COMIC REVIEW: Five Ghosts #9

Five Ghosts follows Fabian Gray, infamous thief and treasure hunter. As part of an incident with an item known as the “Dreamstone,” Fabian is now “haunted” by five literary ghosts: The Archer, The Detective, The Vampire, The Wizard, and The Samurai. Borrowing their powers, he steals the unstealable, but he still can’t get back the thing he wants most.

Writer Frank Barbiere is joined again by regular series artist Chris Mooneyham as the second arc gets further underway with more pirates, more action, and more ghosts. This issue also continues the Doc Unknown backups by Fabian Rangel, Jr. and Ryan Cody, another great pulp story.

“LOST COASTLINES,” Part Three

A dark shadow from Fabian’s past closes in.

Barbiere changes things up a bit by getting away from the usually linear timeline of the issues and sprinkling multiple flashbacks into this one. While it stumbles a bit in places, it ultimately works and starts with Fabian in dire circumstances before revealing how he came to be there. The flashbacks allow for some great filling in of Fabian’s past, further introducing the often mysterious character to the reader. The further introduction of both new “ghosts” and figures from Fabian’s past helps to make this pulp adventure even more fun and action-packed.

Mooneyham continues to kill it on art. The art is perfect for the story, capturing all the pulp sensibilities and action, while also making the softer, quieter moments very human. The flashback sequences are interesting as they look much sparser, like they’re Mooneyham’s pencils alone rather than full art, but that may be wrong. Colorist Lauren Affe and her colors make the book a complete next-level project.

As always, Five Ghosts impresses. It’s one of the most consistently good comics on stands and is a must buy each and every month. As Barbiere and Mooneyham continue to explore and expand the world, Five Ghosts is sure to get even better and more grand in scope. The bonus of the Doc Unknown story from Rangel and Cody makes this book even more of a great buy, putting two great pulp stories in one book.

 Five Ghosts #9 Cover

Publisher: Image Comics

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Leo Johnson

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