“Five Ghosts” #12 provides an incredible finale to the stupendous Lost Coastlines arc. Fabian is tested in every measure and Frank J Barbiere reminds us of the hero’s ultimate quest with a fantastic turn that’s bound to bring the series in a new direction.
This is pure comics perfection.
I’m always stunned with how tightly crafted this series feels. Barbiere wastes no time getting into his finale and does so with bloodshed, history, and an immense challenge for his hero. There is a ton happening on these pages but none of it ever feels forced or out of place, rather everything has bled into this moment organically.
Fabian is challenged by his past, and forced to confront his demons. It’s a beautiful way to bring the whole arc full circle and provides one hell of a battle for Chris Mooneyham to sink his teeth into. Everything moves quickly but the focus is purely on Fabian. His ghosts take a seat out to watch the fight and Mooneyham quickly takes hold. Fabian is raw and determined in this confrontation, but it doesn’t prove enough.
The result is a huge finish to a conflict that’s been bubbling for a long time. The script pushes Fabian to the edge, and forces him into a corner. Luckily he lashes out wildly and the resulting pages are a flurry of awesome death. Amongst all the magic and wonder the book still finds time to inject horror into Fabian’s world. The power he must draw from is dark and draining, and only time will tell how this will permanently affect the hero.
For now it seems for the better. The ultimate choice made within these closing pages comes to define a new era for the book with a glimmer of hope. I’m still not convinced Fabian’s a good dude, but he’s making efforts to become something better. The ultimate question is whether or not he’s capable of it. Something I hope to see more of in the forthcoming arc.
The team on “Five Ghosts” have created a beautiful and polished love letter to pulp storytelling that can stand among giants. It’s terribly entertaining. The magical color work of Lauren Affe will take you to another world and dare you to leave. The visceral art of Chris Mooneyham will sink it’s claws into you and defy everything you know about paneling. While Frank J Barbiere’s script will push you through 24 pages faster than previously thought possible.
Lost Coastlines was decidedly different than what came before, and the risk paid off. “Five Ghosts” is still an insanely good time with relentlessly paced storytelling that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I’m sad to see it go for a couple months, but already can’t wait for it to return.
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