Review - Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1

Who's got two thumbs, international renown and is possessed by five ghosts? That guy, Fabian Gray. His adventures are detailed in a brand new series called Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1, soon to be released by Image Comics.

The issue is written by Frank J. Barbiere, illustrated by Chris Mooneyham and colored by S.M. Vidaurri.

“I’m not a thief,” insists Fabian Gray, “I’m a treasure hunter.” Both occupations are made that much easier by the fact that Fabian is possessed by spirits of a detective, vampire, samurai, wizard and archer. All spirits tend to show up when needed, giving Fabian the edge he needs to break into just about any place and take what he wants. What he really wants is an arcane object that might bring his sister out of a comatose state.

First things first. Barbiere is onto something here. The concept of five ghosts inhabiting the same body and giving that person the ability to draw upon them is awesome. It makes the story hum along and makes Fabian Gray something of a Swiss army knife of treasure hunters. It's really inventive and makes for a fantastic read.

Second, the entire book has that pulpy feel to it. Fabian is a treasure hunter of a bygone era who traverses the globe in style. Fabian Gray has just enough of a cocky sensibility to him that his adventures are worth following, while at the same time he's constantly being threatened by losing control of the possession. That era includes castles, bi-planes and natives, all of which make the story fun. It moves at an incredibly fast clip, giving the reader barely any time to stop and catch up, but for a book like this it really works.

Mooneyham's art is phenomenal. It really captures the essence of the tale and keeps it in the pulpy atmosphere. There are some especially cool panels with the ghosts, where they're in the background of Fabian's panels, mimicking his action to the intended effect. The characters are extremely well-defined and the action is easy to follow, with beautifully rendered illustrations, accompanied by darker tones and hues.

Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 is the start of something fun and relatively nonchalant. There's a villain introduced towards the end of the book who looks to be nefarious and all signs point to the book only getting wilder as it progresses. If you like your comics fresh, full of pulp and rife with globetrotting adventures, this is the book you need to read.

Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 is available March 20.