Jackson T. Winters, criminal mastermind, is in jail and under imminent threat of sexual assault which is graphically depicted by a large man assaulting a weaker man in his cell pointing at Winters and saying, “You’re next.” Welcome to Ghosted.
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Goran Sudzuka and Miroslav Mrva
Image / Skybound
Winters is broken out of jail by a rich benefactor who wants him to put a team together to steal a ghost from a haunted mansion that is about to be torn down. An origins story, this issue focuses on getting the team together – along with a new suit and a richly endowed whore for Winters. We don’t find out too much about the difficulty of stealing a ghost (just suspend disbelief with me here.) But we do meet characters and we can infer where this is going.
If the first page isn’t a rude awakening to the reality of this gritty and vulgar series you’re far too jaded. I don’t mind a story that makes use of violence or vulgarity to further the plot but this book reveled in it unnecessarily. Sure, a man who was in jail may want to spend time with a woman but they also may need to take a dump and we don’t need to know about it because it doesn’t further the story. Sure, in jail Winters may be under threat, but graphically depicting homosexual assault to make your point is unnecessary. Too often entertainment today focuses on gotcha! moments instead of strong storytelling. I got that feeling from start to finish in this first episode. Hopefully we’ll see this mellow out and move more into the Dresden Files type series this could be. (In fact, Mr. Williamson, I highly recommend books like those to show you how you successfully meld hard-boiled with supernatural, witty with classy.)
Overall, this is an underwhelming start to the series and in a marketplace full of similar titles the creators are going to have to make some quick adjustments to find their niche. Right now, I doubt this one lasts.
Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.