The new Comics Greatest World gets its first #1.
Ghost Volume 3 #1
Written By: Kelly Sue Deconnock
Art by: Paul Noto
Publisher: Dark Horse
Comics Greatest World (CGW) was Dark Horse’s shared universe back in the late 1990s and although the imprint didn’t last very long, due to the comic bubble bursting, I have been waiting between 12 and 16 years (depending on the character) for its return, and it has. Unlike DC’s very soft reboot, Dark Horse is bringing back CGW for a new generation, and that began with Ghost #0 and #1.
Now, I did not read Ghost #0 (you can look here for my buddy nightfly’s review of the book) and that brings me to one of my ever-growing list of comic book pet peeves. Zero issues should not be integral to the plot of a comic, especially when that comic is a reboot / new comic. They should be an introduction to the comic, with some Easter eggs and foreshadowing, they should not lead directly to #1 leaving readers to wonder what they missed. Yes, there is a small recap on the credits page, but again, I’d argue that #1s shouldn’t have recaps; they should explain themselves within the book.
Without the zero issuse it took me almost half the book to catch up to what was going on. It seems that Ghost, a phantom described as “Chicago’s legendary ‘Resurrection Mary’, was summoned by two TV phantom hunters last issue, along with some personal drama for one of the television stars and black market intrigue. Ghost #1 feels like you are walking into the middle of a story rather than the beginning of one.
The primary story line of Ghost is trying to figure out who the title character is, who created the machine that summoned her, and why. With the narration, the reader gets the idea that she may not be a ghost, but rather some sort of Greek myth or an angel who cannot remember her purpose. This theory is strengthened by the big bad reveal on the last page.
Paul Noto’s art is serviceable, nothing special, but has a style tailor made for comic books. The only real complaint I have with it is that when it was necessary to recognize a side character late in the book I had to flip back to that character’s first appearance (in this issue) to make sure it was who I thought it was, and I am still not completely sure if it was.
Ghost #1 is a very average comic book with lots of potential. A good mystery isn’t completely reliant on the first chapter(s), but the life of a comic book these days is reliant on the strength of the first story arc, and I hope this one gets stronger as it moves forward. Dark Horse is using the most successful character from the first Comics Greatest World to bring it all back, and I am afraid that if Ghost does fail, the project will too, and that would be bad.
Good news though, X returns in Dark Horse Presents #19, and you can bet your butt that RU will be picking that up as well.