In Review: Ghostbusters 101 #3

Both Ghostbusters teams finally meet and it's worth checking out.

The covers: Three very different, but fun, covers for one to collect. The Regular cover continues the map of New York with the characters running at the bottom that was begun with Issue #1. Illustrated by Dan Schoening and colored by Luis Antonio Delgado, Egon Spengler, Patty Tolan, and Zoe Zawadzki are running to the right, with the first two in their work clothes. This looks great and when combined with the previous covers looks awesome. The Subscription cover by Tim Lattie with Delgado again on colors is impressive for the sheer number of characters. Thirteen characters from both teams and their supporting characters are on a canvas held by Kylie and Janine. In the center of these characters are four unique Ghostbuster vehicles that haven’t yet appeared in this series, but I hope they do after seeing them. Great work by Lattie, who’s captured Schoening’s style well. This is really nice. The Retailer Incentive Wraparound cover again features two images of Ghostbusters from the films. The front features a close-up of Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates, wearing the electronic helmet she first appeared in from the recent film. The look on her face is just awesome. The back features Dan Aykroyd as Ray Stantz. It’s from the scene inside the hotel, as he has his goggles on his forehead. Great picture. Overall grades: Regular A, Subscription A, and Retailer Incentive Wraparound A+

The story: In the Ghostbusters’ warehouse facility, one of Venkman’s paying customers, who wants to be a Ghostbuster, is catching a small ghost from a huge enclosure as Jenny Moran, a ghost, watches. Cait Banner comes up to the spirit and asks why she and the others from the 101 class haven’t been taught about ghostbusting lately. Jenny reminds her that they opened up a dimensional door that could have resulted in a demi-god passing into their universe. Their conversation is interrupted by Janine calling to say that she needs the guys in Battery Park, “like yesterday.” The story then shifts to Jillian Holtzmann, who’s woken by her roommates, telling her that there’s a commercial running advertising the Ghostbusters’ services — the male Ghostbusters. Additionally, there are two Statues of Liberty. Something is out of whack. Erik Burnham has the two teams finally meet up and it’s worth the wait. The ladies are not happy being part of this universe, though Holtzmann is having a blast, checking out every part of the Ghostbusters’ headquarters that’s different from their own and doing things that are really, really funny, especially with what happens on Page 15. I was glad to see that Burnham has the characters smartly determining what may have linked them together, as well as make a nod to the conclusion of the most recent film. Now that everyone is aware of everyone else, there’s only one thing to do, but that’s sadly just a tease for next issue. The gangs are together and I want to see what happens next! Overall grade: A-

The art: There’s no denying that the art by Dan Schoening is terrific. His character work is exceptional, generating perfect emotions with only a glance. Take a gander at Ms. Zeigler, who only appears in the first three pages: she’s joyous, anxious, and feeling accomplished, often with no dialogue. Cait goes through three very different emotions on Page 3 as she’s pleading her case to Jenny. The characters who appear in the final panel on that same page all have a similar emotional state that should set the reader’s spider-sense tingling. The scene stealer of the issue is Jillian, who is much of the book’s focus and also gets the majority of funny lines and action. Schoening does a ton of fun things with her, including great takes (Pages 5 and 10) and a hilarious visual sequence that starts on 13. There’s an outstanding visual joke on 15 that will have longtime fans cheering for the cameo. The work Shoening does on the settings is also remarkable. The warehouse that opens the book is fully rendered, Holtzmann’s residence is overflowing with details (including a laugh out loud “spot the sponsor” item that was in the film), and the Ghostbusters’ headquarters is picture perfect. Schoening is crushing the visuals. Overall grade: A+ 

The colors: Luis Antonio Delgado does the colors on this book and they’re equally impressive. I don’t recall seeing pink ever used for a ghost, but Delgado does so on the opening three pages and it suits the specter perfectly. In fact, it nicely catches the reader’s eye when its action moves to the background. There’s a nice shift in color for Jenny’s eyes on the second page that give her a somewhat ominous effect, but instead justifies the use of black for her dialogue balloons. There’s a great sunrise effect achieved through colors in the first panel on Page 4, while the final panel on 5 uses a great orange to enhance Holtzmann’s reaction. The greens used on 11 are wonderfully spectral, the orange on the device on 12 excellent (tipping off its serious nature), and the pale violet on 14 used for a specific effect makes it seem very electronic. There’s also a good tint done on 17 and 18 to show the reader that he or she is looking at a flashback sequence. Delgado is definitely adding to this book’s appeal. Overall grade: A

The letters: Neil Uyetake is responsible for scene settings and dialogue (the same font), ghostly speech, sounds, yells, a television transmission, and text on a television. The ghostly dialogue makes the spirits instantly identifiable, even when the reader may not be sure. The variety of yells are great, with my favorite being the bellow that wakes Holtzmann. There aren’t too many sounds this issue, as it’s primarily dialogue for the characters to meet and bring each other up to speed, but when they do appear they look awesome, such as the one that appears in the second panel on the first page. Overall grade: A-  

The final line: Both Ghostbusters teams finally meet and it’s worth checking out. The story is filled with plenty of laughs and the visuals are spectacular. Will easily please fans of both teams. Overall grade: A

To order a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/ghostbusters-101-3/

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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