With the keys to Hell hanging in the balance, Elisa Cameron finally faces off against her demons, both literal and personal. It’s the final chapter of Ghost’s first story arc and things are rapidly heating up. Will it keep burning hot or will it fizzle out? More after the jump!

ghost4GHOST #4
Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Artist: Phil Noto
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Editor: Patrick Thorpe
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Ghost: After discovering her name, memories and who killed her exactly, Elisa Cameron formulated a plan to destroy the key that’s allowing demons from an alternate plane to traverse back and forth between the human realm and Hell. In order to get said key, she needs to storm the mayor’s Black and White ball. Also, Vaughn became possessed.

HOLY HELL!

Elisa confronts both her murderers while simultaneously recounting the events of her death. It’s not without its challenges though, as she’s attacked by Bobby Chambers, mayor of Chicago and current meat suit of what’s assumed to be a high-ranking demon of some sort, and his groupie. Things quickly deteriorate as Vaughn’s former squeeze Caroline is taken hostage by the evil duo, leading to a fun battle complete with fire, demonic possession and guns aplenty.

I really enjoy Deconnick’s writing. I’ve enjoyed her run so far with Captain Marvel and I’ve enjoyed her writing with Ghost as well. She’s able to create strong female leads without overloading on the cheesy “girl power” antics that tend to turn people, including other women, off. Elisa Cameron doesn’t act the victim in this series. There’s no brooding and feeling sorry for herself, at least not much. Instead, she has a very proactive attitude that gets the job done.

Deconnick does tell the story very deftly in this issue. The compare and contrast of the past events with those of the present helps tell a compelling story that thoroughly answers any questions that readers may have had from the beginning of the story arc. It also provides a narrative foil that suits the tone and action of the book. Should one have occurred before the other, the story wouldn’t have been told quite as well. It attests to Deconnick’s writing skill that she had the insight to make that creative choice, one that adds to the plot instead of confusing and muddling it.

Mostly.

My only complaint with this issue is how difficult it is distinguishing the male characters from one another. I understand that one is possessed and one is the devil, but it does become confusing after awhile trying to decipher which is which. There seems to only be one male lead that has any sort of personality worth remembering and that’s because he’s the quirky comic relief.

SO… WHO’S VAUGHN AND WHO’S BOBBY?

One of the charming things about Noto’s work is its simplicity. There isn’t a ton of unnecessary detail in this issue or any of the previous issues. It adds a graceful element to these books, one that fits with a story about a woman who’s gained ghostly superpowers. The women are also rendered quite nicely, with each one being in relatively good proportion, not the stylized norm of a giant bust and wasp waist that tends to define women in comics to non-comic readers.

However, the same can’t be said for the men. While they are also in proportion, they all look way too similar with only their hairstyles to distinguish them. Since only one has a different hairstyle, the rest of the male cast starts to blend one into the other. This all becomes even more confusing when we put every member of the male cast in suits and send them to a Black and White ball. Following who was who when they all look the same became an endurance trial.

The coloring choices in this issue were interesting, though. The moments of Elisa’s memory had a different color scheme–black and white with only Elisa herself in color–than the rest of the book. It made following the difference in time and place not only easy to visually follow but artistically interesting as well.

BOTTOM LINE: A NICE FINALE TO THE STORY ARC

I really enjoyed this finale to the main storyline and I like how they set the reader up for things to come. Ghost continues to be a good character to follow and the plot is enough to make me come back for the next issue. However, I would like to see a bit more variance for their male leads. It’s nice to be able to just look at a character and know whom I’m looking at instead of having to keep taking notes. Overall, Ghost earns three out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The Author

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

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