In all of comic-dom, it would be hard to come up with the name of a title, supernatural or not, that featured a tale of possession such as this. Five Ghosts deals with just that, five ghosts that are linked to one man, Fabian Gray to be precise, through a number of gems called Dreamstones. They allow Fabian to channel the powers of any one of the said spirits and they never fail to aid him when called upon. What makes these spirits even more helpful is that they all belong to great literary characters, namely Sherlock Holmes, Merlin, Dracula, Miyamoto Musashi and Robin Hood, though they are never actually referred to as such. A diverse bunch with a diverse set of skills to be sure, but it has only ever been a strength for Fabian and it is easy to see why.
Every hero needs a purpose and every book needs an overarching theme to keep said hero on said purpose and for this title it is the bonds of family and friendship. This volume finds his best friend and partner Sebastian gone missing and Fabian aims to find him no matter what it takes. There are obstacles in his way of course which consist of strange creatures, vampires and a mad scientist, but they are the least of the abnormal things that he has had to deal with in his lifetime. The moment when Fabian comes closer to aiding his friend, more mysteries are revealed including those responsible for the abduction of Sylvia, his sister.
Fabian’s missing sister has been an ongoing plot point in the book from the very beginning and though this particular story-arc did not focus upon her overly much, the revelation at the end of the book promises a lot more intrigue and action for our hero before he gets to rescue her. That in particular, the setting up of mysteries and the solving of them are two of the best things that Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham do. Their ability to weave a story filled with monsters and malicious madmen, not to mention the mystery of Fabian’s stones and the ghosts that haunt him and to make it as compelling as they do is a sign of true talent indeed. It is an absolute joy to see a creative team work in tandem as well as they do, Barbiere’s words meshing perfectly with Mooneyham’s incredible pencils. The literal mishmash of ideas and concepts is fascinating to behold because they do it so seamlessly and it makes the turning of every page exciting because you never know what you are going to see next.
In this volume we are also introduced to a couple of new characters though readers will find them very familiar, one Abraham Van Helsing and the villain of this tale, one Dr. Moreau. Both are inspired choices and yet they both fit into this world quite perfectly. The fact that the creators of the book saw fit to use them opens the book up for stories featuring other famous literary characters down the line and as there are so many of them, it will be interesting to see just who it is that makes an appearance in the next arc or three. Add to that the mystery of The Cabal, a group of men who have been revealed to be in charge of certain forces and also happen to have Fabian’s sister and Fabian’s life is not going to be an easy one even with the help of the ghosts that accompany him. The fact that we eagerly anticipate these upcoming events, even though we have no idea what they are, is a sure-fire way to tell that there is something special about Five Ghosts. Whether you like adventure stories, horror, supernatural, mystery, suspense or the ties that bind, this book has it all and there is literally nothing else you could ask for except for more.