Ghosts are real, in a sense. They’re around us every day. An old picture, a scent of perfume or baked goods, a favorite song, all of those can bring back a flood of memories. They can haunt us, remind us of things unsaid, promises broken. Now what if those ghosts were physically real? And not exactly friendly?
In the new comic series Dead Seas, from writer Cavan Scott and artist Nick Brokenshire, ghosts are extremely real. Since the Dios de la Muerta event three years ago, ghosts are a very real, and very dangerous, presence in the world.
The storyline is as follows. In order to shave time off their sentences, convicted prisoners can volunteer for service on the R.C.V. Perdition (a floating research facility). Which doesn’t sound so bad! But what exactly are they researching?
Ghosts that have been captured and imprisoned (because ghosts can’t cross moving water). The prison laborers have to obtain some sort of ectoplasm for the researchers. Which sounds like no big deal… though why the prisoners seem to prefer a plunge into the Pacific over another day with the spirits, tells a different story.
Enter Gus, a hustler and a thief desperate to get back home to his daughter he’s willing to deal with malevolent ghosts. He gets dropped into the middle of this shady research facility and has to fend for himself, discovering the mysteries of the supernatural.
Cavan Scott is probably best known for his work on the Star Wars High Republic series. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of that comic, the writing here is at least, more grounded and intriguing. There are plenty of strands here that can get picked up on – such as, why did the ghosts suddenly appear in the first place? What are the researchers trying to find?
Meanwhile, Brokenshire’s art is amazing. Particularly the ghosts. They are disturbing yet beautiful nightmares. Frightening and familiar. Terrifying yet mesmerizing, with haunted details and a color-palate that blends reality into the the surreal, working well with the comic’s layout and design.
This is a promising start to a new series and I look forward to following it to some scary places.