Comic Book: Brody's Ghost
Brody is a young loser living in squalor after a bad breakup. One day, as he’s out on the street playing his guitar for tips, he finds a young girl staring at him from the inside of a van. After winning a short Staring Contest with the girl, Brody watches as she passes through the roof of the van, floats over toward him, and begins talking to him.After Brody regains the power of speech, the girl, Talia, explains her situation: A ghost locked out of heaven for reasons she won’t disclose, she can’t enter until she commits a life task—a “super-good deed”. Talia has decided to catch the serial killer known as the Penny Murderer, but as a ghost, she can’t affect the world in anything but the most limited of ways. Thus, she has chosen to coerce Brody—who she claims is a ghostseer, a person who can see, and communicate with, ghosts—to aid her, even if she finds him, as she puts it, “skuzzy”. With the help of Kagemura—a centuries-old ghost with some abilities of his own—the two must find a way to unlock Brody’s hidden potential and solve the Penny Murders.Created, written and drawn by Eisner nominee Mark Crilley (Akiko, Miki Falls), Brody’s Ghost is his darkest (if not necessarily dark) work to date. It is currently being published as a six-volume mini-series by Dark Horse. Four preview mini-stories can be seen here, in issues 30, 31, 32 and 33.
This comic book provides examples of:
- Animesque: While Crilley’s style has always had manga influences, he specifically mentions that Brody's and Talia’s designs are partly inspired by Takeshi Obata’s depictions of Light Yagami and Misa Amane.
- Being Good Sucks: All Brody wants is to protect his ex-girlfriend from a serial killer, but because of his situation, no one other than his friend Gabe believes he has powers, and thinks he's either a crazy stalker that's obsessed with his ex, or a crazy, pathetic loser that's desperate for the reward money of capturing the Penny Murderer, often leading to him getting into fights and got his home vandalized. And because of this, his ex girlfriend hates him, and calls the police on him after getting back at the guy who vandalized his home (who just happens to be her new boyfriend). It doesn't help that he was tricked by Talia to become her instrument of vengeance towards said serial killer, either. Poor guy can't catch a break.
- By-the-Book Cop: Gabriel, Brody’s only friend.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Talia, of course.
- Hair Decorations: Talia.
- Foreshadowing: At the end of Volume 2, Brody has a vision of Nicole'snote lifeless corpse with a penny on her forehead.
- Gratuitous Japanese (so far): For a city that doesn’t appear to be in Japan, there sure is a lot of kanji and katakana around.
- Heroic Build: Averted. Despite the figure Brody cuts when he's fully clothed, he's got the physique of a scarecrow with a beer gut.
- Played straight as of Volume 2, as a result of Kagemura's intense training.
- Intangible Woman: Talia.
- I See Dead People: Ghostseers.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: Possibly played straight with Kagemura. Averted with Talia - what she wears as a ghost is not the outfit she was murdered in.
- Mind over Matter: Part of the standard ghostseer power set.
- Narrator: Brody.
- Odd Couple: Brody and Talia.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: So far we have three different kinds of ghosts:
- Regular ghosts, like Talia, are invisible and intangible, but can interact with the world in one specific way that’s different for every ghost.
- Site specters, which attach themselves to specific locations.
- Demighosts, which can touch things.
- Redemption Quest: Talia’s self-imposed mission of stopping the Penny Murders.
- In volume three, however, we learn she was actually murdered, and the crime has some disturbing similarities to the Penny Murders even though it was a couple of years before they started, which casts doubt on what Talia's actual motives are.
- Subverted as of Volume 4, as it turns out that Talia was indeed a Penny Murder victim, and the whole Redemption Quest deal was a ploy used to con Brody into helping her avenge her death, as she reveals to him that the only ghosts that are left behind in the living world are the ones that choose to stay because they have "unfinished business."
- The Slacker: Brody.
- They Fight Crime
- Training from Hell: Kagemura puts Brody through this in Volume 2, which included making him climb up one hundred telephone poles in one day. And he did.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Talia.