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IDW's Ghostbusters 1-5 Retrospective

IDW Publishing has an extensive list of licensed properties at their disposal. One of those franchises is the Ghostbusters. IDW has published comics based on the paranormal eliminators before, but they were all mini-series. When they announced an ongoing series, longtime fans of the franchise couldn’t wait to get their hands on the series written by Erik Burnham and drawn Dan Schoening. Joining them to complete the creative team are Luis Antonio Delgado on colors and Shawn Lee on the letters. But that’s not it; Tristan Jones joins the fun by providing the story and art for the back-up entitled Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission.

The ending content of the books have included a report filed with the PCOC featuring a different ghost, a “ghostly gallery,” and fan art from young kids. The PCOC is essentially Walter Peck watching over the GBs making sure they are effective at their jobs and annoying Peter Venkman. Most people familiar with the Ghostbusters will remember Peck as the agent of the EPA who crosses the team in the first film.

The personalities of our favorite supernatural hunters are well represented as Burnham has a good sense of who the characters are and their interactions with each other. Egon and Ray maintain their scientist sensibilities, while Peter doesn’t so much. And Winston, while not a scientists, still presents the logic that gets otherwise missed. Readers may also be delighted by the continuation of the animosity between Dr. Venkman and Peck. Fans of the movies picking up these books will instantly catch on and see it as an evolution of the films.

The story begins with Ray receiving a warning in a dream about the impending arrival of “the third.” Along the way, the team has run into several ghosts including Slimer. They’ve encountered the animated bear statue on Wall Street. They have also crossed paths with a business man possessed by Idulnas, the third minion of Gozer. He kidnaps Ray in an effort to force him to select another form of the Destructor. As he did in the first movie, Ray has his mind on Stay-Puft. This time however, was purposeful to throw off the influence of Idulnas, who curses the boys as he vanishes. Following an incident at an amusement park upstate, the Ghostbusters were ordered to investigate and are currently trapped inside.

With Peck and his newfound power, the team has to deal with his demands as well. Recently, they have to shed weight to meet his requirement of physical fitness. Peter has not taken kindly to this, as expected.

The work of the art team gives the book a light-hearted feel. It is what some might refer to as “cartoony.” Schoening’s pencils compliment the book well. Examples of when this is most noticeable are the facial expressions matching with Burnham’s dialogue. Delgado provides vibrant colors for a bright look. The supernatural aspects of the entities are well presented with stylish neon blues and greens.

There is only one aspect of the series so far that has me torn, and that is the use of references to the films. I say torn because the film events mentioned will definitely put a smile on the faces of longtime fans of the franchise. Not only did the creative team pull events from the films, but if you pay close attention in certain places, you’ll notice characters from the animated series as well. On the other hand, they occur quite a bit and seem too convenient. I don’t believe that will bother many people at all however.

I recommend checking the series out. There have only been five issues published thus far, so I don’t expect them to be too difficult to find. I have been to a comic shop with issue number one still in stock. If your local shops are sold out of the earliest issues, they may be able to order more or you can likely find them online in multiple places. Find these issues and catch up, because you’ll want to join in on the fun as Burnham and crew take the GBs on new adventures.


I purchased these issues with my own funds.

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