I’m on vacation! But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t carve out some time for you guys, so here’s a look at a book I think more people should check out: Five Ghosts!
Five Ghosts Volume 2: Lost Coastlines (Image Comics)
Five Ghosts is a pretty strange series. It follows an adventurer named Fabian Gray who is in possession of a piece of “ the dreamstone”, an artifact that allows him to tap into the abilities of five “literary ghosts”. These ghosts, the wizard, the archer, the samurai, the detective, and the vampire, are obvious references to famous characters like Dracula and Robin Hood, and it creates a really fun twist on the Uncharted/Indiana Jones adventures that Grey goes on.
This series, written by Frank J. Berbiere and featuring art by Chris Mooneyham, has just recently been optioned by a television production company, so now is probably the time to check it out. Luckily, the 2nd collection, Lost Coastlines, has just been released. While it’s not as strong as the debut volume, it’s still a very cool and accessible entry for fans of the adventures of Nathan Drake and Dr. Jones.
Coastlines finds Gray on another quest to try and revive his sister, who has been in a coma since discovering the dreamstone with Gray. This time, his adventures bring him to the Island of Dreams, where Fabian confronts an old enemy, as well as another being who is in possession of a piece of the dreamstone. Unfortunately, much of the plot that Barbiere sets up isn’t fleshed out nearly as much as the previous volume. Barbiere has some really cool ides, but it seems like he rushes way too much to get to certain points in the story, almost like he’s checking things off his list of plot points. There are a lot of cool moments that could’ve been fleshed out more than they are.
However, Chris Mooneyham’s art is just as incredible as it was in the previous volume. He’s got a great sense of motion and action in his pencils, and I love the subtle ways he showcases Gray tapping into the abilities of the ghosts. Not only that, but his depiction of “the vampire” ghost, and the way Fabian’s appearance changes when he accesses it, is incredible, and makes me hope that someone at the big two takes notice of the guy’s work (he’d be awesome on a revamp of Tomb of Dracula at Marvel).
While this volume of Five Ghosts was a little bit of a letdown, I’m still going to pick up the next collection when it’s released. The premise is a lot of fun, and I can’t recommend the first volume enough. Fans of old school pulp adventures or Indiana Jones should absolutely check them out, if only so you can say you liked it before everyone else did.