Review: Five Ghosts: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1

Comic Review

Five Ghosts: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Chris Mooneyham, Lauren Affe

Image Comics
Street: 06.24

Five Ghosts stands poised on the border of metafiction and camp, a serious and self-aware celebration of pulp fiction in all its awesome ridiculousness. After a strange encounter with “The Dreamstone,” treasure hunter Fabian Gray becomes haunted by five ghosts who offer him powers and abilities beyond a mere mortal. Throughout his pulpy, action-filled adventures, he taps into the strength offered to him by The Archer, The Detective, The Wizard, The Samurai and The Vampire. Yet Barbiere seems to be intimately aware with the archetypes he’s playing with, and the conflict quickly escalates to the level of literary tropes and the power of fiction and dreaming on reality. Mooneyham’s art fills every page with old-school color, drama and excitement, but his high-contrast style perfectly evokes a modern feel through the nostalgia. Five Ghosts is clever enough to know when it needs to be simple, but bold enough to find conflict in its literary premise. While some might turn up their noses at the blatant tropes and familiar formulas, those of us who love a good adventure story will be easily taken in. Plus, it’s not all too often you get to see H.P. Lovecraft himself cast as a villain. –Henry Glasheen