GHOST FLEET #1 Review

Who said road trips were boring? Dark Horse launches a new title this month that seeks to mix asphalt with action, but it’s way too early to tell if they’ll actually pull it off.

Here’s the official world from Dark Horse:

For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service . . . You call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life forever! A new series of badass action on the open road begins here!

GhostWriter Donny Cates is back, this time offering readers a premise that’s steeped in confederate folklore and contemporary military technology. Ghost Fleet #1 tries its hardest to make a splash with this inaugural issue, offering a touch a backstory, a dash of emotion, and tons of blood and bullets. The premise is this: Ghost Fleet is a service that will ship cargo anywhere in the world for a price, no questions asked, and uses high-tech semi-trucks to get the job done. Each truck is accompanied by armed guards who seem to owe the fleet something, too, and issue #1 starts off when something goes wrong: a truck is under attack and the issue ultimately chronicles the guard’s vain attempt to hold off the interstate bandits. There is very little backstory presented thus far, although Cates feels very comfortable foreshadowing catastrophic events that (one suspects) he hopes will keep the readers coming back for more. The lack of context is a bit of a problem in the sense you don’t really care about anyone on the page — but maybe that’ll change with issue #2.

Artist Daniel Warren Johnson is given an opportunity to really shine with issue #1 — with almost every scene being an action scene Johnson spends panel after panel blowing things up, tearing things apart, and spraying the reader with blood and bullets. True, the mark of a truly gifted artist is one who can create tension when depicting a waiter pouring a glass of water, but that’s not the script Johnson was given. Instead he has fun wrecking havok, and his craft is strong enough to make that really fun.

Ghost Fleet #1 offers a cryptic although strangely fascinating start. We’ll see what happens next.

Author
Max Delgado is the founder and curator of The Longbox Project (@LongBoxProject), a memory project for comic geeks. You can check it out at www.thelongboxproject.com