"
Now enjoy our exclusive preview of Dark Horse's Lady Baltimore #1 in the gallery below and stake a claim on the debut issue when it arrives on June 10.