Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ghost Station Zero #3 Review

From Russia with…hmmm...

Written by: Antony Johnston 
Art: Shari Chankhamma
Letters: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Image
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy

I haven't enjoyed this series up until now but was hoping that third time was the charm. Sadly not. If there was an award for fitting "spy film tropes" into a comic book then it may win; but I think that is the only award this title is going to bring in. It is difficult to make a series in this genre dull, but somehow this title - which I picked up in eager anticipation of a good read - doesn't deliver the goods. Let's dip in and see why this title has been denied a License to Thrill (You see? Reviewers can use tropes too).

Okay, we open with a chase on snow plows, which transitions into a chase scene through a building site, and some gun/knife/hand to hand combat action before our Baboushka finally makes an escape with the aid of a nail gun. Neat. Then she escapes by swinging on the hook of a crane. We then see some phone conversations and Baboushka proceeds to sneak into an office and hack into a computer. With a bit of jiggery-pokery and fiddling about she gets into the files on remaining Russian Ghost Stations.

Then the action switches to 38 hours later and Baboushka ultimately sky-diving off a helicopter. There's a bizarre piece of internal monologue when she reluctantly cuts herself out of a parachute before reassuring herself that she wouldn't have been able to parachute back out anyway (she's a bright spark this spy). She sneaks into the Ghost Station, just in time to realise that its a trap and the station is rigged to explode. She escapes on a JCB but it's not long before she is caught by the nail gun victim (remember her?) - a loose end that came back to haunt her. That's about it for the plot. Run, escape, gain false intel, find Ghost Station, escape booby trap and then get captured again by the person who was pursuing you back at the start of the issue.

Bits and Pieces

If the plot is pretty lame, the art is no better. The characters look constantly startled and/or constipated and it just is the wrong choice of art for an action plot. Given that the plot itself is pretty leaden then this offers me no comfort. The art fails to lift the plot, and the plot fails to lift the art. I'm afraid as far as I'm concerned this is a case of a title leaving me neither shaken nor stirred.


1 comment:

  1. Very nice review. It's disappointing reviewing lacklustre stuff. I know that art is a very subjective thing, but I'm not a particularly big fan of this kind of cartoony art. Even for that style, though, this looks kind of flat.