I Know Why The Caged Ghost Cries?

Mar 22, 2022

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You are the light of the world. Full of unknown, unmeasured energy, created for a task that is solely your own. Sorry, I was just paraphrasing the introduction to the world SAM that receives during the opening pages of Image Comics new series. Did you think I was talking directly to you? Well that is probably because as Ghost Cage # 1 is already hinting, we all play a part in this story.

Ghost Cage # 1 (of 3)

Image Comics

Writer: Nick Dragotto; Caleb Goellner
Art: Nick Dragotta
Lettering & Design: Rus Wooton

Co-Writer’s Nick Dragotta and Caleb Goellner win an award from me with this series….”Take me to Sunday School without taking me to Church”. Their ability to preach to and not at the audience is evident from the opening panels. When OHM CEO and Founder Mister Karloff awakens SAM he even utters (with biblical forcefulness) “Call Me Father”. There is an urgency SAM’s activation, indicated by the rushed explanation Karloff gives. His speech also contains a hint of a “sin(s) of the father” situation. After a final command of “Don’t Fail”, SAM descends from the heavens, crashing to earth in a basket.

Now it would be irresponsible to send an infant into the world unattended. Karloff has his stool pigeon, I mean guardian angel in OHM employee Doyle, with Ghost Bud in tow. I first suspected this floating blob was just part of Doyle’s imagination, until I saw he works for Karloff as well. As a fright film fan I felt the fear that resonated as Doyle walked around the evacuated cubicles inside OHM’s office. You can tell there are probably a ton of ghosts (and maybe even skeletons) in these walls.

You’ve got the Touch, You’ve got the Power

The first issue of Ghost Cage introduces us to the layers of the story, in several forms. First, the art is a traditional black and white anime style. What some may see as barren is pure potential for Nick Dragotto. Instead of nothing I found my mind would “create” apparitions, somehow sensing things lurking in the shadows. SAM’s journey feels every bit like a video game dungeon crawler, complete with Boss battles. The influence of Japanese/Asian culture is impossible to overlook. In addition to the horror hallways of the office there are also two kaiju type fights this issue.

Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. At least that is how the song from Billy Preston goes. OHM and it’s CEO have sold the world on something, and now it’s time to collect. As a species we sought to confine and control the primordials, the elements, the gods. This series presents our quest to foolishly do more with less, as if entropy is avoidable. There is always a cost.

In Ghost Shell # 1 readers land right in the middle of the powerful mission SAM was designed to complete. Save All Mankind.

Score: 9.1

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