We’re halfway through this spectral miniseries, and it’s already garnered its fair share of fans, despite a couple of flaws. And now that the spooks are becoming more overt, things are about to get that much more complicated.
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Goran Sudzuka
At dusk, murderers rise from the shadows of the Trask mansion… can Jackson T. Winters and his crew steal a ghost before night falls?
Being busted out of prison in order to catch a ghost for a rich eccentric is sure to lead to further complications, and it’s safe to say that our main guy Jackson T. Winters has had a pretty interesting go at things so far. But when circumstances compel his team to steal from their boss in order to get the job done right, the events of this issue take a turn for the decidedly more spooky. We’ve seen ghosts in this series before, but they’ve been (mostly) hovering on the periphery. Here, in this issue, they really start to make their mark, and while this means that we lose a bit of the suspense and slow-burn intrigue, they certainly keep the plot moving forward, and push the characters in new directions.
The comic actually starts with a flash-forward that’s not exactly necessary, but which does lend a neat circularity to the plot, as well as remind us of Winters criminal proclivities (these had been shrinking into the background, along with Winters as a character, during the second issue). Thereafter, Winters and all his smarmy glory stay pretty much at the center of things, and if you were tired of his smart remarks, you’ll find them about as enjoyable here. Happily, Williamson turns the tables on us, putting Winters in a drastically new situation, and while we don’t get much chance to explore it, this new perspective certainly opens up new opportunities for Winters to surprise us.
He’s not the only character who goes in a different direction either, with another member of the team coming to a change of heart by issue’s end. It’s taken a while, but Williamson is gradually complicating the personalities of what began as a very familiar-looking team. It’s not exactly subtle, but it’s enough to keep the going interesting, and enough, particularly in regards to Winters’ predicament, to rope (har, har) you into the next issue.
Goran Sudzuka’s art continues to be the best thing about this title. Sudzuka excels at precisely setting out architecture, both interior and exterior, and the fact that we get a feel for every crumbling bit of masonry that makes it into the shot makes the setting feel that much more real. All through, the rough, charcoaly shadows lend everything that extra bit of texture, giving things an organic look that neatly underscores the creepy factor.
While the characters in this story continue to be somewhat stereotyped in appearance as well as behavior, Sudzuka tends to get at the heart of these types and present them in their most compelling light. The con artist is always tangibly sleazy; the TV show hosts always bear that veneer of stardom. And as for the ghosts – and there are two kinds in this issue, I would say – they both come across as creepy, or enrapturing, as you could possibly ask for. Finally, the violent and gory scenes which play so important a role in the thickening of the plot stand on their own as really well-blocked and intricately laid out sequences, calculated for maximum shock value and getting across a lot of visceral thrill.
You’re also not liable to forget a hallucinatory sequence in which Miroslav Mrva’s colours – which have kept mostly to the browns and greys – get a great moment to shine. A splash of completely unexpected greens and reds amp some pretty violent panels, intensifying an already surprising plot point.
If you’re already on board with “Ghosted”, this issue will definitely not knock you off; and if you’re still making up your mind, it might just rein you in. It’s a great-looking book, and if this issue is any indication, Williamson’s got even more surprises in store. And at the very least, you know this is going to stack up into a gorgeous trade paperback.Continued below
Final Verdict: 7.5 – If you’re already buyin’, keep buyin’