REVIEW: Ghost #0

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With Ghost #0, Dark Horse is reviving a beloved character from the 90s. But is there any life left in an old wraith? The Major Spoilers review tells all.

GHOST #0
Story by: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by: Phil Noto
Letters by: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Cover by: Jenny Frison
Editor: Patrick Thorpe
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $2.99

Previously, in Ghost: This is a reboot of a Dark Horse character from the ‘90s, who I know nothing about. But do note that this issue zero is a collection of the “Resurrection Mary” three-part story published in Dark Horse Presents #s 13-15. So if you’ve read it there, you can skip this.

BRO BRO BRO BRO BLAUGH

Ghost #0 centers on disgraced journalist Vaughn Barnes, reduced to working for a moronic investigator of the Ghost Hunters variety. During one of their investigations, the less-than-dynamic duo accidentally stumble onto a real ghost, who then hangs out in Barnes’ apartment before doing a very awkward thing and pulling out a robber’s still-beating heart. As a protagonist, Barnes is likeably downtrodden and his interactions with the ghost are pretty amusing. The story gets spooky quickly, and it wraps up in a surprisingly touching, original manner.

But Barnes’ boss Tommy Byers is such a bro-tastic, annoying dirtbag that I soon cringed whenever a speech bubble emanated from his gaping mouth, as he delivered lines like “Mary, sweetheart! Wherever you are I want to put my tongue in your mouth!” I think DeConnick was shooting for a character lovably, if sometimes annoyingly, irreverent, but she badly miscalculated how godawful Byers comes across. As the character might say, he seriously harshed the mellow of my read, bro.

HALFWAY DONE

Phil Noto’s ghost is rendered beautifully and lovingly. But man, did he skimp on the background details to an unforgivable extent. His characters are expressive and the ghost is wonderfully ethereal, but when all the action is taking place in front of flat rectangles in varying shades of tan, it gets quite boring. Hopefully in the regular series, Noto will be able to spend more time fleshing out the world of Ghost. He is capable of much better work.

BOTTOM LINE: HOPE THE MAIN SERIES IS BETTER. IT SHOULD BE.

The central mystery of who and what the ghost is definitely drew me in, as did the closing pages. The sensitivity with which the aftereffects of the death are handled was refreshing and intriguing, proving to be the best showcase for DeConnick’s writing ability in this issue. That one scene did more than anything else to excite me for the regular series. But the gaps in Noto’s art unfortunately reduce this issue’s mark, as does the over-the-top asinine nature of Tommy Byers. There is a lot of potential in these creators, but this issue did not fully develop it. Ghost #0 rates a middling two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
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