I thought the artwork in Five Ghosts was excellent but the first volume didn’t really do it for my story and character wise. The series was recommended to me on the London Bookshop Crawl so I imagine it’s one that improves if you persevere. This felt too much like an introduction, where as other Image Comics first volumes have read have plunged me right into the story and wanting to read more.
Fabian Gray is an Indiana Jones type figure, an adventurer and treasure hunter. When he and his sister try to steal the Dreamstone, things go wrong leaving his sister in a coma and him haunted by five literary ghosts. There’s some Nazis too and each ghost gives him a test…I’m not entirely sure why. The tests are all over very quickly and I didn’t really get the point of it all. There’s probably a lot of mileage in literary ghosts but, to me, the ghosts could have been anyone.
Other than Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t sure who the ghosts were meant to be either. A quick look at Wikipedia tells me: “Ghosts” referred to as “The Wizard”, “The Archer”, “The Detective”, “The Samurai” and “The Vampire”. It has been suggested these correspond to Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamoto Musashi, and Count Dracula.
Anyway, I did really like the style of Chris Mooneyham’s artwork, there’s some interesting use of colour palettes and a range of styles. Each episode has a vintage style comic cover (by Ben Templesmith) and there’s plenty of full page drawings, as always with Image, which stand up well on their own.
I would probably read a bit more if they turned up in a Humble Bundle, for instance, but I wouldn’t go out my way to get more issues.
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Book Source: Purchased
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