“Five Ghosts” #7 brings more pulp flavored goodness with the promise of another riveting adventure, a protagonist who never fails to amuse, and a supporting cast that chew the scenery whenever they can. All of which is brought to life by Chris Mooneyham’s incredible pencils.
Frank Barbiere and original artist Chris Mooneyham reunite this month to bring the first chapter of “Lost Coastlines” an adventure that sees Fabian entering the world of swashbuckling pirates and mysterious islands. Another thrilling adventure begins in one of the best series of 2013.
The five ghosts that inhabit Fabian Grey come together to make him the ultimate pulp hero. The thought that he may lose said powers at any moment makes him all the more alluring, and the fact that he blindly lusts to toil with the dreamstone yet again makes him a little daft. It’s a recipe for disaster that’s impossible to resist.
As the issue begins we’re treated to Fabian at rest, if you want to call it that. He’s still hard at work, but not like we’re used to seeing. He’s actually sitting down. Sebastian interrupts his work with the delivery of a package, and we’re off on another adventure.
The set up is intriguing enough; yet, Barbiere makes the choice to flesh out some supporting cast for this new adventure. We’re introduced to Jezebel in the grandest of fashions. Barbiere’s script introduces the sultry cat-burgler in quite possibly the best sequence of the issue.
If you forgot the majesty of Chris Mooneyham’s work, then you’ll immediately remember his charm upon Jezebel’s jaunt through Barcelona. It’s an incredibly well paneled sequence of her abilities and intellect. Mooneyham hits full stride with something as subtle as a flashlight falling from a limp hand. Only to show off even further on the next page as he intelligently displays Jezebel’s ability to crack a safe.
He briefly dips his toes into pirate-infested waters inside a run down bar during his introduction of Asif Quintano. Something that I’m sure we’ll see more of as the arc continues.
The issue is light on the action but still moves with near flawless pace. The relevant details of the oncoming adventure are laid out on the table, and the complicated history of Fabian and Jezebel is established. Never trust a cat burglar I say, but we’ll see. Right now she’s all he’s got.
The set up for the next issue and the remainder of the arc offer a tantalizing tease at what’s to come. Fabian’s charm will only get him so far, and his inability to see the inherent danger in pursuing the dreamstone only adds to the intrigue of the character. Is he really that naïve? Does he believe redemption lies in the revival of Silvia?
These are questions only Barberie can answer, and I’m sure he will. In the meantime the promise of a swashbuckling adventure has just begun and I can’t wait to see more.
Rating: 4/5 Skulls.
It should also be noted that Barbiere’s pulp bro Fabain Rangel Jr and Ryan Cody have a fantastic Doc Unknown backup in this issue. Rangel does a fantastic job at quickly introducing his protagonist for the uninitiated. Cody’s art is clean and echoes Bruce Timm’s work on Batman: The Animated Series. The story kicks into high gear almost immediately and serves as the perfect pulp dessert after the main course.