REVIEW: The Ghost Fleet #3

Written by Donny Cates
Art by Daniel Warren Johnson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Release date: January 7, 2015

The Ghost Fleet had been in my radar for some time, but it wasn’t until issue #3 that I took the time to read it. Boy, have I been missing out.

Issue #3 of this series is one of the most intense, action packed books I have read in a long time. From the first page to the last, Donny Cates writes a story that kept me on the edge of my seat and is highly reminiscent of all out action movies from the 80s. In fact, the main character, Trace, looks like he could easily be Rambo with an eye patch, and I’m a sucker for this kind of fun.

The first part of the issue recounts the story of how Trace hijacked the Ghost Fleet as Director Ward tells Senator Cohle of how a lone man with a bow and arrow managed to take down an armed guard, and steal an 18-wheeler without trace (no pun intended) or any harm done to the guards. Cohle’s reaction is priceless throughout the retelling and worth a chuckle in its own right, but the way Cates writes the scene is as cinematic as the films it must pay tribute too, and just as outrageous. This book isn’t all flash though, as there are some very complex relationships between all the characters involved, and none are simply cardboard cutouts of actual people. Even Trace in his few words shows much more depth and personality than your typical action hero which is great to see.

Such a high-octane story requires great art and Daniel Warren Johnson does a terrific job at capturing the high level of energy this story packs into a single issue. His style is less refined and much grittier than most artists but it works so well in bringing Cates’ script to life. Colors are provided by Lauren Affe who deserves huge credit to rounding out Johnson’s pencils, particular in the panels where Trace hijacks the truck and there is smoke and flames engulfing the page.

With strong dialogue, smart, full-throttle pacing and strong, The Ghost Fleet #3 is one of the best books you’re probably not reading. The only regret you’ll have picking this series up, is not having the next issue in your hands. Pick this up!

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