There’s something to be said for a comic book that catches you completely unaware and blindsides you with just how good it is – which is something that the first issue of Dead Seas definitely accomplishes.

Ghosts are real and returning everywhere at the start of the story, but we then pick up a decade later – when it’s been discovered that the ectoplasm that ghosts excrete has valuable, medicinal properties. It’s incredibly dangerous to gather, however – so it’s now become routine for criminals to agree to harvest the ectoplasm in exchange for vastly reduced sentences.

Yet they’re not being told everything upfront – and, at one of the aquatic containment facilities, it seems that ghosts are far from the only threat to everyone on board…

Though writer Cavan Scott has to get quite a bit of exposition out of the way in this first issue, it’s handled well and we still get a good sense of who our protagonists are, as well as the genuinely terrifying danger they’re in.

Nick Brokenshire’s art has a classic, old school feel – unshowy but still with spectacular moments, with great attention to detail.

Dead Seas has an original premise and so far sets up some really intriguing conflicts and drama, with a cliffhanger that throws a further spanner in the works.

Dead Seas #1 is well worth checking out; it’s definitely one of the most enjoyable comics I’ve read in recent months.

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