Thursday, August 29, 2013

CBR Ghost OMNIBUS: Vol. 4


Before checking out her current series, have a look at yet another Ghost Omnibus!

Like this series? Check out these following Ghost-related reviews:

Comic title: Ghost OMNIBUS: Volume 4
Art by Christian Zanier, Ryan Benjamin, Chris Brunner
Written by Chris Warner, Mike Kennedy

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 2013
Lineup Ghost
Format: Omnibus-sized Trade Paperback collecting the 2nd Ghost series issues #1-11 and Ghost features from Dark Horse Presents Annual 1999.

After the issues collected in the third Omnibus, Dark Horse Comics' on-going series Ghost was shortly canceled.

Ghost was then just as quickly brought back in a new format. This second series saw writer Chris Warner taking over the character over Ghost-creator Eric Luke. And a new direction for the whole creative team.

The series was now specially designed in the form of several "mini-series" that composed ~3-4 issues long story arc that composed this Ghost (Vol.2). Which is kinda how comics are published nowadays with Trade Paperbacks in mind.

Dark Horse wanted the artwork sexier. You know, to sell more copies.

It ran for 22 issues and saw many changes from the first series such as new information about Ghost's origin...

Even in death you can't find some peace.

Last we saw Elisa Cameron aka Ghost, she thought she had finally found all the pieces of the puzzle, but that is without counting on a new writer who wants to shake things up.

So the drama of Elisa Cameron's life continues.

Elisa meets a mysterious woman named Concordia Leveche who has the ability to talk to the dead. She reveals that Elisa is not dead actually.

Ghost finds herself fighting several well armed merc'. Dr Trouvaille is back - the man responsible for her "death"!

She finally find the tape of her death and is finally able to pick up the missing broken pieces from her past.

Trouvaille had been experimenting with reaching the "dimension" in-between life and death. He has been able to take souls out of living bodies. With the help of Ghost's antithesis, Silhouette. Now back in control of the body of Elisa's sister, Margo.

After that Elisa discovers that the paranormal task force of The Furies - comprised of Focus, Frenzy, Kinetic and Mindgame - where actually in on her own death. Elisa faces Focus once she finds her also present during the time the tape was taken.

Then Ghost goes after Crux, another pawn in the events that lead her to her condition. But Crux is not the same charismatic villain he was anymore... His body is in the hands of the demon Cameron Nemo, a monster of her own making...

Finally to put Ghost back in the bigger picture of the Dark Horse Universe, the following issues have Elisa tag along with King Tiger, another Dark Horse Classic. A powerful martial artist/sorcerer. Introducing back his own town and cast of supporting character.

Ghost goes to Hoyo Grande to track down Margo's body and avoid letting her sister go through the same experience of becoming a "ghost".

With the help of KT she faces the Szothstromael clan of demons, shape shifters trying to prepare the Earth for the coming of their demonic father.

But not before entering The Vortex complex, meeting a Deity-like being that grants her a wish. Putting her memories back in order - in true deus ex machina fashion.

The book closes with some side-stories. Now with her own memories fixed she remembers how the cycle of violence begin, with the death of her father at a young age, shot by her adoptive father(!!).

This relaunch from the end of 1998 spins the whole series up on its head, toys with it and throws drama at every corner. It sure changes from a story that was once built on mystery. Sure, some things seem a bit far fetched and don't make much sense. (there's way too many dramatic revelations one after the other)

But my main problem is how the writer used an actual "God" creature to simply answer all the questions after so many storylines. That was way too easy...

The art is a bit more 90s for its own good during these new arcs. But at least not only did Ryan Benjamin grant the series some gorgeous new covers but this era of Ghost also saw the return of Adam Hughes on some new pinups! I wish they'd given him some interiors as well..

Overall, it's definitively not the best nor most memorable era of the Ghost series, but they are still some redeeming qualities.

The story starts good enough even if you can feel Chris Warner taking the story through some unplanned new directions.

But the second weaker half of the Omnibus does annoy me a bit. The crossover with King Tiger was a good idea but not that well executed.

Inversely, the art is much worse at the start of this new series, with lots of cheesy 1990s style at the beginning. But the artists they got for the later part are much more suited for the book.

I still recommend this series, for Dark Horse/Ghost fans and readers in need of a change of pace from all the usual Marvel/DC Comics.

I give it:
2 / 3 FlamingCarrots!

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