Baltimore Faces His Vampiric White Whale in Golden's "Chapel of Bones"

In his drive for vengeance, vampire hunter Baltimore has seen much compromised: his body and health, his family and his world, overrun by a vampiric plague. Each day brings him closer to his goal. "Baltimore: The Infernal Train" saw the titular hero face down his holier-than-though stalker, Duvic, and come out on top. Now, readers are in the midst of "Chapel of Bones" which finds Baltimore facing down the object of his pursuit: the vampire Haigus.

The two-part Dark Horse Comics miniseries, "Baltimore: Chapel of Bones," debuted on December 31 from writers Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola and artist Ben Stenbeck. The second installment hits shelves February 5, and promises to lead to a few surprises as the series continues to unfold.

Comic Book Resources spoke recently with co-writer Christopher Golden about "Chapel of Bones" and Baltimore's larger quest. Golden assures readers that, though "Chapel of Bones" marks Baltimore's final confrontation with the vampire he has pursued for years, there remain plenty of stories worth telling after their confrontation.

CBR News: Recently in "The Infernal Train" we saw Baltimore finally confront Duvic who just won't be put down. Now, in "Chapel of Bones," Baltimore is headed to London to confront Haigus -- what will Baltimore find?

Christopher Golden: Old friends. Endings. Revelations and epiphanies. Honestly can't say more than that.

Will this really be the final showdown between the vampire and his hunter?

Yes. We've seen most of this story from Baltimore's POV and been able to understand -- at least partly -- just how profoundly he has changed. That moment on the battlefield when he first encountered Haigus altered his life irrevocably, sent him into a tailspin of horror unlike any other. He lost his leg, and then he lost his family, and then -- over time, as the plague spread and monsters rose -- he lost his world. And yet in "The Infernal Train" we also get our first real, tangible proof that he has changed more than we knew -- that he's no longer an ordinary man.

EXCLUSIVE: Golden Prepares "Baltimore" for Judgment in "The Infernal Train"

One of the things we see made plain in "Chapel of Bones" is that, all during this time while Baltimore has been evolving, so has Haigus. Though he's led Baltimore on this chase and tormented him, even as he tries to lay the groundwork for the Red King to wake and return to the world, Haigus has been changing as well. Baltimore "woke" something on the battlefield that day, but Haigus' ongoing conflict with Baltimore has caused a secondary awakening. He's not the same creature.

I imagine Duvic, too, is not about to give up his pursuit. Will we see the beast follow Baltimore to London? Does he have any humanity left?

We will see Duvic again, but not in "Chapel of Bones."

Does Baltimore feel any sort of closure following his confrontation with Duvic, or is he simply happy to be back on Haigus' trail?

To Baltimore, Haigus was never anything but an obstacle. A nuisance. If there's a dark echo that reverberates for us between Haigus, Baltimore and Duvic, Baltimore never noticed it.

Is Haigus, really, the one pursued? Or has he simply been avoiding confrontation with Baltimore until he could meet him on his own terms?

Haigus set something in motion with Baltimore that was not intentional. It began with fury and resentment and a thirst for vengeance, but over time -- as he toyed with Baltimore -- he began to realize that he had helped to create something he never imagined. So, while he was first playing games with Baltimore as he pursued his own agenda, in time Haigus' efforts to elude Baltimore became real.

Ben Stenbeck is returning on art duties. It was great to see his rendition of the Red King's world -- a vision of Hell. What sort of visual treats might he have in store for this next chapter?

Ben's work is always so elegant and so bombastic, all at the same time. Sometimes I think people don't notice how amazingly subtle he can be. "Chapel of Bones" has all three of those elements in plentiful supply, but I think in these two issues -- particularly in the second issue, no one will be able to ignore the subtle intimacy he can bring to his work.

You mentioned that Baltimore has lost his leg, his family and, with the rising plague, his world. He is, to use a cliche, a man with nothing left to lose. What's at stake, at this point, for Baltimore?

Prior to "Chapel of Bones," the answer is simple: vengeance. After "Chapel of Bones," the answer becomes much more complex.

"Baltimore: Chapel of Bones" #1 is on sale now. #2 arrives on February 5.

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