"The Ghost Fleet #8" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson
2015, 24 Pages, $1.99
Comic released on June 3rd, 2015
Trace Morales is Death. The power of the Fourth Horsemen courses within every fiber of his being. Now he faces off against Cohle, who has revealed himself as a demon bent on destroying the Horsemen. Get ready for the fight of the world as apocalypse looms in the background of this bloodbath. Hey, wasn't this the comic about a truck?
Yes, it was a comic about a truck, but one that was carrying mysterious cargo that turned out to be the key to the end of the world. Think of that the next time one of those 18-wheelers comes flying by you on the highway. The battle that began in the previous issue continues here in the series finale, and holy crap is it epic. This is everything you'd ever want from a fight scene. Punches, kicks, uppercuts, arrows, guns, beheadings. It's all in there and more.
Artist Daniel Warren Johnson's work is breathtaking. These pages are filled with energy, like there's a pulse-pounding soundtrack booming out of each panel as the battle rages on. They feel like they're moving. There are several times throughout this issue that I either gasped or yelled, “Fuck yeah!”, which was really awkward while reading on the train.
Warren's illustration of the Death Horseman is the stuff of nightmares. It's tough to even figure out where to begin describing it. There's a gorgeous and terrifying full-page spread that showcases this thing in all its glory. It's really a sight to behold. I'll just point out my favorite feature of this beast. It has rows of fingers outlining its massive jaw. Just think about that for a minute and try to get some sleep later.
Writer Donny Cates fills you with excitement with this climactic duel between two powerhouses, then pulls the rug out from under you as the series draws to its conclusion. Things aren't what they seem. Did the good guys win? There's this startling moment of doubt as the characters realize the effects of their actions. It's a very Empire Strikes Back kind of feeling. Instead of miring in this uncertainty, Cates takes us to a kickass ending that fits with the overall tone and level of badassery that has flowed throughout The Ghost Fleet.
There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments throughout this issue, beginning with an appearance by Cates and Johnson as they discuss ideas for issue #9. We quickly find out why this is the last issue of The Ghost Fleet in a pretty hilarious scene. The capper to the fight scene is a nice touch with a nod to the previous chapter, tying up a loose end in such a satisfactory way. Yes, I'm being vague about this. A joke isn't funny if you have to explain it.
The Ghost Fleet ends in such a way as to herald in a new beginning. It's a balls-to-the-wall action book with a massive supernatural angle that changes everything in such an awesome way. It goes from being exciting to dreadful to friggin' metal. If you've ever liked any action movie that's ever been made, you should read The Ghost Fleet.