Comic Book Review – The New Ghostbusters #1

Luke Owen reviews the first issue in IDW’s Ghostbusters series…

The Ghostbusters are gone, spirited away by some dastardly demons from another dimension! But spectral shenanigans haven’t ceased in the city that never sleeps, meaning a new group will need to step up and don the proton packs. Will the New Ghostbusters be able to rescue their predecessors, or will they share the same fate?

I have been in love with Eric Burnham’s run on Ghostbusters for some time now and continue to tell anyone who will listen that they should pick it up. Last year IDW announced they would be starting a new ongoing series of Ghostbusters comic books based around a new line-up of recognisable characters from their cannon. The teases are finally over and The New Ghostbusters are finally here – and it’s just as great as ever.

Before I go on to discuss how much I like this comic, I would like to say that my only disapoinment is the build towards it. If this is a continuation of the monthly Ghostbusters series, then why not plant the seeds more than just press releases outside of the comic realm. We could have had a big build to the disaperance of the original team and the formation of this new team rather than just throwing them together within this first issue.

That’s not to say it’s poorly paced as Burnham’s writing is strong enough to carry the story forward. Our Ghostbuster heroes are taken one by one by spiritual forms of themselves and thrown into an unknown astral plane. With the ghost problem now getting worse in New York, faithful secretary Janine takes it upon herself to lead a new Ghostbusters team, (she used to be one after all – see The Real Ghostbusters for more details) including Venkman’s love interest Melanie Ortiz (first introduced during the Ghostbusters tour of America), Kylie Griffin (of Extreme Ghostbusters fame and Ray’s Occult Book Store worker) and soon-to-be-added Ron Alexander who was once the leader of rival ghost busting team the Ghost Smashers. It’s a really nice mix of comic cannon and Ghostbusters cartoon lore which will appease fans of the franchise but not shut out newcomers to the series.

While it sounds like I’m over-praising it, Erik Burnham’s writing in this issue is nothing short of brilliant. His dialogue exchanges between every character are absolutely pitch perfect and everyone has a unique voice. I’m looking forward to future issues to see if he can flesh out Kylie’s character as she is a little bland (odd seen as though she was the most interesting in The Extreme Ghostbusters) and I can’t wait to see the interactions with Ron and Janine. The set-up, while rushed, is well thought-out and having Peck to put them together just to exploit them is fantastic. What better villain to the Ghostbusters than Walter Peck?

I’m am fully on board for The New Ghostbusters. Burnham and company have kept in all the little touches and nods to the Ghostbusters franchise and have carried on the ongoing series to perfection (lack of build aside). I know the series isn’t going to last, but I’m going to enjoy the run until the boys return. If you’ve not picked up a Ghostbusters comic before, this is a great place to start.

Luke Owen is one of the co-editors of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @CGLuke_o.