In Review: Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #7

This is a welcome all-ages comedy in the comic book world that everyone needs to read. Recommended.

The covers: Three different covers to trap for this installment. The first cover, the A, by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado follows the format of the previous A covers in this series: yellow and black warning tape is in the upper left and lower right corners, within are Dani Shpak (Chicago Ghostbusters), Winston Zeddemore (The Real Ghostbusters), Erin Gilbert (Answer the Call Ghostbusters) standing atop a black Ghostbusters car, Garrett Miller (Extreme Ghostbusters), and a giant robot that probably houses other Ghostbusters. I’ve loved the earlier A covers and I love this one as well. The B cover by Tim Lattie was the frontpiece I had to purchase because it’s drawn like a faux Kenner Real Ghostbusters action figure. The figure is Kylie Griffin with Pagan the cat. Within the pack is also a Braided Hair Ghost, Nutrono Blaster, and Proton Pack with beam that moves. This is fantasic and I wish Kylie was an actual figure. The C cover is by Harvey Tolibao and Kevin Tolibao. This has both movie teams blasting to the right and left sides of the cover, with even Slimer in the bottom left assisting them in fighting the ghostly green tentacles. Lots of action and the characters look magnificent. This is poster, print, and tee shirt worthy. Overall grades: A, A+, and A

The story: The penultimate issue opens with three mixed groups of Ghostbusters in peril. The first shown ghost is evil headmistress Ellen Gold who’s holding Jillian Holtzmann for “punishment.” Peter Venkman is explaining to the oversized spirit why Jillian should be released. He uses a word that the Gold ghost wasn’t expecting and it throws Jillian onto Peter. It’s at that moment when he activates a trap and capture the hellish headmistress. The ghost captured, the creepy house they were in disappears and they’re all back in the Sunday Funnies dimension. The Ghostbusters begin to argue whether Venkman was a hero or not until they’re silenced by Melaine Ortiz who tells them to “take the win.” Erik Burnham then turns to another team that’s having difficulties with an Godzilla sized clown that contains wheelchair bound Ghostbuster Garrett Miller. It was neat to see that Ron Alexander actually have a good idea to get them out of their predicament and save Garrett in the process. The other Ghostbuster team has Eduardo Rivera playing chess against the Death. The outcome was never really in doubt, but Burnham throws in a good twist by having the team deal with the entity in a surprising way. Just as it seems every problem is solved, all the Ghostbusters show up in the same location face to face with the big bad of this series. Next issue is going to be explosive! Overall grade: A 

The art: There couldn’t be two greater opposites in this series than Peter versus Ellen Gold. She is a mammoth specter with a huge Jabba the Hutt mouth from which several teeth are seen, rabbit-like, from the top and bottom of her jaws. She has black slits that contain glowing red orbs for eyes. She’s the size of a Buick and she’s in a bad moon. Venkman has got a terminal smile, with half closed eyes that shows the reader he’s completely at ease as he tries to distract her. His hands and arms are open to the entity, a great visual hallmark by Dan Schoening of someone who’s comfortable.  When the ghost is seen in the second panel on Page 2 her open mouth ceases to be humorous and becomes terrifying. Because the Ghostbusters are in different dimensions, Schoening has to give them all different looks with the first one being the Sunday Funnies dimension on Page 4: the rounded edges and edges and simplistic settings are hallmarks of newspaper strips. The foes in each dimension have to be threatening and humorous. Ellen definitely qualifies, as does the oversized clown. The entity tormenting Garrett is a sick looking thing, as if it were ripped from the mind of Guillermo del Toro. Death is magnificent in this book, being the familiar cloaked, skull-faced, being wielding a sickle, but when it’s in action it’s incredible. The Ghostbusters also look great; because there’s such a wide variety of Ghostbusters over the years, Schoening has copied the styles they’ve had in their other publications. This book is an visual tour de force. Overall grade: A

The colors: Because of the different dimensions, colorist Luis Antonio Delgado has to constantly change up his contributions to this issue as much as Schoening does. The issue begins in a big creepy dark house with Ellen Gold wearing and outlined in a hellish red. The reds surrounding her make her seem as if she’ll burst into flame at any moment. Notice on the second page that Jillian is wrapped in a violet cloth, which is the same color that the trap emits when it captures the ghost: a nice symbolic use of the color to show it captures people, regardless of their pulse. The ghosts’ dialogue balloons are colored black to show the reader that the speaker is dead. The flat colors on 4 complete the Sunday Funnies look of the artwork. The greens for the overgrown clown make the creature a fearful thing. The energy that comes out of the the Ghostbusters’ Proton Packs projects are composed of brilliant colors that match the spirits’ frightful intense hues. The pages involving Death are in black and white, giving it a Bergman feel. Even the sounds on these pages are in these colors. The final page features a stunning array of colors for a cosmic setting that instantly make it seem otherworldly. Overall grade: A

The letters: Neil Uyetake is responsible for the book’s text which includes ghost speech, dialogue, sounds, whispered dialogue, and yells. I have to continually compliment the very unique font for the ghosts which looks as supernatural as the spirits speaking. The whispered dialogue is the same size as normal dialogue, but not as darkly lettered or shrunken to make it tiny. Both versions of speech work well. The sounds are the show stoppers of the book, with SHBOOM, SHZZAAKKK, VWOOOOORPPPP looking just flat out cool. Overall grade: A

The final line: Burnham always delivers solid Ghostbuster tales with plenty of action, thrills, and laughs. Schoening and Delgado make the visuals exquisitely detailed; these are not the kind of the visuals one simply skims and moves on to the next page, but the kind of artwork one takes and savors. This is a welcome all-ages comedy in the comic book world that everyone needs to read. 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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