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[Advance Review] ‘Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray’ #3

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Five Ghosts continues to be an excellent tribute to the pulp stories of old. Barbiere picks up where we left off last month. We are locked into the aftermath of Fabian’s outburst into vampire form, and given some great exposition about the mysterious dreamstone. The creators take a massive step in the right direction this month and prove why “Five Ghosts” is one of the best books on the shelves.

WRITTEN BY: Frank J Barbiere
ART BY: Chris Mooneyham
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $3.50
RELEASE: May 22th, 2013

The mythology Barbiere builds here is incredible. We’re lead to believe that it is harnessing the sheer power of dreams that allows for a good story. The collective unconscious, and its essence within all of us seem to be the key to any good literary character. Which provide ample amounts of questions for Fabian’s powers.

We are transported to the forgotten city, which like any forgotten city, is illustrious and beautiful. We come to learn that Fabian’s vampire transformation has weakened him significantly. Through a beautiful two page spread we learn the history of the dreamstone and Fabian’s power. Just as the exposition seems to be getting a little slow, an attack is launched and Fabian reignites his powers. The most interesting element of all this is the revelation that Fabian’s powers will seemingly kill him if he doesn’t soon learn how to control them.

Chris Mooneyham’s art continues to be breathtaking. The two page spread detailing the history of the dreamstone is just impeccable. He varies his style to create a real sense of history and never ceases to keep things interesting. Clean action just jumps off of the page, and close-ups give an incredible sense of character reaction in the pivotal moments. The pulp style remains in tact and holds the entire issue together. The use of sound effects to break up the panels is refreshing. While the amazing use of perspective allow the scope of the story to remain huge.

Mooneyham’s ability to linger in a moment is fantastic and allows the emotional beats of the story to resonate through the art. Sadly there is no insanity like the vampire panels in this issue. However, I’m happy to report that Mooneyham made sure to go out with a bang. The final page not only sets up the next issue spectacularly, but leaves me wanting the next issue NOW.

Five Ghosts is an incredible tribute to pulp stories that you just can’t find anywhere else these days. Baberie and Mooneyham understand the power of comics as a medium and “Five Ghosts” is an epic display of their mastery. They fully utilize their ideas in a way that could never translate to any other medium. I’m so hooked I feel dependent on the book. I guarantee that by the end of the year, “Five Ghosts” is what everyone will be talking about.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ