Saturday, June 15, 2024

Comics Review: "SPACE GHOST #2" is Too Legit to Quit


STORY: David Pepose
ART: Jonathan Lau
COLORS: Andrew Dalhouse
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Joseph Rybandt
COVER: Francesco Mattina
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Jae Lee with June Chung; Bjorn Barends; Michael Cho; Joe Quesada; Francesco Mattina
32pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (June 2024)

Rated “Teen”

“Journey to the Ghost Planet”

Space Ghost is a superhero character created by the American animation studio and production company, Hanna-Barbera Productions.  The character first appeared in the Saturday morning cartoon series, “Space Ghost,” which was originally broadcast on CBS from September 1966 to September 1967 for 20 episodes.

In his original incarnation, Space Ghost was a superhero whose base of operations was a small world known as “Ghost Planet.”  He fought super-villains in outer space with his teen sidekicks, Jan and Jace, and their monkey, Blip.  His main weapons were power bands he wore around his wrists and lower arms; the bands fired off multiple energy beam-based attacks, including heat, cold, and force, to name a few.  Space Ghost could also fly, survive in space, and turn invisible (his “Inviso Power”).  He also had a space ship known as “the Phantom Cruiser.”

Space Ghost sporadically appeared in various comic book publications over a fifty year period.  Dynamite Entertainment has just launched a new Space Ghost comic book as part of its licensing agreement with Warner Bros.  Entitled Space Ghost Volume 1, it is written by David Pepose; drawn by Jonathan Lau; colored by Andrew Dalhouse; and lettered by Taylor Esposito.  In the new series, twins Jan and Jace Keplar and their pet monkey, Blip, meet that legendary cosmic vigilante known as “the Space Ghost.”

Space Ghost Volume 1 #2 (“Journey to the Ghost Planet”) opens in the past on the planet, Vector.  Here, we see glimpses of the tragedy that would turn a man into “Space Ghost.”

Space Ghost, Jan, Jace, and Blip travel aboard the Phantom Cruiser to Space Ghost's base of operations, “Ghost Planet.”  The kids soon grow bored, as the mysterious vigilante mostly focuses on his work.  Left to their own devices, the kids do their own thing, which includes an unexpected flight in the Phantom Cruiser.  Now, it's up to Jan to save the day, but can she come up with a way to save her brother, Jace, and Blip... and maybe help out the Ghost, too?

THE LOWDOWN:  Since July 2021, Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department has been providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  Space Ghost Volume 1 #2 is the latest, but it is not the first Space Ghost comic book that I have read.

I remain very happy about this new Space Ghost series.  The first issue was about re-introductions of classic characters and introductions of their new versions.  The first chapter was a little chaotic and a little thin on plot.  This second issue, which is stronger, does a deep dive into the possibilities of Jan and Jace and Blip becoming a working part of Space Ghost's life as a cosmic vigilante.  With this second issue, writer David Pepose perfectly captures the spirit of wonder and fantasy that was the original Space Ghost animated series, and it is a delight. 

Jonathan Lau's illustrations and Andrew Dalhouse's colors make for a gritty narrative, but they also turn Pepose's script into the perfect Space Ghost storytelling.  Whatever Lau and Dalhouse did well the first issue, they go nova on it with this second issue.  It is pop comics with a sort of moodiness which seems like a touch of Batman.  Also, Taylor Esposito's lettering is classic comics cool, which serves the spirit of Space Ghost quite well.

I highly recommend Space Ghost Volume 1.  It is easily one of the best comic book media adaptations that I have read in years, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Dynamite Entertainment's Warner Bros. comic book series will want to read Space Ghost Volume 1.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

This issue includes a four-page preview of Dynamite's Jonny Quest #1:

STORY: Joe Casey
ART: Sebastián Piriz
COLORS: Lorenzo Scaramella
LETTERS: Taylor Esposito
EDITOR: Matt Idelson

Jonny Quest created by Doug Wildey

The issues continues from the Jonny Quest FCBD Special that came out in May during Free Comic Book Day 2024.  Team Quest returns to their home on the island of Key Palm, where things are not quite what they're supposed to be...

Writer Joe Casey, artist Sebastian Piriz, colorist Lorenzo Scaramella, and letterer Taylor Esposito summon the classic “Jonny Quest” cool.  That is that it looks that way in this four-page preview.  Well, I feel it, dear readers, and I'm ready for more.


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