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June 13, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Ghost Vol. 1: In The Smoke and Din

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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Ghost Vol 1 TPB coverGhost, Volume 1: In the Smoke and Din

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Phil Noto

I am not familiar with Ghost’s past as an existing character. This is my first experience with the character. The only thing I know from the old is when Kelly Sue DeConnick, the current writer, mentioned how Ghost and Barb Wire made out to stop a biker gang back in the 1990s. So how does the new version stack up and how does it hold on its own? Let’s find out.

The story begins when one of those cable ghost hunting reality shows gets a hold of a mysterious box and opens a doorway that releases the titular Ghost. The two ghost hunters – Tommy Byers, the earnest if simplistic one, and Vaughn Barnes, the failed reporter with a drinking problem – finally find a real ghost, and she’s able to rip the hearts out of people. The ghost herself is struggling with figuring out who she is, and that is the core of this first book.

As the story develops and we learn who Ghost is, we also learn that ghosts are not the only supernatural thing going on in this world. Demons roam the environment masquerading as people, manipulating others for their own agenda. It looks like the demon we’re following in the other part of the story has a great desire to collect that box back from our hunters and Ghost. It also seems Ghost’s former life involved this demon, as well.

The story is a lot of fun and gets appropriately creepy (the segment about how the box was first truly opened still bothers me), and I like how by the end of this volume I am ready to continue on with whatever adventures are coming up next. The characters are interesting, and the mystery is simple to get into and then keeps getting stranger, DeConnick does a great job of giving each character their own voice.

The art in this is great. I still love the intro being done in night-vision. The whole visual depiction of the scarier and violent parts is strong and clear to see in all its uncomfortable glory. The action scenes play out quick and fierce, and I was often hissing in sympathetic pain at watching the events play out in attacks.

If you haven’t gathered yet, I highly recommend this book and hope that there will be more since I am still anxiously awaiting for more. This is a nice blend of superpowers with horror, and sets up for what could be a great series, I’d also accept a TV show, written by DeConnick, of course.

Alexander Bustos



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