Review–DeConnick and Noto update DHP’s Ghost in new limited series

Review by C.J. Bunce

Elisa Cameron, aka Ghost, has been a character in the Dark Horse universe since 1993.  She has appeared in various limited series from time to time and thanks to the ongoing anthology series Dark Horse Presents, she has gained popularity over time, including being ranked 15th last year in the Comic Buyers Guide “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list.  Her character and storyline have bounced around a little over the course of several writers and artists in the past 20 years, but now with Kelly Sue DeConnick, who appears to be the first woman to write the character of Ghost, we now get into the head of this character like never before. Issue 1 of the new limited series released last week plunges into this character’s long backstory and her current crisis.

We begin with Elisa–her spirit has been revived by two dim-witted but entrepreneurial investigators from a ghost-themed TV series.  They were attempting to conjure the spirit of a woman who died in 1934 and the first adventure of the trio can be found in Ghost #0, published last month.  Issue #1 now picks up with Eliza having lost her memory, attempting to find out who she is.  The inside-cover prologue is all you need to know if you missed Issue #0.

Elisa’s Ghost spirit is being tampered with, turned off and on, by a strange paranormal scientist named Dr. Linda October, the source of the talisman that allowed the two TV investigators to release her from the other world.  She cannot go on without learning about her past, so she forces the men to backtrack the how and the where of them buying the device.  En route to Dr. October’s Chicago offices, Dr. October has killed her assistant who sold the device and is now paying her own price to the man–or creature–that she works for.

DeConnick’s story is nicely paced.  Phil Noto’s pencils, inks and colors all tell a visually stunning episode, with a beautifully rendered title character, both as Elisa and as the Ghost.  As a beginning, we’re set up nicely to see what happens next, with a Moon Knight-looking female force to be reckoned with, whose entry into our world is accompanied by a need to eat nonstop, and a couple of vile characters to serve as her foes. readers will already be familiar with series artist Phil Noto.  His style is all his own and no one today draws the genre version of La Femme Nikita characters better.  His artwork for Trigger Girl 6, that was part of the Creator-Owned Heroes anthology series, was given high marks when reviewed here earlier this summer.  Ghost is a similar character, tough and smart and determined and missing a key element of her life–her past.  With this new series Noto returns Elisa to her roots with a design and style similar to early Ghost artist Adam Hughes.

Look for two cover versions for Issue #1’s release, one from Phil Noto and an alternate cover from Alex Ross.  Issue #1 is in stores now and Issue #2 will be released in November.

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