Energy has been monopolized, but the megalomaniac Mister Karloff is generous. When it comes to sources of energy, Karloff won’t rest until he has perfected the art. After trying coal, hydro, gas, wind, and nuclear, Karloff is preparing for his greatest source of energy yet: Sam. But after a terrorist attack threatens his Ohm corporation, Karloff has to unleash Sam before he is ready and entrust Sam’s oversight to his loyal employee Doyle. Sam and Doyle must battle their way up the Ohm corporate ladder, but what dark secrets await in Karloff’s Ghost Cage?
Just like Sam is deployed into the Ohm tower before he was ready, I almost felt like this comic took me unawares at the beginning. I’m not sure if it was the black-and-white, chicken-scratch art style or the abrupt briefing that Karloff is giving Sam, but from the top, I felt it slightly difficult to find my footing.
Fortunately, the discombobulation didn’t last long. Co-creators Nick Dragotta and Caleb Goellner have charged up a tale that’s loads of fun. Doyle, the lowly tech assistant at the behemoth that is Ohm, proves to be a worthy human-element anchor equipped with quips that almost match her tech prowess. Sam emits vibes of your favorite android character trying to find its way in a world run by humans–and also cleaning up our mistakes. Karloff is so cartoonishly villainous that you can’t help but wait to see what he has stored in his silo of monstrosities.
Along with fun characters, this break-neck ride is loaded with all kinds of treats. Whether it’s the kaiju-sized monsters or the delightfully offbeat “Ohmascot” Ghost Bud, Ghost Cage is ridiculous enough to work. The art style gave me serious vibes of old-school ’90s quasi-anime shows like Mighty Max, and, even more so, the video game feel of the art and story progression brought me back to my many hours spent in Mega Man games (shout out to Mega Man X, which has the most metal video game soundtrack of all time). And hidden within all this fun is an important message about environmental responsibility and stewardship. Seriously, I completely understand why Hydro was pissed off.
Ghost Cage packs a nuclear punch with a video-game style story, lovable characters, and retro-style art that make this double-sized issue feel like a wind-powered breeze. With only two more issues in store for this mini-series, it’s time to crank up your pull list (and your ’90s thrash metal) to 11 for plenty of “Ohm-my-gosh” surprises.
Ghost Cage #1
Sam's quest to be the ultimate source of energy10.0/10
Kaiju-style energy monsters10.0/10
Heavy '90s Mega Man vibes9.0/10
- Writer: Caleb Goellner
- Artist: Nick Dragotta
- Letterer/Designer: Rus Wooton
- Cover Colorist: Frank Martin Jr.
- Editor: David Brothers
- Publisher: Image Comics