The Black Ghost Vol. 2 TP
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 4, 2023
Price: $22.99
Creator(s): Alex Segura & Monica Gallagher (Writers); George Kambadais (Artist)
Format: 144 pgs., Full-Color, 7" x 10", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5067-3085-1
Age Rating: 12+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

This book, part of the Dark Horse Comics/comiXology collaboration, is an interesting sequel, one that recognizes the flaws in both the main character and the world in which she lives.  Lara is a reporter and a recovering alcoholic who may have substituted an addiction to adventure for her addiction to booze.  In the first volume of this series, she "inherited" a masked hero identity, but with limited skills and resources to do the things she wanted to do.  This has led to crime-fighting in a style most common in the Golden Age of comics… no super powers or fancy gadgets, just investigating and getting into fights too often for the hero's own good.  The city in which she lives is so corrupt that her main job as a reporter is figuring out which crimes stand out, but there are mysteries within mysteries, as she has hidden benefactors and foes with aims of their own.  Also, she's not really an expert at having a secret identity, so bunches of people seem to have a good idea who she really is.

The only real weakness to the story is the puzzling issue of how The Black Ghost actually survives, but it seems that the criminal element in the city she lives in doesn't use guns very often.  Her skills as an investigative reporter mesh with her needs as a hero, and the crimes involved are dark and gritty enough to make the story work.

The story is clearly intended for adults, but would be okay for older teens.  There will need to be at least a third volume to answer some of the many questions left unresolved in this one, though.

- Nick Smith