Review: Ghostbusters #5

Ducks quack. Dogs bark. Porn stars fuck. Ghostbusters bust ghosts. But not in this issue.

This is the first Ghostbusters book that I get the chance to review. I have a soft spot in my heart for this franchise because the 1984 film got me hooked on movies and ghosts. I looked forward to loving this comic.

But I didn’t.

GB5CoverOkay, instead of blasting this comic book the way I heckle kindergarten plays for sucking like they always do, I want to offer suggestions as to how to make this comic great.

Don’t have the Ghostbusters meandering all issue. Set up a spooky scenario and have the guys interact with the ghost in the issue. This book is nothing more than a set-up to the next issue. And that’s a cheat to fans.

A Pennywise from It looking clown at an amusement park goes nuts and spews spectral bats from his mouth. What. The. fuck. Meanwhile, Egon and Peter babble about how terrible it is to be under the direction of EPA dickless wonder, Walter Peck. And Ray tries to find a legal way around Peck’s control.

I understand the plot point of having the Ghostbusters answer to Peck; it has the potential to lead to a build-up when the guys triumph over him. It’s a basic plot device to put the heroes under the sway of the enemy. But it seems so illogical that in the movie Peck wanted to shut the Ghostbusters down, and now he keeps them running. I’ll give that one more time to play itself out and see if this is going somewhere.

Nevertheless, the guys only gear up at the end of the comic with a ‘to be continued’ fuck you to the readers conclusion just when the book gets some momentum. Please, creative team, if the title is Ghostbusters, bust one ghost somewhere in the issue. The comedy falls flat, and the dialogue is excessive.

The artwork takes some time to get used to, but I will give it a pass. The styling is something akin to Japanimation cartoons. No biggie—it is what it is.

But in the closing pages of the book there’s something fun and exciting. Some of the design sketches are batshit scary, and the bio page on “Sam” Hain was creepy cool. I usually ignore these pages in other books, but the concept sketches mesmerized me. I hope these drafts will work themselves into future issues.

This is a great licensed product, and the potential to be a hybrid horror/comedy product is there. This filler issue just fails to deliver. I will give this book a few more issues to find its place. But if it keeps up this way, I’m jumping ship for some other 80s license like Caddyshack.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Erik Burnham Artist: Dan Schoening Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/18/12