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Five Ghosts Volume 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere
Cover Artist: Chris Mooneyham
Review by Gayle Surrette
Image Comics Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781607067900
Date: 01 October 2013 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Frank J. Barbiere's Blog / Chris Mooneyham's Blog / Show Official Info /

Five Ghosts
The Haunting of Fabian Gray

Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Art by Chris Mooneyham
Colors by Lauren Affe, S.M. Vidaurri
Logo & Graphic Design by Dylan Todd
Fabian Gray is a mix of Indiana Jones, the Librarian, and Allan Quatermain. He does have a partner ... sort-of. In an earlier adventure he got a Dreamstone embedded in his chest and now has five ghost that help him on his adventures: The Wizard (Merlin), The Archer (Robin Hood), The Detective (Sherlock Holmes), The Samurai (?), and The Vampire (Dracula). (I'm guessing on the names of the ghosts from the artwork.) He also has a friend who knows about the Dreamstone, and who is helping him find a way to deal with it.

Gray is having blackouts from using the stone and these blackouts are preceded with some pretty impressive magical, electrical, or kinetic effects. Pretty quickly in the story, we learn that someone, most likely a very evil someone, wants the stone and doesn't care how he gets it, because he wants that power.

Gray and his friend follow clues to find other Dreamstone possessors, and run into plenty of adventures until they find a clue to someone who may be able to help Gray control the power of his stone. There's a race to learn control before the person or persons dogging his steps catches up to Gray with deadly results.

The artwork is interesting and in some places impressionistic enough that the characters are a bit difficult to track and/or recognize. But since our heroes are usually doing the 'right' thing you can usually figure things out. As the scenes change, the color palette changes, making it easier to follow the main story movement through time and place.

I found the story a bit derivative but it was still interesting enough to keep me reading and there were a few surprises as well as a couple of threads that didn't get tied off.

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