Sunday, December 1, 2013

CBR Ghost (2013 reboot)

GHOST is back in an all-new series for a new generation!

Let's dig into this rebooted series and have a look!

Like this series? Check out these following Ghost-related reviews:

Comic title: Ghost Volume 1: In the Smoke and Din 
Art by Phil Noto
Story by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 2013
Lineup Ghost series
Format: Trade paperback collecting Ghost #0-4.

In 2012, Dark Horse Comics saw the current status quo in comics (DC having just "rebooted" their whole lineup via the New 52 and Marvel starting to "rebrand" their series under the Marvel Now banner) as a great time to offer a fresh new start on several of their own in-house proprieties.

Everybody's been doing it lately, from the all-new Ninja Turtles or Rocketeer material at IDW to old vintage series dusted at Dynamite Entertainment such as Green Hornet, Red Sonja or The Spider.

Eric Luke's classic Ghost series got a chance to be brought back for the new millennium. The character was always a very enduring original creation and after two long running series sort of disappeared from the scene..

The timing was perfect, Ghost would be back now written by comic superstar Kelly Sue DeConnick, already responsible for the great reimagining of Captain Marvel at Marvel Comics.

The story now takes place in the real life location of Chicago, Illinois.

We met paranormal investigators Tommy Byers and Vaughn Barnes filming their TV reality/documentary show "Phantom Finders" in a very sinister cemetery. Tommy is the man-child "bro attitude" host. And Vaughn is his cameraman, an ex-journalist with a falling with his ex-wife due to alcohol.

Those two don't really "like" each other and their entire work relationship can be summarize to: bullshit.

But one night they are able to catch on the camera the apparition of the famous supposedly ghost of "Resurrection Mary". All thanks to a mysterious box they are able to actually summon a ghost!

Vaughn and Tommy try to cash in on this discovery, but nobody takes them seriously. Finally they decide to search for the identity of the mysterious dead woman. But as they try to understand this Ghost, the people behind the box arrive to settle the score. Apparently Tommy was able to obtain the box from dangerous people...

Ghost uses her intangible form to grab the heart of the thug, pulling it out of his chest.

Meanwhile we met Vaughn ex-wife now dating the mayor. It turns out the mayor appears to either be possessed by a demon or at least a strange creature disguising himself under the smiling face of a human.

It's a thriller tale as our trio tries to uncover the truth behind the death of a Elisa Cameron, a cub reporter murdered 5 years ago, in the middle of corrupted politics.

The beautiful Elisa appears to be trapped between two worlds that now appear to come crashing on each other. And if the demonic mayor wasn't enough, there's also this scientist named Dr. October after the heart of the mayor herself.

This reimagining of the 1990s heroine is such a fun book! It just comes as such a fresh and original concept.

I already liked the original Ghost character, originally first created in the pages of Comics’ Greatest World back in '93.

DeConnick really knows how to make her characters real. This new book as much more of a superhero tone, with Elisa being able to switch back between her Ghost persona and a civilian guise.

Fans will be able to recognize and even anticipate some plot points, but in the end it's a whole new book and a new direction for the character.

Our heroine is back in an all-new series free from any previous continuity or origin. It's a new introduction for Ghost!

The "ghost hunting" angle feels fresh and modern, fitting for our modern era.

Fictional ghosts tend to be tethered to our world via some unfinished business or some left anger. DeConnick uses that as a starting point to recreate Ghost and introduce her. Ghost's amnesia is a great way to clean the states for the series itself.

I liked the great characterization for both Ghost and her two new sidekicks. They're all very human and great interesting protagonists each on their own. The villains also have great charisma. The new reimagined Dr. October is a great new take on the character, a full-on psychopath now. For the demon, we'll see, we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg for now... 

The mystery behind our heroine's afterlife isn't the motor of this new series unlike the original series where many revelations in the end detracted from the whole "Ghost" character. Instead the demons and their dimension appear to be the force moving the plot forward this time.

Ghost starts voiceless and full of anger but we get to know her through Phil Noto's artwork.

I've always been a huge fan the art of Phil Noto. He gives his characters a certain realism, which keeps the book grounded.

Elisa can both appear vulnerable and quite badass from one second to another. Always hungry, she seems rather unpredictable but just as lost as the reader, trying to find the truth hidden from her.

This first book started first in an issue #0 before being launched through a mini-series which compose this first trade paperback.

Ghosts, demons and conspiracies all mixed in this powerful fantasy thriller!

This is only the first chapter of Ghost's new on-going series!

The book promises us future road trips in this new quest to put a stop from invading demons!

Quotes open the chapters, very reminiscent of the original series, taken from the likes of Erik Larson and others, comparing Ghost to the Goddess Athena.

Finally Dark Horse didn't get (or decide to) Adam Hughes on this book, but at least we have now Alex Ross as the cover artist. Strangely, Alex Ross didn't go for his usual photo-realistic approach here but instead went for a more illustrated (cartoonier) tone, probably reminiscent of M. Hughes work himself.

Overall, a highly recommended new superhero thriller series!

Now, this is how you bring back a classic series from the dead! Fun, entertaining and quite original.

It's granted to be a great start to please both newcomers and older fans alike.

My only minor complaint?

That would be replacing the fictional city of Arcadia with our real world Chicago. I just fear putting Ghost in a real city limits what could be achieved through an entirely fictive city which the writers and artists can play around with. At least the series seems to be moving forward getting Elisa out of town on an adventure around the world after the demons, so that takes care of her link to the place of her death.

I give it:
3 / 3 FlamingCarrots!


  1. Phil Noto's art looks amazing. Good shit, bro.

    1. Yeah, Phil Noto's art sold me the book before I even tried this reboot.

      I'm just sad they didn't keep him for the actual on-going series after that...