Joshua Williamson‘s story line for GHOSTED #5 is a nice twist on the haunted house archetype: A high stakes heist on a much maligned manor. Except the ‘object’ this crack team is to extract is a card carrying member of the limbo’ed spirits club. That’s right, the heist is not for jewels. It is to steal a ghost for their shady employer. Now, this could have gone horribly wrong from a story standpoint, because this sub-genre is riddled with badly told stories with otherwise promising premises. (Everything post Sixth Sense, anyone?) Here, Williamson manages to keep everything straight, while creating characters that we are curious about, even if we only care for 1 or 2 at a time.
“…By your fears combined, I am HAUNTED HOUSE!”
Broad strokes dominate Goran Sudzuka‘s art boxes in GHOSTED #5, and he fills his negative space using an interesting technique that renders like charcoal on Bristol board. It certainly works for the haunted house elements, although the colours get a little muddied. Still, as a stylistic choice I liked this element. Things brighten up considerably near the end of the issue, and this displays wonderful contrast to the dreary house setting.
In a haunted house, this is actually foreplay.
Miroslav Mrva‘s palette is dominated by the need to realize the darker tones of grey, brown and mauve. Mrva makes decent use of flesh-tones in his close-ups, but seems content to flatten his subjects facial features in slightly wider shots. Sometimes his work gets lost underneath the previously mentioned ‘charcoal’ technique.
Regardless of these hiccups, the twists in the tale more than make up for any artistic bumps in the road for this creative team. Things wrapped up almost a little too neatly, then unraveled with a loud crash, much to my satisfaction. GHOSTED #5 has hooked a new reader.
While I wait for more, I’ll be washing my priestly vestments, in case of exorcism.