Five Ghosts is probably the most fun comic you will read this year. Barbiere has crafted a story that thrives on the page, and is nothing but a pleasure to read. An insanely original concept weaved around a globe trotting adventure make for an issue that is impossible to set down. All things combined make for one of the best books out there today.
WRITTEN BY: Frank J Barbiere
ART BY: Chris Mooneyham
RELEASE: April 17th , 2013
“Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray” is a story that embraces the medium of comic books to the fullest. Barbiere creates a story layered with archetypes that stands on its own as a strong piece of literature. For the uninitiated the story follows infamous treasure hunter Fabian Gray after his encounter with a mysterious artifact known as the dreamstone. Now Fabian is possessed by five literary ghosts and can use their unique abilities.
Which is to say, our hero Fabian is just awesome. He has the magic of the wizard, the skills of the archer, the swordsmanship of the samurai, the intuition of the detective, and the everything else of the vampire. Each ghost’s skills are used sparingly and in creative ways. Fabian is profoundly interesting and conflicted by the use of his powers. Powers which seem to manifest themselves erratically and can also overcome Fabian.
By the above description one would believe that “Five Ghosts” is inherently character driven and lacks a cohesive plot. I am happy to report that such is not the case at all. Barbiere has carefully constructed a story that owes everything to old serial adventures. Memories of Indiana Jones come to mind as the pages progress, which is a damn good thing.
The story picks up in the heat of the action and our protagonist has found himself captured by the enemy. What results are the quickest 32 pages you’ll read this week. The plot flies by with tremendous pacing, and has GIANT SPIDERS! What more could a reader ask for.
Chris Mooneyham’s art is particularly incredible. His arrangement of the panels and the art within them help to create the lightening quick pacing I mentioned before. Yet, Mooneyham still finds the time to linger on a select few images. Often I found myself thinking he couldn’t possible top the last page I had turned. Yet, then I got to the end. Mooneyham lets it all run wild once Fabian uses the powers of the vampire. It’s beautiful, haunting, and impossible to resist. His style suits the pulp adventures Five Ghosts owes so much too, but stands on its own merits.
This book is easily one of the best this year. The characters are incredibly compelling, the premise is near perfect, the plot is fun, and the art is utterly fantastic. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up. It’s what comics were made for.
Reviewed by – Jumbus_Christ