Ghost Station Zero #1 (of 4) Review
Written by Antony Johnston
Art by Shari Chankhamma
Letters by Simon Bowland
It’s a good time to be Antony Johnston. His graphic novel, The Coldest City, has just been made into a Charlize Theron spy movie Atomic Blonde, and he doubles down on his femme fatale renown with a new arc in the Codename Baboushka franchise. For those not familiar with the spy, Baboushka, she debuted in The Conclave of Death, and she is a “Russian ex-mafiya-boss-turned-superspy”. The story for Ghost Station Zero starts with Baboushka on a mission in Shanghai, taking out human sex traffickers. A few witty spy lines and a vacant bridge car chase later, the protagonist finds herself with a new mission investigating a missing agent who was tracking down Ghost Stations, shut down Russian listening posts full of decades old intel. The book gets better there, and you get to see the smooth operating of Baboushka.
Much of the book is very James Bond, and there are a couple lines that I read in Sean Connery’s voice, regardless of the sex difference. That being said, she is certainly much more than Bond knock off on a motorcycle. She is more colorful, and she is full of wit. The story is pretty standard Cold War Spy, but it is executed well enough that I can look pass some expected tropes in a first issue. The art is vibrant, and while certainly sexy, it takes some steps not to go too far down the sexualized route.While I wish I could get more character development, the book was certainly enjoyable.
If you are a fan of Cold War-style espionage, Check It Out. I have a feeling this book is only going to get better.