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Ghosting #5

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008
By: Michael Deeley

Fred Van Lente
Charles Carvalho, Tom Smith (c)
Platinum Studios
Yeah, this…this is just lame.

A fraternity and sorority hold their annual Hell Week hazing ritual for new pledges. The week has a haunted theme called “ghosting”. Pledges are frightened by fake blood, scary costumes, trips to the graveyard, etc. But this year is different. A real ghost from the fraternity’s past has come back for revenge. He’s killed many students, including two friends of our heroes Maggie and Josh. Now they have to learn the ghost’s true identity to send his spirit to rest.

There’s a lot wrong with this comic, starting with the title. “Ghosting”? It’s the stupidest synonym for “haunting” I’ve ever heard! And it’s not very descriptive either. When I first heard it, I assumed it had something to do with ghosts. But speaking strictly, wouldn’t “ghosting” mean the creation or use of ghosts? The term is first used by the fraternity as the name for their hazing. But it still sounds unnatural. Why not call it “haunting” or “frightening”? At one point, Maggie refers to the evil spirit as the “ghoster”. Not ghost; ghoster.

Dumb.

Next comes the art. Platinum Studios has posted nearly all 4 preceding issues on their website, allowing you to see just how bad the artwork gets. I was genuinely surprised to see this issue and the first were drawn by the same person. The two couldn’t look less alike. Go to http://www.platinumstudios.com and see it for yourself. It’s a decent-looking comic. Not spectacular, a little stiff in places, but the people look good, the inking is sharp, and the colors are bright. Issue #5 is the complete opposite. Awkward faces, muddy inking, and bland coloring. The whole issue just looks rushed and amateurish. Was the first issue really drawn by Charles Carvalho, or was it a studio job?

Awful.

And finally, there’s the plot. It reads like a rejected episode of Ghost Whisperer. The heroes are completely bland. They have no personalities or characteristics beyond what the plot requires of them. The frat and sorority members are stock stereotypes. And the ending is re-damn-diculous. To send the “ghoster” back to the afterlife, the frat house leader makes him an official brother. That includes putting the house ring on the finger of the ghost’s corpse! Yeah, that’ll satisfy him.

“I’m killing you because you wouldn’t let me in your frat!”
“OK! You’re a member now!”
“Fat good it does me now. I’m dead, prick!”

Maybe I’m being too harsh. No, wait, I don’t mean harsh. I mean “generous”. Yeah, maybe I’m being too generous because I got to read all five issues for free. If I had to pay for any of this crap, I’d really be pissed off.



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