The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

CC2K’s Comic in Review: Ghost #1

Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor

If you have never read a previous incarnation of Ghost in your life, then you’re in for a treat. DeConnick and Sebela have their own story to share in this new rehashed version of Ghost for newcomers to jump on board.

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela
Illustrator: Ryan Sook
Colorist: Dave McCaig

Ghost tells the story of Elisa Cameron, also known as the hero Ghost, who is trapped between the world of the living and the dead. She defends the city of Chicago against demons that hide within human vessels, while trying to uncover her own past at the same time. Eager to put the pieces of her past life back together and seeing that it may be connected somehow to the demons she has sworn to hunt down, she strikes a deal with one demon for information. Who is Eliza Cameron really, and what will this deal with the devil cost her? DeConnick and Sebela have only just begun to let their story unfold!

The beginning of this issue starts off strong with Ghost appearing with a bang in the opening pages. A demon comes crashing into a train, interrupting an all too intimate Kodak moment between a romantic couple. Ghost trails in behind, beating the living daylights out of the demon while making witty remarks. Within a few pages, one can’t help but think Ghost is one spunky character. The art and coloring of these initial pages is alluring. Ghost flawlessly wavers in transparency between scenes and radiates in a godly aura of light.

However, as the story progresses, the plot becomes hazy for all those who are unfamiliar with Ghost. DeConnick had written a miniseries prior to this new ongoing series, so if you hadn’t read it, chances are that the premise will be confusing. With that said, this first issue doesn’t come off as a first issue in its truest form. It sets up nicely the journey Ghost will embark on, but doesn’t explain who she is or what had happened to her. This is where the issue falls short.

New readers can guess that Ghost is not really dead, nor alive based on the dialogue, but why she has powers, fights demons, and is piecing together her identity in the first place is ambiguous. The storytelling seems to imply she has either lost her memory or she is an entity living inside the body of Elisa Cameron, although a quick Google search will show that this is not the case at all. Ghost IS Elisa Cameron to an extent, but she doesn’t remember her prior life or what happened to her. It makes sense for Ghost’s background to be a mystery, but not providing a basic foundation makes the story hard to grasp.

Because Ghost’s background is unclear, so too is the characterization of her band of friends. They appear out of nowhere to her aid without much explanation as to who they are or why they’re helping her in the first place. Are they old friends of Elisa Cameron or new friends of Ghost? What is their exact relationship to her, and why are they so willing to help her and right their own wrongs? It’s all quite perplexing, therefore making it difficult to connect at some level to any of the characters except for Ghost herself.

Confusion of the characters aside, the general premise of the plot is interesting. It’s a paranormal meets superhero story, which explores Ghost’s past, purpose, and place in the world in the grand scheme of things. Let’s hope #2 fills in the gaps.

3.0 out of 5.0