6 Coolest Comic Book Ghosts
BOO!! Did I scare you? No? Oh well, I tried my best. I’ve never been much of a horror fan, either books or movies, but I absolutely love Halloween. I love it when society as a whole unites behind this sort of epic pageantry. All the kids in the world dressing in costume to get free candy door-to-door? Awesome! A day where it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a costume to work or to class? Sign me up! I’ve already bought the spooky pumpkin mask I plan to wear when I’m out and about on Wednesday. Not to mention the Batman tie I only wear on Halloween.
Or maybe I should just walk around wearing a sheet over my head. Because what’s more synonymous with Halloween than ghosts?
And when we’re talking about science fiction and super powers, who better to use than ghosts? They’re spooky, mysterious, and often associated with horrible murder! Plus they have a ton of super powers. They can fly, pass through walls, howl, and wear pretty awesome sheets. So it should come as no surprise that ghosts are a pretty popular topic when it comes to comic books. For Halloween this year, I’ve put together a list of the 6 ‘ghoulest’ ghosts in all of comics!
Iron Man villain Ghost may not be an actual ghost, but he sure looks freaky enough! Whereas Tony Stark gladly gets out of his Iron Man armor from time to time (ladies), the Ghost has built his to be completely self-sustaining. Nobody knows Ghost’s real name or even what he looks like because he’s a paranoid germaphobe who doesn’t want to have to interact with people are expose himself to the real world. He stays in his suit 24/7. So he’s got the ghostly freakiness down pat. He also has the ability to walk through walls, so it’s a pretty apt name – if you don’t mind the smell from inside.
You’ve got to feel bad for the innocent civilians killed on the war-torn planet Cleave. Not only do they get killed for someone else’s war, but they also have to live on as ghostly red specters, trapped as whatever they looked like when they died. For alien teenager Izabel, that means a floating, disembodied torso with her guts and intestines hanging out. At least she remains pretty flippant about the whole thing. Izabel is the traveling companion of lovebirds Marko and Alana in the series Saga. She’s also their babysitter to help take care of infant Hope. Because who better to leave a newborn child with than a ghoulish, red mallrat?
Ghosts trying to solve their own murders is a fairly common trope in fiction, but how often do those ghosts choose to become badass superheroes while doing it? Elisa Cameron was killed and ghosted back in two Dark Horse Comics series in the 90s, and joined several other characters in a deep, mysterious exploration as to why she was killed. Don’t ask me what happened, I never read it. And her Wikipedia page makes it sound all manner of complicated. But she was a ghost superhero, with guns, so she’s totally on this list! Ghost also teamed up with Hellboy, the Mask, Batgirl, and Barb Wire, of all characters. Pretty impressive group of friends for a dead girl, if I do say so myself. Ghost has recently been revived by Dark Horse just this year, so maybe there’s hope for more adventures in the future.
3. Casper the Friendly Ghost
Don’t even try to tell me that Casper isn’t cool. Casper is the pimpingest ghost in all of comics, if his friendship with the blonde witch Wendy is any indication. Casper is also a total maverick renegade. When the universe told him that he was dead, Casper wasn’t about to take that crap lying down. This guy not only returned to the world as a ghost, but as a friendly ghost. He knows what the world expects him to be, but Casper ain’t having none of that! He’s going to use his dead powers for good and to help people, because that’s how Casper rolls. Bro also hooked up with Christina Ricci, so mad props there.
2. The Haunted Tank
It’s a tank. And it’s haunted. What more do you need to know? How about the fact that it’s haunted by the ghost of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart, who haunted the tank during World War II in order to look after his descendant, Lt. Jeb Stuart, who commanded a tank crew operating a Light M3 Stuart Tank. Wrap your brain around that one for a second. An old Confederate General comes back as a ghost in order to watch after his World War-fighting relative, who just so happens to pilot a tank named after the general. Now that’s comics! The Haunted Tank crew raised Hell across the African and European campaigns in WWII, often upgrading their tank to newer and better models, always with the ghost general watching their backs. The general has made a few appearances over the years, most recently in a New 52 reboot that didn’t sell very well. He was also part of a Vertigo series in 2008, where he watched over an M1 Abrams tank in Iraq, piloted by an African America soldier. Because apparently someone thought a Confederate General’s ghost teaming up with a modern day black soldier was the perfect opportunity to talk about racism…and haunted tanks!
1. Gentleman Ghost
Do not let your eyes fool you into thinking this is some kind of joke. Gentleman Ghost is a real comic book character, who has been terrorizing Hawkman and the Justice Society since 1947! And he really is just a ghostly suit and top hat, complete with cape and monocle. Not enough super-villains wear monocles these days. Jim Craddock was an English highwayman in the 1800s, who was killed when he ventured into the Wild West West, only to come back as a phantom due to a gypsy curse. Yep, a gypsy curse. He’s bound to the soul of Hawkman, because it’s a curse, after all. And he’s just adorable. Look at him! He’s a spook who prances around dressed like he’s going to a fancy ball, and he’s a super-villain! This is why comics are awesome, everybody. Look no further than Gentleman Ghost!
What do you think of my list of awesome comic book specters? Did I leave anyone out? What about other ghoulish or ghastly comic book characters that you like? Let me know in the comments!