Luke Owen reviews the latest in IDW’s January series – Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbustes
“Something even stranger is in the neighbourhood when the restless spirits of some merciless Martians are stirred from their slumber to attack again! It’s up to the REAL Ghostbusters to save New Jersey from this angry red threat. Well… if they must.”
I have been loving this January’s Mars Attacks series and this current issue may just be the cream of the crop. As anyone who has read my reviews of IDW’s ongoing Ghostbusters series will know, I am a huge Ghostbusters fan so this was the issue that I was most looking forward to. However, it wasn’t my love of Ghostbusters that made me smile while reading Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters (although it helped), it was the fact that this was a really fun comic.
Erik Burnham has been doing great things with the on-going series as he is someone who is clearly a fan of the franchise. That shines through with Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters as he has captured everything that made those characters fun to watch for so many years. Not only does he nail each character individually, but he gets all of their dialogue spot as well as well as drop in some hilariously bad jokes (“Look out! He’s going nuts”, Ray shouts as a nutcracker shoots nuts from his mouth). Even the simple nod to the advert break “we now return you to The Real Ghostbusters” brought out a hearty laugh from me.
I also really loved the idea that, rather than fighting off the Martian invasion as Popeye and Kiss have done in the previous issues, but instead they are after the ghosts of a group of Martians who visited earth back in the 30s. In quite a hilarious turn of events, this group of Martians flew down to earth because they mis-understood a radio transmission of War of the Worlds as a news story and thought their invasion had started early. Now, in the present day, the ghosts of these Martians are causing a ruckus which means The Real Ghostbusters need to jump into action – complete with the occasional dig at New Jersey.
However, I do only have one question to raise that can count as a negative against the issue – why oh why did Jose Holder NOT do his artwork to reflect the classic Marvel Real Ghostbusters comics from the late 80s and early 90s? One of the brilliant aspects of Mars Attacks Popeye is how the comic felt like it was an E.C. Segar original and Burnham and Holder had the chance to replicate that with Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters. Aside from the character dialogue and different costume colours, this could have easily been Mars Attacks The Regular Ghostbusters. A missed opportunity, but not one that overly ruins the comic.
As I said earlier, this has easily been the stand out issue from this run of comics by leaps and bounds. Burnham has crafted a fantastic script that will delight Ghostbusters fans and entertain those that aren’t.
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.