Ghostbusters #5

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

Sun, January 22nd, 2012 at 7:50PM (PST)


"Ghostbusters" continues to deliver quality art and good stories. The usual cast of characters -- Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, Egon Spengler, and Peter Venkman -- is sent out to deal with a spooktacular threat in Schenectady, New York. The ghostly menace there haunts Fantastic Land, a fun park that captures the minds of the young and the young-at-heart.

The issue opens with the team suspended by Walter Peck, the head of Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission, and wallowing in their dilemma. Venkman has been instructed to shed some weight, Stantz is trying to crack the code of the Ghostbusters contract with the city, and Spengler continues to befuddle his compatriots. The characterizations by Erik Burnham are on par with that of the crew from the movies (and even the cartoons) as they continue to grow into this series. Humor serves as the baseline, balancing out the horror of ectoplasmic invaders and spiritual possessions.

Dan Schoening catches all of the nuances of the characters’ interactions and magnifies them through his highly-stylized art. The forms of the characters look apt for animation, but Schoening’s collaboration with Luis Antonio Delgado grounds the characters firmly in the world depicted in these pages. This issue is soaked in slime-green (and relative hues) apparitions that are representative of the fearsome foe facing the Ghostbusters. Schoening skillfully blends the horrific and the mundane, giving all of them depth and interactivity. The characters live in the panels and the panels are brought to life through the characters. Schoening also drops in some subtle details and imagery that are left in this issue’s background. There’s something more to those images, but Burnham and Schoening aren’t sharing just what that is. Yet.

This series has consistently delivered entertaining stories. This issue is less compelling than some of the previous issues, but it still provides a gratifying read. There are a pair of scenes in the early half of the book that have some unexplained jumps in them, but the story doesn’t get hung up by either one of those.

As the opening chapter in the Ghostbusters saga, this issue offers a nice sample of what to expect from the series. It also closes with a tight cliffhanger that will surely have you coming back for more.

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