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Review: ‘Ghost’ #1

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The numbering of Ghost #1, by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Phil Noto, is more than a little misleading. The issue picks up where “Ghost” #0 left off, so if you haven’t read that issue, you might find yourself at a bit of a loss jumping head first into this not-quite #1. The pickle that the title’s three main characters find themselves in is established in #0, when disgraced journalist Vaughn Barnes and his less than savvy partner Tommy Byers awaken the eponymous apparition. This issue of “Ghost” isn’t terrifically action packed but it does let us into the mind of the as yet unidentified Ghost and introduces a villain of Biblical proportions.

WRITTEN BY: Kelly Sue DeConnick
ART BY: Phil Noto
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE October 24, 2012

The very first page, DeConnick and Noto are at their finest. The book opens with Ghost relating the story of Athena’s birth. Ghost can’t remember her own name or family, but she remembers with vivid detail the origin of the goddess of wisdom, who sprung forth from the cleaved head of her father, Zeus. In a jaw-dropping full page splash, Ghost dons her own ephemeral armor, flowing white drapery fit for a Grecian legend.

The story takes a turn towards exposition as we join Ghost, Vaughn and Tommy a diner where they plan their next move. The trio is left with more questions than answers as they deduce that Ghost isn’t the spirit they intended to call – Resurrection Mary – and they still have no clue as to her real identity or her origins. Their meal is interrupted when Ghost hulks out – a reaction to mysterious blonde woman torturing Alex, the man who sold Tommy the magical ghost summoning box that started it all.

DeConnick has proven herself time and again to be a masterful storyteller, capable of crafting believable heroines full of nuance and spunk. Ghost’s buddies Tommy and Vaughn are somewhat less fully realized than the ghost with no name. They’re yanked into Ghost’s gravitational pull, just as we are, and so far it feels like they’re simply on for the ride. Hopefully, we’ll get to see their personalities flesh out in coming issues.

Noto’s art is as consistent as it is lovely and there’s something delightfully retro in his style that works with Ghost’s angular features and flowing lines. Noto’s work is virtually unassailable and it almost feels like unfair nitpicking to point out that all of his men have the same exact jawline.

Overall, “Ghost” #1 is a pleasure to read, with gorgeous visuals and a story that’s bound to leave you yearning for more. It’s a promising start for DeConnick and Noto and it’s definitely worthy of being added to the monthly pull list.

4/5 Skulls

Written by MelissaGrey