It was no surprise that when 'Tokyo Ghost' dropped that it would be excellent. After all, the dystopian Image Comics series featured the prolific writer Rick Remender and equally talented artists Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth. Through two very good, very different issues comes issue three and once again it has changed, evolved and grown into an engrossing love story of misfits transitioning from a world of detachment to a peaceful organic one.
When we last saw our heroes they had just been discovered after landing in Gardens of Tokyo. Deb and Led/Teddy meet Japan's seemingly Zen-mistress, Kazumi, who greets them kindly and offers them a place to stay. It's not the welcome they expected, but it certainly excited Deb to finally find a serene place, gorgeous and lush where Led could unplug and become more like the Teddy she once knew. It was going to take work as his profane retorts to Kazumi showed that he wasn't taking his TV and media withdrawals well. Luckily, Kazumi helped him detox.
What follows is some of the best exposition delivered by Deb. She describes her love of Teddy and how his gradual return to normal had enhanced their lives. This idyllic place away from the noise and visual pollution bombarding and stimulating their minds gave way to reflection, peace, and a focus on each other. The way Deb describes the transition is beautiful and flowery but sweet and exciting. Remender is a writer of great depth and sensitivity and that pours out of Deb with the elegance of verse. Remender is a goddamn poet.
The only way to do justice to those wonderful words is to give Murphy the job of creating a sweeping and dramatic landscape with intricate details even to the last abode far in the distance. Murphy continues to astonish and there's nothing he can't do. Even this traditional Japanese setting or "neo-bushido" as it's called is done with breathtaking ease. Each page is to be cherished and lingered upon with willing eyes. Hollingsworth brings his signature muted colors to great effect filling this paradise with ethereal appeal and majesty.
We can't tell just yet what any of this means. Is Gardens of Tokyo as perfect and serene as it appears or is there a dark side? We know it has one creepy guy lurking about. It almost doesn't matter because Deb and Teddy are so well written that you fall under their spell. Remender is locked into his feelings and he lets it fly, baring his soul through Deb making the most cynical asshole believe true love, however fractured, can be redeemed.