Lady Baltimore: The Dream of Ikelos #1
Lady Sofia Baltimore, accompanied by an array of formidable companions, continues her war against the Nazis in an occult alternate Outerverse. High in the frozen Italian alps, a mercenary sorcerer has revealed a dangerous magical artifact. German forces will use it to obliterate Allied forces who stand against them . . . unless Sofia and Imogen can take possession of it first.
The ’22 page one-shot’ is a narrative format from the past that was once an industry standard, but has now been reduced to a rare treat that creators will every so often return too. The format’s fall to the wayside can be attributed to many things, but the largest factor is how its limited page count often stifles the narrative’s potential. As a story trapped in this format, LADY BALTIMORE: THE DREAM OF IKELOS #1 utilizes its slim space to tell a tightly packed punch of a story with a nice heart at its center.
Mignola & Golden keep this issue light on plot, with a heavy focus on its characters. Sofia and Imogen’s chase to re-claim the Dream of Ikelos from the Nazi’s is a fun throwback to an era of adventure stories of old, and blends its plot directly into the goal of developing the main character’s out from their traumatic pasts and into a future where they can face their pain head on. The villian’s main goal of using the Ilkeos to erase witches from the face of the planet is emblematic of Sofia and Imogen’s internal struggles, literally manifesting into physical representations of their lifelong pains thanks to the idol’s power. It’s an emotionally rich tale, and while it could have been done with more gravitas and impact if expanded from the contained format, the level in which they boil their story down to it’s base components is masterful. The plot never misses a beat, unfolds naturally, and doesn’t feel rushed in any regard. That being said, Mignola has all but exhausted the supernatural-nazi trope in his work, so at times this story reads as a redundant repeat of something we’ve seen time and time again from him.
Bridgit Conell’s art, paired with Michelle Madsen’s coloring, brings about a historic and enthralling atmosphere that engages the reader completely with the past. Even better, Conell takes into consideration the potential flow of Clem Robin’s lettering. The art is perfectly constructed for the reader’s eye to flow alongside, ripe with character expressions and visual storytelling that really brings the book’s themes into full view.
LADY BALTIMORE: THE DREAM OF IKELOS #1 is a poster child for near perfection in comic book construction. While the plot may be somewhat underwhelming due to its length, the team still manages to pen a narrative with enough narrative substance and weighted themes to craft a story still worth reading.
Lady Baltimore: The Dream of Ikelos #1 – The Idol of Nightmares
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 7.5/107.5/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10