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Comic Review: Five Ghosts #2
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Five Ghosts #2Five Ghosts #2
The Haunting of Fabian Gray, Part Two
Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Illustrated by Chris Mooneyham
Colored by S.M. Vidaurri
Additional Colors by Lauren Affe
Logo and Graphic Design by Dylan Todd
Cover by Chris Mooneyham
Image Comics
Release date: April 17, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray began as a Kickstarter campaign for a comic book mini-series from author Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham. Thankfully, Image Comics made a wise move and picked this fantastic series up, giving the creators a chance to tell their story to a broader audience while granting readers the opportunity to get lost in the adventure. This is exactly what happened to me when I read issue #1, and I was equally pleased with Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #2.

In March, issue #1 introduced us to Fabian Gray, a treasure hunter who had a misfortunate accident with an artifact that left him “haunted” by the ghosts of five literary characters. While gaining a channel to the ghosts’ abilities, Fabian wields these powers to his advantage while on various quests; however, the haunting aspect seems to come at random times, leaving Fabian both without his powers and temporarily incapacitated. These bouts include the voices of the ghosts screaming throughout his mind, and if that isn’t enough, there are evil forces at work that want to find and use Fabian for their own personal gain. (The second printing of issue #1 is out on April 17.)

Issue #2 begins right where the first left off: Fabian and his friend, Sebastian — having flown to Africa in desperate search of a “cure” for his sister’s unnamed ailment — are now tied to poles in a deep, dark cave after being attacked by a tribal people known as the Gho Shal. The Gho Shal wish to offer Fabian and Sebastian as blood sacrifices to their spider god, and Fabian — powerless after a brief and painful haunting — can’t do a thing about it. Just as their lives are about to come to a bloody end, a strange warrior wearing an amulet around his neck enters the cave after beating the crap out of a slew of Gho Shal. Fabian looks at the man and then his amulet, and something miraculous happens. Do the three men make their escape? I’m not giving that away.

Frank J. Barbiere does a solid job at creating a balance between action and intrigue in this issue. The distressed conversations between Fabian and Sebastian while awaiting their doom conjured an intense feeling of suspense. At the same time, I was immersed in and clamoring to know more about not only the introduction of the mysterious man’s arrival, but also the inclusion of the outside forces who seem to be gaining on Fabian.

It’s not often that I read a comic in which the artist uses various methods to depict the story perfectly and Chris Mooneyham really clinches it. His drawings have an old pulp comic look and I felt like I was viewing an escapade in the vein of Indiana Jones. His panel layouts seem perfectly placed and even if Barbiere had left this issue wordless, I would have understood exactly what was going on based solely on the visual emotions, actions, character placement, and tone.

I was blown away by Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #2. I recommend picking up these first two issues and joining Fabian on his supernatural voyage. With an original story created by an inspired and skilled team, there’s no question in my mind why Image chose to support this project before someone else did.

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