Written by: Danny Cates Art by: Daniel Warren Johnson Colours: Lauren Affe Published by: Dark Horse Comics
This first installment of The Ghost Fleet is quite an engaging tale, the subtitle of ‘How it all ends…’ bookends the issue nicely. Danny Cates is a little playful with the concepts of where the tale begins. Indeed, the first page is an effective false start. Once the story does begin, it is an adrenaline fused romp. We follow our protagonists on an escort duty for an impressive (almost Optimus Prime) looking 18 wheeler carrying a ‘mysterious cargo’ – such is the content of the trucks trailer that attracts the unwanted attentions of a heavily armed and organized group. Obviously, a well informed and organized military type outfit doesn’t just happen to attack a secret convoy, and that aspect is directly addressed in the issue. Ghost Fleet doesn’t have any pretension of grandeur, it is an encouraging first issue that combines action, suspense, intrigue and some nice, bloody action. The weak point for me was the betrayal part of the book. A rather hackneyed device in an otherwise entertaining read. Aside from that, the writing is of a good standard, the pace of the book is well managed and the characters come across well.
Daniel Warren Johnson’s art is a little mixed. Some of the expressions are a bit off, where he excels though is in the action, and there is plenty of that around. When the 18 wheeler slams into an enemy vehicle there is energy, power and fury on display. Some of the panels have a cool cinematic feel, which, combined with the action, is reminiscent of the art on the Losers books – which handled events in an interesting manner. One element that really works well is the incident on the bridge and the repercussions of a sniper attacking the truck. Visually, it is very pleasing. The combat action, the gun play, is all effectively handled.
The issue wraps nicely, and sets the scene for the future of this book. I have a quietly optimistic hope for The Ghost Fleet. Danny Cates has done enough in this issue to draw you into the story and piqued the interest nicely; only time and further issues will tell if this hope is true or not.