Mike Mignola is no stranger to bleak worlds, and today Dark Horse takes to one of his bleakest with Baltimore: Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy No. 1, the first of a two-part story. Anyone who’s ever read Hellboy or any of the B.P.R.D. books can attest that the world isn’t always a cheery place. I mean, the world is literally ending in one of them, and the title character was just killed off in the other, but through all that death and devastation is an undercurrent of hope. I don’t get that same feeling from the Baltimore books. They’re co-written with Christopher Golden, so maybe it’s his input that tips the scales and pushes this series firmly into gothic territory. There’s no sense of a higher purpose or of a fighting spirit here. Lord Baltimore is out for revenge against the vampires and nothing else. If he happens to help someone or stop some other evil along the way, it’s more of a happy accident than a higher calling. This latest installment promises to be interesting as it features both vampires and surgically enhanced monsters. Sour mood or not, it’s still a Mignola series, so it’s well-worth your time and money. Just be sure to have some happy music or something on hand for when you’re done.
If you don’t have the Katamari Damacy soundtrack on standby, this next book should cheer you up. I think I’ve recommended each of these individually as they’ve come out, and today is no exception as IDW releases TMNT Micro Series #5: Splinter. I’ve always felt that Splinter never got the attention he deserves. He’s like the Yoda of the TMNT world. You know at his core he’s a total badass, but all we ever see him do is sit around and dole out wisdom to a bunch of pizza-eating smartasses. This issue promises to go into Splinter’s back-story and delve into his time as a human, something that is long overdue in my opinion. I can’t be the only person who’s curious to see how he earned the “Master” title. For fans of rats who are also ninjas, this is really your only option today.
Today’s also a big day for Marvel! It was set up with the last issue, but today Astonishing X-Men No. 51 finally gives us the wedding between Northstar and Kyle, and really, who doesn’t like weddings? There’s not much left to be said that hasn’t already been said on just about every comics-related website (or The View for that matter), so chances are your mind’s made up on this one. If weddings aren’t your thing, New Mutants No. 44 not only kicks off a new arc, it guest-stars the Defenders. Like X-Factor, New Mutants is one of the most consistently fun X-books. Throw in the Defenders and it only gets better. The second half of AvX also kicks off today with Avengers vs. X-Men No. 6, so if you’ve been curious, now’s a good time to jump on board!