In Review: Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #2

You're guaranteed to have a smile on your face as you read this book.

The covers: High up in ECTO-2 Abby Yates acts as pilot while Egon Spengler scans for any ghost activity. Below the pair are two Ghostbusters I’m not familiar with. That said, I do like this A cover by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado. It connects to the previous issue’s A cover and looks cool. The colors on this catch the eye with the bright yellows at the top and bottom and the cool blues in the center of the piece. The B by Tim Lattie and Delgado features several Ghostbusters on the left and several of their supernatural foes on the left. Going from top to bottom for the ‘busters, I believe that’s Ray Stantz, Ron Alexander, Erin Gilbert, Janine Melnitz, and Egon Spengler in the power suit. I’ve not been reading the comics long enough to know who the ghosts are, but I do know that I like this cover. The final frontpiece is the Retailer Incentive is by Sara Richard. This is the most unique interpretation I’ve seen on a Ghostbusters’ cover and I like it. A giant ghost, that reminds me of something by Gerald Scarfe, has four Ghostbusters trying to trap it. I can identify Jillian and Erin, and I think that’s Egon running in from the side, but the Ghostbuster who’s jumpy from one of the spirits zipping about I do not know. This is incredibly stylistic and the colors are incredible. This is just flat out cool! Overall grades: A A, B A, and RI A+

The story: Picking up from last issue, Jillian is apologetic while Ron is not for accessing the Ghostbusters’ trans-dimensional portal. Winston threatens to do something that every fan would like to see occur, but is cut off by Jillian who reveals a bit of her past to the boys and they find themselves sympathetic. This is an easy way for writer Erik Burnham to have readers enter this book, even if they missed the first issue this brings them up to speed. “Meanwhile, a few blocks away…” within a hospital Janine and ghost Jenny Morgan have stopped in to see if there’s been any change with Peter after he took the brunt of the disaster that happened last issue. The two talk for a moment until the scene moves into Peter’s subconscious while he’s unconscious and this is the highlight of the book. He’s approached by someone who’s very familiar to fans of the original film and what this character has to tell Peter sets up a potential threat. I like that Jenny was in on this conversation and contributed to it with some very telling final words. If one is wanting some ghostbusting, don’t worry, not all of this issue is in Venkman’s head. A return to Ghostbusters Headquarters has something go down in front of the portal that has one hero learn that not all ghosts are funny. There are two terrific jokes from Burnham that the reader will get if they’re fans of Saturday Night Live, on Pages 7 and 19 (and now I can’t get Dana Carvey singing out of my head — thanks, Burnham), and the final page is a Who’s Who of anyone who’s ever been a Ghostbuster. This was funny, ominous, and cheer worthy by the end. And things are only starting to heat up! Overall grade: A

The art: Do you know how good Dan Schoening is as an artist? No? Then you really are missing out on one of the most delightful artists in the comics biz. He can create humor just with a character’s face and then create some solid scares with specters that would cause people to jump in a theater. The book opens with a full-paged splash of the pair of characters who are the cause of this series’ woes: Jillian Holtzmann and Ron Alexander. I like how the more familiar team of Ghostbusters are not happy with them, with Winston visually threatening to do something that fans would love to see. Janine and Jenny’s conversation on the pages that follow is equally good, with both characters looking great — I just love Janine’s lips! One should also look at the background. Look at how well rendered and detailed it is. The conversation starts with a terrific exterior shot of the city, with buildings looking realistic and then Schoening moves inside one of the structures with it also looking great. I especially like the nice touch on the coffee cup that Janine holds. The slow pull in to Ray at the bottom of 5 is cinematic. The location he ends up at had me doing back flips. The individual he meets had me screaming in joy. Schoening’s art is so good, I could identify this character before she was even named. The entrance of another character on the page that follows is great. Should the reader think all is well between the feuding characters, the pupil-less eyes of the new character will stop that. The half circle close-up of the character at the top of 11 is classy. I’m a fan of panels in books that are circular because they make me think of comics from the 1940s and 1950s. Having one in this issue is awesome. The action by the character in the following panel is outstanding. The baddie that’s revealed on 12 is really freakish: its torso is composed of an open chest and it has overly long arms. Its face is very unique and I’ll not spoil what it is. The actions it does are harrowing and I was grateful for what occurs at the bottom of 14. The final page is fantastic. If one is a fan of any version of Ghostbusters, they’re on this page. WOW! Overall grade: A+

The colors: On the opening page take a look at all the work that Luis Antonio Delgado has done on the coloring of Jillian. Her hair and clothing have got some sensational tone work that make the illustration three dimensional. Having her glasses tinted orange make her stand out among other characters, much as she did in the film, plus it gives her a quirky feel. Look at the brickwork on the wall behind the characters on Pages 2 and 3. Delgado could have gone for a blanket color job that wouldn’t have been bad, but by differentiating the bricks it makes the environment more real. When ghostly Jenny speaks, or any other spirit talks, their dialogue balloons are given a black coloring to tell the reader that the dead are speaking. Coloring is key to Peter’s scenes, as they take place within his head, making his visions extra creepy. The ghost that comes calling at the Ghostbusters’ headquarters is luminous in a strong crimson, creating a sick tone for its design. The colors on this book are great! Overall grade: A

The letters: Neil Uyetake creates this issue’s text which includes dialogue and scene settings (the same font), ghostly speech, sounds, yells, and screams. The screams are perfect, the yells appropriate, and the ghostly speech eerie looking. All that was missing was having a unique font for the scene settings. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A great story with terrific characters and laugh out loud jokes combined with spectacular visuals make this mandatory reading for all readers. You’re guaranteed to have a smile on your face as you read this book. Comic gold for Ghostbusters fans. Overall grade: A

To order a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/ghostbusters-crossing-over-2/

To see the covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

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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