Sunday, 5 July 2015

Ghostbusters, Volume 5: The New Ghostbusters Review (Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening)


I haven’t read any Ghostbusters comics before (and after this I won’t be reading any more!) so I’m not sure if it’s just this volume or if the entire series is like this but for a book calling itself “New Ghostbusters”, it sure uses a lot of old stuff from the two movies! 

The setup is that the original four Ghostbusters - Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston - get arbitrarily thrown onto some floating rock in another dimension so four new Ghostbusters, led by Janine Melnitz (their receptionist) have to fill in until their inevitable return. Merchandising rights are at stake or something stupid. 

Let me backtrack my opening gambit: besides Janine, we’ve got Kylie Griffin (who works at Ray’s occult bookshop), FBI Special Agent Melanie Ortiz and Ron Alexander all of whom I don’t recognise so I suppose they’re legit new. 

But everyone else is taken from the movies - besides the original team and Janine, Walter Peck and Jack Hardemeyer both appear, as does Janosz, who, once again, is the focal point of some bad spirits. Even the ghosts are olde worlde spooks like Vigo! And what do the new Ghostbusters do? Same stuff as the old Ghostbusters: blast ghosts (but never crossing the streams!) which comically (in theory only) leads to collateral damage.

Ghostbusters was a great movie (the second was a lesser clone of the first) because of the chemistry between the group - Peter, Ray and Egon were terrific! This new group? No chemistry at all. Janine’s ok with her bristly attitude but the others are blanks, even Ron Alexander, who’s supposedly a rogue, is a personality vacuum!

That and the generic nature of the story made reading New Ghostbusters a real drag. It’s not funny, imaginative, and it doesn’t take any chances - it’s the very definition of blah! 

The one good thing was seeing the familiar designs for the toys appear in the backup feature of the book. I loved those Ghostbusters toys growing up! That mailman with the toothy midriff, the bent over football player with a mouthy back, the dustbin man with wasp wings who put the bin on his head and an insect’s head poked out the top! Ah, nostalgia...

Ghostbusters, Volume 5: The New Ghostbusters

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