For a first issue, Ghost #1 is confusing. It feels like there’s a piece missing and many scenes take a page or two to figure out only for them to move on to another equally confusing scene. I later learned that there was an Issue #0 which started off this series of Ghost. Excepting the DC New 52 #0s, most #1s find a way to incorporate anything vitally important from Issue #0, so as not to discourage new readers. Ghost does not do this. Despite the fact this is the “first” of a “four” parter, go back and read Ghost #0, so more of the story will make sense.
Once you get past the missing issue problem and the dialogue’s habit of annoyingly extending words (ex: “preeeety”), it’s a good first issue. Ghost #1 has a beautiful opening with Ghost (wasn’t given something else to call her) relating her situation to mythology and pondering her existence, since she was brought into the world by others with no memory of any prior life. At its core, this arc is about Ghost discovering her identity, what she can do, and what she was meant for. I’m a sucker for a good identity story, and the possibilities dangled in this issue had me hooked. Her compatriots and she raise some interesting questions about her habits and actions and what they say about her, which in turn was enough to make me stop and wonder what my habits say about me.
One of the people related to Ghost’s creation/raising/summoning/whatever is Dr. Linda October, and her scenes were fantastic. Dr. October is an unbalanced, evil human being, and she made me kind of love her for it. She has several great lines, though she falls into the DeConnick trap of female characters highlighting and underlining their gender (thanks to FBC Guest Contributor Brandon Perdue for pointing out this commonly used device. I’ve noticing it every DeConnick issue since!) We also get to meet her “boss,” and let’s just say I’m more excited for the opposing team than Ghost’s at this point.
At its core, Ghost has a solid mystery, the potential for strong female characters, and some great villains, but it needs a neon arrow pointing to its #0 issue and to develop the “good guys” a little more going forward.