Comic Book Review – Ghostbusters #14

Luke Owen on the latest issue of Ghostbusters…

I don’t know about you, but I found the ‘Haunted America’ issues to be quite tedious and slow. So this latest story arc with the Ghost Smashers is a welcome change of pace.

I’ve always enjoyed Ghostbusters comics that remind me of the brilliance of The Real Ghostbusters and the Ghost Smashers do just that. Whether it was the trip to the opera in the last issue (which reminded me of the episode ‘Fright at the Opera’) or that Ron Alexander reminds me of a cartoon villain, something about the Ghost Smashers just works for me. All the best episodes of the cartoon (and even in the movie) are when the Ghostbusters are set against someone who wants to prove them wrong but ultimately end up with egg on their face.

The Ghost Smashers will clearly end up in this scenario but I can’t believe it’s come round this quickly. They were introduced at the tail end of Issue #13 and now in the middle of Issue #14 things are already going belly up for them. Egon has proven that their methods of dispersing ghosts rather than trapping them doesn’t work as they just grow back together more angrier than ever, and Peter and Ray have shown them up in a public place when their equipment didn’t work against the new stronger ghosts. I would have preferred a slower build to this point, with Issue #14 maybe setting more of the scene with the Ghostbusters being outperformed and outdone by the Ghost Smashers so that their eventual downfall would be all the more greater.

Once again, the artwork is fantastic and the nods to other forms of Ghostbusters (the cartoon, the video games etc.) are subtly referenced in the background. It’s just a fanboy’s dream. This level of detail was created solely for us fans and we appreciate it a whole hell of a lot. However what really makes Ghostbusters stand out from the crowd is its brilliant level of writing. The dialogue exchanges between Venkman and Peck, and Egon and Janine are just awesome. Erik Burnham has such a good grasp on these characters, which is more reflective of their Real Ghostbusters counterparts, but still rings true with the movie version looks they have. The opening few pages of Stanz’s James Bond-esque dream are not only fitting and timely, but also laugh out loud hilarious.

While I would have liked more of a build with the Ghost Smashers, the impending doom portrayed on the final page has really whet my appetite for next month and I can’t wait to see the battle with something “just as bad” as Gozer.

Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.