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Review: Five Ghosts #4

fiveghosts04_coverI hope that, by now, most readers are either aware of or avid fans of pulp adventurer Fabian Gray and his fantastical journeys. Only four issues in and this Barbiere/Mooneyham collaboration continues to thrive.  In Part Four, we find our tortured protagonist submerged in a mystical spring in an attempt to confront and control, through a series of tests, the five apparitions that have invaded his being.  All the while his trustworthy sidekick, Sebastian, and newfound pretty-sure-he’s-a-good-guy-but-kinda-sketchy friend Zhang Guo, defend the Forgotten City from Iago’s onslaught.

While I’m quite aware of the space constraints writers face in this literary medium, I wish some of Fabian’s tests were a bit longer and more fleshed out.  In his defense, Barbiere was able to incorporate some poignant messages, particularly in the Samurai scene (did the mask make anyone else instantly think of Sucker Punch?).

Mooneyham’s art continues to match, and sometimes exceed, the brilliance of the storyline. Although I could have done without Iago’s sword-licking scene. I don’t know what it is about tongues in comic books, but if they aren’t drawn right they look…dare I say…comical. Lauren Affe’s muted oranges, grays, and yellows beautifully complete the picture…all other colors are just an afterthought.

I mistakenly read all four issues in one sitting. I am now aching for Part Five. If the next book is as good as its predecessors, this series will compete with Helheim as one of the best reads of the year.

Story: Frank J. Barbiere Art: Christopher Mooneyham
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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