Brought back a few months ago as an ongoing series, “Ghost” #2 is in a bit of a creative shuffle. Artist Ryan Sook ends up drawing only half of the issue (although providing layouts for the rest), with Drew Johnson and Andy Owens leaping in to finish up. With mini-series writer Kelly Sue DeConnick joined by Chris Sebela for the first three issues, it was also just revealed that DeConnick’s departing “Ghost” after #4 (with Sebela becoming the sole writer on #5).
Yet, it still works. This is a fun comic to read. DeConnick and Sebela tell a good story here, one where readers are reminded that a deal with the devil is — well, a deal with the devil. Elisa’s deal with the demon Beleth from “Ghost” #1 is brought to the forefront, with both the pros and cons. I like that DeConnick and Sebela make Elisa’s decision understandable; this isn’t just a simple case of a character making a dumb call, but rather one where the temptation is all too easy to understand. With so much of her past lost to her after becoming Ghost, Elisa’s grasping onto a chance to find out where she’s from is well-written here. You can almost feel her desperation and pain, and you want this dangerous alliance to work even as you can just feel the inevitable disaster on the horizon.
It helps that Vaughn, Tommy and Sloan are a strong supporting cast in “Ghost.” I like that even they aren’t all on the same page, and that there’s as much of a desire from them for her to hunt down demons as there is to find the White City Butcher. DeConnick and Sebela juggle these different threads well, even as the dreaded Dr. October lurks in the background, just waiting to strike in her new upgraded form. There’s action, there’s emotional drama, there’s a double-cross, there suspense. All of this packed into one comic works quite well.
I was sad to see Sook leave the title — he’s a great artist whom we don’t see enough of in comics these days — but having Johnson finish off the second half of the issue is a smart choice. Both artists draw in that smooth, slick style that a book like “Ghost” has had ever since the character debuted back in the early ’90s, and I appreciate that neither artist makes the book feel like cheesecake. Both Sook and Johnson do especially good in the scenes with Elisa and Beleth together; there’s just that slight hint of irritation on her face at any given moment that reminds us that the older gentleman sitting next to her is anything but a friend.
The creative teams for “Ghost” might be doing a bit of a shuffle, but you’d never know it if all you had to go on was just “Ghost” #2, and as a reader I appreciate that. DeConnick, Sebela, Sook and Johnson all do a fine job here, and I’m still firmly on board for what’s still to come. Hopefully once things have calmed down, the book will be back on a more regular schedule.