Man, it has only been a couple of months, but I have found myself going into some Five Ghosts withdrawals as I awaited anxiously for Issue #15 to be released. It has been too long since I last followed the adventures of Fabian Gray and his inherited five literary “ghosts” who give him powers above your average everyday action adventurer. Because of these powers, Fabian gets into some serious stuff with dealings from the like of ninjas, bandits, pirates, supernatural foes, and other interesting people and things. When we last left Fabian in Issue #14, he was on the search for his close friend and colleague Sebastian in the deep woods of Romania. While searching, an encounter and eventual bite by some hybrid zombie vampire types caused him to release his control to his vampire “ghost” in dealing with the threat. Of course, all hell broke loose and Fabian found himself turning on the man who he had also encountered during his search in the woods, a vampire hunter by the name of Abraham Van Helsing. Yes, that one. Issue #15 follows up with the battle at hand between these two heavyweights as well as providing some insight into Sabastian’s situation and what appears to be going to be a part of Fabian (and Van Helsing)’s future….Maybe, that is, if they survive the battle with each other.
There is one hellacious battle to be had first and writer Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham do not disappoint in the least. This issue is two-fisted action that rolls with the punches and puts the reader in a place of awe. It is spectacular. We get a two part fight with intermittent interruptions at the appropriate times to inform us of Sabastian’s situation at the hands of as of yet unnamed mad scientist and his little impy demonic flunky, as well as Fabian’s own battle in wresting control back from his “ghost”. We also get a break during the action from a flashback to Fabian’s past that sheds some additional light into our hero’s inner demons that are non “ghost” related. It all spells for what is becoming the norm for this title. One solidly produced cliffhanger issue to the max.
One of the things that I have continually sang my praises on with this title has been related to the way Barbiere and Mooneyham work together to convey the whole story. Some areas have just art telling the tale. While other areas use the writing. This issue represents the best to date of this collaboration as the fight sequence has nearly no dialogue whatsoever. The art does the talking, and it does a damn fine job in doing so. I just can’t say enough at how awesome it is. Unbelievable work is on dsplay.
Adding to this issue is the heavily inked and less colored “flashback” that conveys intense emotion, followed by the return of the deep aged and vintage coloring style rendered by Laura Affe who just blows this issue up completely. It seems like I say this with each issue, but I think that this one is my favorite of the entire series so far.
Five Ghosts is a series that is of a different time. Bringing back the elements of the old cliffhanger serial style movie, this title is like Indiana Jones on supernatural steroids. It is like nothing that is out on the market today and it is as entertaining as anything that you will encounter. Do yourself a big favor and pick up this title. Don’t wait for the television show to be put out on the SyFy Channel. Get on board from the beginning so you can say that you were there before. You will not be sorry that you did.
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere Artist: Chris Mooneyham Colorist: Lauren Affe Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 2/11/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital