I realized that, while I like the concept of Five Ghosts, it's really Chris Mooneyham's art that I'm attracted to. I'm okay with pulp adventure, but it's not my preferred genre, so there has to be something special to draw me in, and with Five Ghosts, it's partly the concept of a Fabian Grey channeling Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Robin Hood, Merlin and the samurai from literature whose name I've forgotten, and it's even more partly Chris Mooneyham's Kubert-ian artwork. This issue features an enjoyable done-in-one script from Frank Barbiere, but the art from Garry Brown pales compared to Mooneyham. Brown has an excellent sense of storytelling but the end work winds up feeling rushed and sloppy in execution. I quite like his work on The Massive with Brian Wood, so I'm not sure why I dislike it so much here. Is it just the difference in style from the series creator, or is it just ill-suited for the subject matter.
Either way, this feels like a bit of a placeholder issue, a "don't forget about us" while Mooneyham stocks up some work on the next arc or something. I'm not abject to having more one-off issues of Five Ghosts by other artists, but they have a lot to live up to.