Ghost/Batgirl: The Resurrection Machine

Ghost/Batgirl: The Resurrection Machine
Ghost Batgirl The Resurrection Engine review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Dark Horse/DC - 1-56971-570-X
  • Release date: 2001
  • UPC: 9781569715703
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Crime, Superhero

As Ghost has been through several revisions and Batgirl several identities, it’s worth noting to begin with that it’s Cassandra Cain in the Batgirl costume and Ghost has discovered the truth about the Furies by this point in her career. Barbara Gordon also plays a part, as Batgirl works with her predecessor, and she provides one of two narration strands. The pair of them are led to Ghost’s home city of Arcadia trying to track down a number of missing girls, a case Ghost is also investigating.

Ghost’s then regular writer Mike Kennedy produces the plot, which is racier than the normal Batgirl graphic novel as the missing girls are tied into the seedy adult entertainment industry. The characters team rapidly, and we follow them from venue to venue attempting to piece together exactly what’s happening. This is spliced with visits to Ghost’s foe Greymater, and Two-Face, both plotting something. In Greymater’s case it’s clearly connected with the plot, but the revelation of Two-Face’s part is a long time in coming. He’s a plot complication, and eventually well worked as such, but we have endure a fair amount of time wasting before then.

Ryan Benjamin’s art doesn’t impress. He can obviously draw, but some of his distorted figures are wince-inducing and his layouts don’t make the best of the material, which is further muddied by very dark colouring. To give him credit, considering the subject matter, the pages many other artists submitted would have been far more exploitative.

The title gives the game away as far as the plot is concerned, and Ghost learns the truth in the third chapter, also where Two-Face starts to earn his fee. The best that can be said about the story as whole is that it fills some pages. It never really sparks into life, there’s no depth added to the characters, and the science may be amazing, but Graymater thinks very small indeed. Unless you need every Ghost or Batgirl story, in which case you’ve probably already got this, there are plenty of better graphic novels to spend your money on.