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Space Ghost #1

Posted: Monday, November 22, 2004
By: Michael Deeley



Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist: Ariel Olivetti

Publisher: DC Comics

Thaddeus Bach is a promising member of the Commandment, a militaristic police force with religious beliefs. Bach is recruited into an undercover unit called The Wrath. He quickly learns the Wrath is corrupt and staffed by heartless killers. When he tells his wife, the Wrath kills her and his unborn son. Bach is shot and left for dead.

Wow. This mini-series was promoted as being a pulp adventure, and it sure delivers! Olivetti’s painting recalls the lush art styles of a by-gone age. Kelly’s style is a good old-fashioned “betrayed-cop-gets-revenge” story. These are manly men and hideous aliens on a weird planet. This is a good guy in a bad system. This is “Magnum Force” in space.

I can’t recall ever seeing the original “Space Ghost” series from the 1960’s, nor the brief remake in the 1980’s. I only know Space Ghost as the goofy idiot talk show host. (Thaddeus Bach’s name is an oblique reference to “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” where Space Ghost’s “real” name is “Tad Ghostal”.) I’ll bet most of you do too. To us, this will be a dramatic reinterpretation of a funny cult character. In reality, this may be a return to the character’s action hero roots.

There’s a lot of obvious foreshadowing in this story. Many references are made to phantoms and being invisible. It gets to be a bit much. Kelly almost beats us over the head with the ghost symbolism. But it does set up Bach’s future decision to name himself “Space Ghost."

I am excited about this series. I’m really looking forward to what Kelly does next and Olivetti’s artwork.

Oh, and you can see more of Olivetti’s art in X-Man #63-74, written by Warren Ellis and Steven Grant. Next time you get a light week on the new comics racks, go digging through the back bins.



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