In Review: Ghostbusters 101 #6

IDW is keeping the flame faithfully burning for Ghostbusters fans. Recommended.

The covers: Four different frontpieces to seek out on this fantastic final issue. The A cover completes the puzzle covers of the entire cast running before a map of New York. Dan Schoening provides the art and Luis Antonio Delgado  the colors for this image that features Jenny Moran, Jillian Holtzmann, and Melanie Ortiz. This is a great concluding cover and if IDW doesn’t release all of these as an actual poster, it will be a crime. The B cover is by Tim Lattie and Delgado featuring head shots of fourteen of the characters with their car and headquarters at the top. Lattie’s covers have been based on movie posters and I’ve been able to easily identify all of them, but this one escapes me. I know I like it, but I can’t place the poster it’s reimagining. Bart Sears is the artist, Andy Smith the inker, and Neeral Menon the colorist on the C cover. I love Sears’s art and he does not disappoint, and neither does Smith inking his work, with the Busters resembling Schoening’s creations. The boys are investigating a location with a wooden floor. They spot some slime, but are too late to notice all the spirits that have apparated around them, including a monstrous Slimer that dominates the background. The colors on this are also fantastic, being so bright. The Retailer Incentive Wraparound Photo cover features Chris Hemsworth as the inept Kevin Beckman, while the back features Annie Potts as the fantastic Janine Melnitz. I’m a tremendous fan of photo covers, so this was the one I had to purchase. However, I’m keeping $25 handy for IDW to release those map covers as a poster or print. Overall grades: A A, B A, C A, and Retailer Incentive A+ 

The story: Both teams of Ghostbusters have gathered large squads of cadets, “…And, hey, for your trouble, we’re offering a 10% off coupon for your next 101 experience,” to neutralize the energy from lay lines that’s allowing the two different universes to merge. As this is going on Special Agent Melanie Ortiz has been told by her F.B.I. boss to go to Ghostbusters headquarters to find out what exactly is going on. Unfortunately the first person she meets is Jillian. Their conversation is hilarious, as all Jillian’s conversations are, showing that writer Erik Burnham has a solid lock on this character. But she’s not the only one, Burnham has captured all the characters, old and new, exceptionally well. I stated in my review for Issue #1 that I’d be happy if he just had the characters talking in the headquarters for an entire issue, though the story he has in this concluding chapter is great. The threat is neutralized, that’s no surprise, but the character moments that Burnham has are superb. Standout characters include Kylie, Abby, Egon, and a wonderfully surprising, touching scene with Garrett. For a book that promises laughter and scares, and delivers, it’s impressive to find a moment where a character gets some honest emotions and it fits so naturally within this tale. If IDW is wise, they’ll make sure that Burnham is chained to a desk, writing Ghostbusters tales forever. Overall grade: A+

The art: Jillian is the most fluid character in this book. For a medium composed of static images, she’s constantly in motion and the reader can follow those movements flawlessly, thanks to the skills of Dan Schoening. Pages 4 – 7 have the kooky character moving about that mirror actress Kate McKinnon’s actions wonderfully. Though it’s only one page, the actions on 10 are beautiful: the surprise character is introduced in a great way, and that final panel elicits chills because of the emotion on both characters’ faces. There’s a terrific piece of technology introduced on 12 that conjures a sound in the reader’s mind before the sound effect on the page is encountered. The creature, that’s appeared in previous issues, remains creepy as can be, albeit more monstrous than ever against the backdrop. Page 18 is probably going to be the highlight of the issue for most readers, as it shows several classic scenes from the three films, though due to the universes merging, the teams have switched, so the characters are shown in moments from the other team’s film. It’s fantastic. The final page introduces a character from the last film that appeared only in the closing credits, meeting one of the original Busters. I practically leapt out of my seat in joy at seeing this individual. I had been thinking what the last image for this series could be and Schoening gives it a solid emotional punch that left a smile on me without seeing any characters’ faces. Genius. Simply genius. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Matching the artwork are the brilliant colors of Luis Antonio Delgado and Anna Chher. Notice the exceptional job done with the setting sun on the first page, with the city going a wonderful bronze, though the characters stand out with their Ghostbusters garb. The substance that comes out of the device in the second panel on Page 2 is wonderful for its disgusting shades. The colors within their headquarters are completely in line with the films — they make the artwork seem photorealistic. Anything that glows on the page, lights, spirits, or proton packs, are incredibly luminescent. Page 18 has the most varied use of colors and it’s fantastic. These colors are great. Overall grade: A+

The letters: The talented Neil Uyetake creates dialogue, sounds, whispers, ghostly speech, signage, and transmissions. The sounds on this book are great when the climax occurs and the ghostly speech is just a visual treat. Uyetake is gold. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The only negative to this issue is that it concludes the series. The story and visuals are exceptional. If you’re a Ghostbusters fan, you’ll want this book. Laughs, scares, and plenty of heart. IDW is keeping the flame faithfully burning for Ghostbusters fans. Recommended. Overall grade: A+

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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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