Fabian Gray is a thief and treasure hunter who is possessed by the ghosts of five literary characters, The Archer, The Samurai, The Wizard, The Detective, and The Vampire all who’s powers he uses to become a better thief and treasure hunter . We first meet Fabian as he is breaking in to a Nazi stronghold to find and to liberate a treasure for a well to do client, a client who it seems is willing to show her appreciation with more than money after Fabian delivers the item to her. The rest of the story takes you to London, Africa and Shangri-La as Fabian searches for a cure for his comatose sister, and quickly learns that the power he now wields comes with a high price one that could end his life. It seems the five sprits are now happy with their role in life or death and will destroy Fabian rather than stay as they are, to appease the ghosts our hero must pass five tests to get them to agree to work with him rather than against him.
The mystery of how Fabian acquired his powers and what happened to his sister are told in flashbacks, while the reason he is haunted by literary characters is explained rather cleverly during his time in Shangri-La.Throw in a subplot involving Nazi’s and what looks like dodgy business men and you have the makings of a great story, at the end of the story you have a full understanding of Fabians powers and how he will handle them going forward. However, not all the plotlines are tied up which leaves things open for more adventures to come, which is fine by me as I intend to start picking up the book monthly from now on.
My understanding is that Five Ghosts was originally going to be a 5 issue story but has now been solicited as an ongoing monthly, and deservedly so in my opinion as writer Frank Barbiere has crafted a wonderful story with a great pulp feel all backed up with some very believable characters.The art of Chris Mooneyham is suitably moody with some great splash pages that only help to enhance the whole pulp feel of the book; he also has a wonderful eye for detail as seen on the very scary giant spiders. Lauren Affe's colours also help to enhance the pulp feel of the story, and the contribution she makes should not be overlooked
I picked up this trade after a recommendation from a friend on a podcast, and was then lucky enough to meet writer Frank Barbiere and Lauren Affe at the Thought Bubble comic convention last month. Frank and Lauren were a joy to meet their book was an absolute joy to read, I highly recommended it either in trade or single issues it is well worth seeking out