Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekly Dose Of Weird!

If Helloween did the soundtrack to The Haunted Mansion, it would be the best theme park ride in the world.  GHOSTS #108
Ghosts #108 -- This looks like something out of The Haunted Mansion. Then again, that moon makes it look like a Helloween album.

I. "A Chance!" -- (Framing Story) Squire Shade introduces us to Charlie Davis, professional wrestler on his last legs. Charlie will try to win the deciding fall by living out three very different lives...

II. "Trick Or Treat!" -- A biker named Brute and his gang bust up a graveyard, including prying a decorative head off of a mausoleum. Turns out the tomb belongs to the caretaker, who has been searching for the diamonds his brother hid herein. The bikers steal the head and rough up the caretaker, who is then egged on by his spectral brother to go after them. He does, and retrieves the head... not noticing the diamonds spilling out of it. Lose one for Charlie.

III. "Iconoclast!" -- A paranormal debunker is in the middle of northern Idaho is put on to a local haunted house. When the spooks inside seem all too real, he is able to disbelieve them into disappearing -- along with the entire house as well. Charlie wins.

IV. "The Face Of Truth" -- A research professor discovers how to seperate the body and soul, but his jealous administrator tosses him in the device and claims the work as his own. When his colleagues want proof, he shows them the device -- with the dead professor inside! What looks like a hoax is revealed to be true when the professor's spirit reaches through the device and kills the administrator, who takes the secret to his grave. Charlie didn't do so well.

V. "Brain Cells" -- In a story seemingly unrelated to our poor grappler, two criminals and a corrupt police officer blast off a prison asteroid, only to run into a strange being of pure energy. Explaining that his people learned to leave their physical bodies behind to travel great distances, the being teaches the fugitives the trick and they whisk away to the being's home planet -- which is without war, poverty, or crime thanks to chemical brain treatments. Wanting the formula to control other men's minds, one of the criminals steals it, and the three blast off as energy to their ship... which has been found by the police, who are disposing of the seemingly dead bodies. The cop and the younger crook manage to regain shape, but the older one who had stolen the formula finds himself destined to remain non-coporeal for the rest of time.

VI. "A Chance! (part two)" -- (Framing Story) Charlie is pinned, and loses his last shot at glory. But, he swears, this is a new opportunity, and this time he will make something of himself. Squire Shade ominously adds "The Beginning."

Overall Weird Factor: 4 (out of 5).

The writing must have been on the wall for the title, which would would last four more issues. The framing device is very odd, but unique at least. The fifth feature, with it's bizzare hard-left turn into science fiction, and the third, with some lovely Johnny Craig art, are the best segments.

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