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‘Ghost Fleet: The Whole Goddamned Thing’ TP (review)

Ghost Fleet: The Whole Goddamned Thing TP
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Daniel Warren Johnson,
Lauren Affe, John J. Hill
ISBN-13: 978-1534304406
Published by Image Comics
Released 12/5/17 / $19.99

 

Now THAT was exciting!

Two comics creators I’ve never heard of before just took me on a ride so ridiculously fast and thrilling that I think I actually got motion sick!

The Ghost Fleet was another title I knew absolutely nothing about before jumping into it.

To say it’s explosive is a massive understatement. In fact, the word “BOOM!” appears so often that it was starting to feel like this Image publication was giving free plugs to Boom, who’ve published several other titles I’ve really enjoyed recently.

More than anything else, this book reminds me of one of those modern, bingeworthy TV series.

In fact, its apocalyptic background and extreme characters can’t help but remind the reader of the recent American Gods. Like that series, this is very much for adults only!

The storytelling from both writer Donny Cates and artist Daniel Warren Johnson has a continuous sense of speed the likes of which one doesn’t usually find outside a Flash comic!

Giant trucks zooming across double page spreads, planes soaring through the air, wind rushing by, bullets flying, torrential rains coming down, and, well, demons! You and the characters get a rare moment every once in a while to catch your breaths but, just as you do, the story zooms off ahead of you again and you have to hang on tight so you don’t get left behind.

And you really don’t want to be left behind. The story itself is intriguing enough to keep you anxious to find out just what’s going on as old friends betray each other over and over and nothing is ever really what it seems. What it seems is a pair of well-trained truck drivers hauling secret cargo cross country are beset by hijackers, but we soon learn there’s much more to it than that.

Based on this book being dedicated to Kurt Russell, I can only assume our eye-patched, long-haired protagonist is supposed to be equated to Russell’s Snake Plisken from John Carpenter’s Escape from New York and Escape from L. A. That works as good as anything else and certainly makes for some visually striking images but the writing makes him an even better character than the one-note Snake in the long run.

Johnson provides some brief but lovely quiet visuals throughout to go along with the more intense sections of the book. This works well to show he’s not just a one-note illustrator.

Like I said, I didn’t know much about this going in so I’m not going to tell you much about it either. It’s a genuinely well-written story, though, with humor, action, mystery, and unexpected twists. It’s told very well by both writer and artist (and with some brilliant uses of color by Lauren Laffe).

It’s a fast ride, a dark ride, a bloody, violent ride and, in the end, if a comic book can be loud, The Ghost Fleet is very, VERY loud! I binge-read it in one sitting and it turned out to be one HELL of a ride…in spite of the motion sickness!

Booksteve recommends!

 

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