Monday, November 18, 2013

Five Ghosts, Volume One: The Haunting of Fabian Gray


 I love the way that Image Comics, much like a crack dealer, gives you the first hit cheaply, in order to get you hooked. You can always get the first collection of any Image Comics series for $9.99, which is a great price for fives issues. So even if the book sucks, you still haven't lost much, except for the time spent reading it. So here we are, with another Volume One from Image, FIVE GHOSTS, VOLUME ONE: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY...the verdict?

 Great premise, terribly underwritten.

 Fabian Gray is a "Treasure Hunter" (Also known as "A Thief", but that's in the eye of the beholder, I suppose...), who is possessed by five Ghosts....After stealing the mythical "Dreamstone", a kind of physical representation of humanity's collective unconscious, Gray's body and mind become home to the Ghosts of five famous literary creations: Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Merlin, Robin Hood, and a Samurai that I just could not place, but that I've read is Miyamato Musashi, which doesn't quite compute, since he was a real person, but, whatever.....It's not like any of these five Ghosts are given any kind of personality to speak of.....

 Gray can call upon the skills of these Ghosts as needed, but only in the doofiest ways possible. The Author, Frank J. Barbiere, mainly uses these Ghosts for archery skills, sword skills, magic, fangs, and , in the case of Sherlock Holmes, nothing much. (This underscores a problem that I've always had with people other than Arthur Conan Doyle writing Holmes: If you're not as smart as Holmes, you can't write him. How can you dazzle me with deduction when you're not smart enough to think of clever ways for Holmes to solve crimes?) Here, Holmes' big contribution is to make Gray knock down a few stalactites to kill giant spiders that are underneath them. I could have thought of that!  The plot vaguely revolves around Gray's attempts to save (The soul or body, I'm really not clear...) of someone that I assume is his twin Sister. I was really unclear. This book is terribly underwritten...it can be fun, at times, but there's really no plot to speak of, and Barbiere really missed a great opportunity by not giving the Ghosts anything to do, and by keeping them as silent passengers in Gray's head. This could have been a tremendously fun book....as it stands, it's a "Meh" read, and I won't be back for Volume Two.