For anyone who read the five issue mini-series that preceded this one, there is no doubt as to why Image decided to green light it as an ongoing series. It Rocks!!! Part Laura Croft... Part Indiana Jones... Part League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?... It all added up to a rock-em sock-em five issue set that just begged for more to be told. Read it for yourself. You will not be disappointed, but enough of the past. We are in the here and the now. Five Ghosts issue six begins the ongoing series and it starts off just as you would expect it to...Fabian Gray, our relic hunter of legendary status who suffers from a "spiritual" form of Multiple Personality Disorder, due to an encounter with a Dreamstone that has placed five distinct literary character "ghosts" within him that he utilizes to assist him in his adventures (and often for his very survival); he has received an urgent letter from an acquaintance of his past that is the daughter of his martial arts mentor.
While catching up on old times, Fabian is told the story of a mythical sword (the Masamune) that needs to be recovered in order to stave off a rival clan from taking over the countryside. Fabian takes the job and the adventure winds through many entertaining and easy to read twists and turns that will keep the casual reader as well as the seasoned veteran of the Five Ghosts world turning the pages. It is upbeat, peppy and electric.
The writing of Frank J. Barbiere combined with the art of Garry Brown is superior. This book has a nice harmony between the two parts often utilizing one or the other to make its point while the other enhances said point kind of like surround sound in a movie. It is pleasing to the senses, and quite cool. Creating this effect for the reader is truly a comic rarity as often one will overplay the other or take all the credit for the story's success (or failure). Not here, the tandem is perfect. There are times when a picture tells the full tale and other times where the writing allows the reader to form their own picture. The whole issue has a nice "film noir" feel with a dash of old school cliffhanger; definitely a combination that wins in any arena. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The nice thing here is that Five Ghosts is ongoing now. And if this first issue is any indicator, then I think Five Ghosts will definitely be around for a while. I can't wait for issue eight. It is on my "musts" list from now. Give it a go (as well as the preceding series). It is well worth the time and investment.
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere Artist: Garry Brown Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 10/30/13