Review: Ghost #0

by

Former journalist Vaughn Barnes has been reduced to moonlighting as cameraman for the shoddy paranormal-investigation cable TV show Phantom Finders. But when a curious device summons the specter of a beautiful, translucent woman, Vaughn is plunged into a mystery of criminal intrigue that spans two worlds! Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto launch their exciting new take on one of Dark Horse’s most popular characters ever!

One of the things that really piqued my interest in Dark Horse’s new Ghost miniseries was the creative team involved. You have Kelly Sue DeConnick writing the new take on one of the most popular DH characters. DeConnick has gained a massive amount of attention recently with her new Captain Marvel title which has been receiving pretty great reviews. DeConnick is accompanied by artist Phil Noto. You may remember that I raved over Noto’s work in Creator-Owned heroes over the last couple of months. Noto is always a great artist to see attached to a book. With this stellar line-up working on a miniseries about a very popular character, it was hard not to get a little excited. The 4 issue miniseries gets going with Ghost 0.

Our story opens with Tommy Byers, the host of Phantom Finder, and cameraman and former newspaperman Vaughn Barnes outside of one of Chicagoland’s most famously haunted graveyard. They are in search of Resurrection Mary.  Tommy has an amazing new gadget in his ghost hunting arsenal that is sure to find them the spirit they are looking for. Believe it or not, it works. We see a ghost, the titular Ghost. Things spiral from there. Tommy is trying to alert the media that he has found a real, honest to goodness ghost. From there, the duo falls into a bit of trouble over purchasing the machine. Their spectral friend gets involved, and before long the now trio goes on the lam. It’s a great story that sets things up nicely for the miniseries.

DeConnick crafts a very interesting story that fully utilizes all three characters. Sometime when you get an introduction to a series, you get a lot of things happening without a lot of information given about the characters. DeConnick develops Tommy and Vaughn surprisingly well for a prequel issue for lack of a better term. It will be exciting to see where she goes with the story. You get enough of a hint, but she leaves you waiting for more. Noto does a fantastic job on art. As usual with Noto, feelings and emotions are conveyed beautifully.

Bottom Line: DeConnick and Noto have a good set up to the miniseries. One of the only things I can knock is some of the panel layout choices. There is a long stretch in the latter half of the story that sees 4 widescreen panels stacked on top of each other. In places this makes the speech bubbles pile up and block the entirety of the space between the two characters interacting. I like the widescreen shots that can really showcase artistic creativity, but this is a case where scaling it back by one or two wouldn’t have hurt. That small quibble aside, it’s a strong introduction. I give Ghost a 4/5.

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