"Ghosts on the Tracks, Part 2 of 2: Voices of the Dead"
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artists: Darick Robertson (p), Wayne Faucher (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Nightcrawler finds the subway ghosts are not a happy bunch, but he is able to uncover a fairly important clue, as the ghosts lead him to what looks to be human remains that were sealed behind a wall. Kurt then pays a visit to various information sources, where he not only learns the identity of the ghosts, but also what they want him to do for them. Kurt uses this information to give the ghosts what they were looking for.
Comments: Okay, I've seen literally dozens of ghost movies in the past few years, and I have to say if there's one thing that links them it's the idea that the ghosts are always looking for some past injustice to be corrected so that they can leave this plane of existence. Now the good ghost stories (e.g. The Devil's Backbone) also provide some reason why the ghosts take such a seemingly aggressive approach early in the story, as one would think that killing the people that you're trying to get help from is not the best way to secure their assistance. I guess though the story would have been over rather quickly if the ghosts acted in a reasonable manner. Still, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has clearly seen the same ghost stories that I have as this issue follows the exact same formula that I've seen dozen of times before. I mean if you were surprised by the solution to the mystery of the subway ghosts than I fully expect you're one of those rare mystery buffs who is equally floored when Scobby Doo and company learn that the person that hired them is also the evil entity that they were brought in to investigate. I mean this issue is far from being a brain teaser, and I'm a little disappointed that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa didn't make a little more of an effort to inject a couple of unexpected plot twists. The means that are used to appease the ghosts were also a bit silly, as it doesn't really address the question of why the heck did these ghosts wait one hundred years before making a stink? Still, I guess if one was looking to learn more about the New York subway system, then one might want to give this issue a look as it's jam packed full of trivial information that serves no other purpose than to show readers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has a wealth of trivial information to share with us.
A cover by Greg Land is always a welcome touch, but it's even better when the cover is related to the action that one finds inside the issue, and Nightcrawler's ghostly opponents are well presented on the cover. The interior art in the opening pages is very nice as Kurt narrowly avoids the various attacks. It's actually quite easy to believe that these ghosts are actually a genuine threat. The art also manages to do some nice work on the little moments, like Kurt's various expressions as he tries to figure out what the deal is. In fact, the art did such an effective job of conveying Kurt's befuddled state that I was a little disappointed when the story made the solution so easy to figure out, as Kurt really should have been able to put the pieces together without Amanda's help. There's also a nice quiet little moment on the final page, as Christine comes to realize that Kurt isn't looking to be anything more than friends.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!