Friday, September 28, 2012


Ghost #0, Cover Art by Jenny Frison

I’ve always liked stories about human interaction with ghosts. I’m not talking about innocent teens in bikinis in a cabin being terrorized by evil, demonic ghosts kind of ghosts. I’m talking about the good ghosts. I’m talking Randall and Hopkirk, Topper, Lou Costello and Marjorie Reynolds in The Time Of Their Lives, Charles Laughton in The Canterville Ghost, Ghost and Mrs. Muir (movie AND tv series). I’m talking Casper and Funky Phantom (that’s right, I went there with Funky Phantom, you didn’t’ think I would, did ya?)
Randall(right) & ghost pal Hopkirk(left)
Ghost in the 90s
There hasn’t been a whole lot to choose from regarding some of the more serious stories among the selection listed above. Which was probably why I enjoyed the character “Ghost” when she first debuted back in the early 90s. Part of Dark Horse’s “Comics Greatest World” line, Ghost was a, well, ghost. The ghost of a woman who was trying to figure out who she was and why she was a ghost. The comic didn’t have the best writing in the world and seemed to lack direction from what I remember. It did have some lovely Adam Hughes art as I recall (the original series has been collected in several Omnibus Editions). But while it might have dragged on interminably at times, it was the premise that kept me tagging along. I liked how the character had that throne of jade (the only substance she was unable to walk through) in her cemetery lair and enjoyed the character's look and abilities.
The Ghost returns.  Words by DeConnick, Art by Noto
So I was excited to see that Dark Horse had revived the character and was interested in seeing what Kelly Sue “Captain Marvel” DeConnick and Phil “X-23” Noto would do with the character. Ghost #0 collects the three serialized “Ghost” stories that ran in Dark Horse Presents issues 13-15. The story has the host of one of those cheesy “Ghost Hunters” type shows actually seeing a real ghost of a woman dressed in white named Resurrection Mary. Vaughn, the host’s partner, is fascinated by the woman in white and has somehow gotten a hold of a device whose purpose seems to be to capture the white cloaked wraith. But things get even weirder when Vaughn discovers that the ghost can become tangible. Tangible enough to save Vaughn and his friend from being killed by hoods representing the owner of the mysterious device.
This isn’t a big flashy story. It quietly lures you in with a bit of fun and mystery and builds up a nice level of suspense as it goes along. I’m not sure where DeConnick is going with this but I like how she is packaging and presenting this mystery/ghost story. I also like what Phil Noto is doing with the art. Noto reminds me of a quieter, subtler version of Leinil Yu. Noto has a clean, defined style and he gives us characters with interesting expressions. And that seems to fit the tone that DeConnick is going with. I like what I see so far. I liked the scene where they have that green night vision camera thing that you always see in those Ghost Hunter tv shows. The story has humor to it, which is a good thing but it also has some shock value as well. It is a ghost story, after all. DeConnick and Noto seem to be a nice fit for this character. My experience reading this was similar to the enjoyment I had reading Jim McCann’s Mind The Gap, and that’s a good thing. I’m definitely going to tag along with DeConnick, Noto and Ghost.


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