Five Ghosts has been an excellent alternative comic treat to really all of the comic offerings out there today. It ushers itself back to those pulp classics of the past in style of writing and art. But it also has a fresh modern sensibility to it that has made it one of my favorite titles. I just can't get enough of the story of Fabian Gray, adventurer and altogether "tough guy" who has inherited the power of five literary "ghosts" of whom he utilizes when needed to make it through his many expeditions. The "Lost Coastlines" story arc has been going on for the previous five issues. And we now have reached our dramatic conclusion. My only fear has been that after so many great issues with super build up, would we finally have a let down from Frank Barbiere, Chris Mooneyham and company? My answer to that is a resounding "Hell No!" Issue #12 culminates the previous issues and wraps everything up quite nicely, with dare I say an "emotional" finish that is matched by the action. Fabian has reached the Isle of Dreams and it is discovered that a mighty tempest is coming that requires blood to be quenched. Life and death of everyone is at stake as Fabian must do battle with a hideous monstrosity that once was his mentor. Win, and gain your fondest wish (and kill your mentor that you once called family). Lose... and well, let's just say that losing is really not an option. How everything plays out and the decisions made by Fabian are gut wrenching and just kick ass awesome that makes this finale the crowning jewel on the entire arc.
Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham are simply an incredible team. Their ebb and flow between writing and art is simply extraordinary. The visuals tell the story as much as the writing and everything is left on the table in this wrap up. Watching Fabian try to make the best of a horrible situation is unbelievably nerve racking, yet appropriate for the work. Sacrifices will be made no matter what happens. People will suffer. And old Fabian will simply have to live with that and bury it away with all of his other baggage, that is pretty extensive baggage already. The guy is a complex character.
With the wonderful ending of "Lost Coastlines", I am left being slightly sad. This has been such a great story and I hate to see it go. But with the sadness comes excitement in an epilogue and the knowledge that Fabian will return in the near future. This was a fantastic run guys. Here is hoping for more.
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere Artist: Chris Mooneyham Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 6/4/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital