The infamous treasure hunter Fabian Gray, haunted by five literary ghosts, continues his saga in the sixth issue of the ongoing “Five Ghosts” series from co-creator and writer Frank J. Barbiere and guest artist Garry Brown.
In “Five Ghosts” #6 from Image Comics, Gray is getting control of the ghosts just in time for an old flame to summon him to Japan. What the haunted thief discovers is more mystery surrounding the demon stone that is buried in his chest as a he tackles a cult powered by the same mystical artifact.
Going to Japan to seek out a mystical treasure and save the clan of Gray’s past love Princess Hisano allows Barbiere to explore the character of Gray as he battles the demon cult’s leader who wields the Masamune, a sword of immense magical ability.
Barbiere comes at the plot obliquely, jumping into the action that loosely explains the who, how and why of Fabian Gray. The writer provides allusions and intimations that leave Gray’s story fuller and endearing the rogue to you.
The incredulous world that Barbiere has set his story is a fascinating, throwback to classic pulp fiction. It is a time when less was known about the world which feeds into the overall suspense within the issue.
Brown’s artwork is a treat. The artist brings the sword fights to life with a stunning layout that leads the eye around the page at a breathless pace that will make you want to go back and appreciate the amount of detail on the pages.
Fabian Gray, the somewhat novice swordfighter, calls upon his ghostly samurai power to fight an expert swordsman. Brown uses a technique that conveys the intense speed of Gray’s attacker as he flies around the thief in a blinding fashion. The sword fighting expertise is called upon again with the horde of demons as the power of Gray’s ghost comes out again. Brown’s art gives the feel that the ghost is fighting at the side of the man he haunts.
The action is intense but the character building quiet moments have a portentous significance to them thanks to Brown’s heavy line and shading. Brown’s art sets a mood that when enriched by the palette of colorist Lauren Affe sets the tone of the book with an ominous feel that establishes the danger that surrounds Gray in his adventures.
“Five Ghosts” #6 published by Image Comics is an excellent single issue story that captures much of the mystery that surrounds Fabian Gray with plenty of action and classic adventure.
To get your copy of “Five Ghosts” #6 call your local comic book retailer and ask them to “pull” you a copy of the latest from Image Comics. You can also get them to hold a copy of “Five Ghosts – The Haunting of Fabian Gray” trade paperback collecting the first five issues in the series.
Or go to ComiXology.com to starting reading the adventures of Fabian Gray digitally.