Creating a new fictional universe can be difficult, especially in the world of comics. After all, why would anyone invest in not just one new character and series, but multiple?
Even established companies like DC and Marvel – whether it’s restarting the old Red Circle characters or developing The New Universe – and popular creators like Todd McFarlane and Erik Larson have found this process to be challenging. With the new Ghost Machine one-shot, well-known and established creators have banded together in an effort to replicate what the Image founders accomplished with the new imprint of the same name.
The Ghost Machine one-shot is an anthology of stories focusing on these new concepts. Writer Geoff Johns handles the majority of the writing. The first story features the post-apocalyptic character Geiger (illustrated by Gary Frank) who discovers the legend of Red Coat (drawn by Bryan Hitch), a British soldier from America’s Revolutionary War era. Especially interesting in this story is the slew of real historical figures who are immortal. Johns follows this up with Rook Exodus (with art by Jason Fabok), the story of a new terraformed world.
Johns’ stories of post-apocalyptic societies are tempered by what follows. Writer Peter Tomasi is joined by artist Francis Manipul for the 25th century nuclear family adventure, “The Rocketfellers,” a future society that looks very similar to those of the 1960s. Tomasi also writes “Hornsby and Halo,” an adventure in which the characters are an angel and a devil in child form.
Artist Ivan Reis is joined by writers Geoff Johns (once more) and Maytal Zchut for the fantastical “Hyde Street” and “Devour.” These stories are so intermixed that it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins. They round off the issue with some great and interesting coming attractions.
Ghost Machine has a lot to offer. From fantastic artwork to a variety of different genres, there is something for everyone in this book. Johns has the advantage of publishing other Geiger material, so not everything in this book is foreign to the reader who follows him. Thomasi’s stories are pure fun with potential excitement to come. All in all, this is a book worth checking out as an appetizer for things to come.
Highly recommended – 4 out of 4 stars
Creative Team: Geoff Johns and various
Publisher: Image Comics / Ghost Machine
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