Review - Ghost #1

Finding yourself on the run after murder and unsure as to how exactly you got into that situation is something that would make fans of Memento proud of. Being a ghost amidst all that is something that makes for an interesting read. Such is the case in Ghost #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

The first issue is written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, with art by Phil Noto and letters by Richard Starkings.

The issue's opening briefs the reader on the birth of Athena, springing forth from the forehead of Zeus. It's not exactly an unknown tale, but it does put Mary's current predicament into a bit of context. Like Athena, she too sprung forth to life, only her point of origin wasn't a god but a mysterious box curiously handled by Tommy Byers and Vaughn Barnes of Phantom Finders.

While Mary knows nothing about her past, Doctor October seems to know all about it. She's being primed as the antagonist so far (save for the ultimate antagonist who shows up at the end of the issue) and she's not a very pleasant person. The encounter that stands out most with her involves her torturing someone.

DeConnick's writing is tight. It starts with the story of Athena and ends with it, bringing the entire first issue full circle and offering a strong introduction to the cast of characters. Mary's ability to shift in and out of the ghost form is interesting and will likely play a pivotal role as the story unfolds. She's a fascinating character, taking the concept of amnesia many steps further.

Noto's art works exceptionally well alongside DeConnick's writing. It has an older feel to it, almost as if it's as vintage as Mary is. Noto depicts Mary as both human and ghost at times and the art overall doesn't spend a lot of time with details. Instead, it gives the reader art that effectively conveys the dialogue and story themes, without overloading your senses. It's somewhat muted, but it's very effective.

The pairing of DeConnick and Noto is fantastic and contributes to the story in a way similar to the pairing of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples on Saga. The creative team seems to have a feel for one another and it shows in the finished product. There's a lot going for the first issue and likely series, making the first issue one that's definitely worth checking out.

Ghost #1 is in stores now with interiors below.