In Review: Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #3

Every iteration of the Ghostbusters has gathered to fight a foe and it's fun and frightening reading.

The covers: An appropriate three covers for the third issue of this series. The A cover is by Dan Schoening with colors by Luis Antonio Delgado and it continues the same visual theme as the previous two frontpieces by this pair. Yellow warning tape is in the upper left and lower right corner. Roland Jackson pulls a gun to take out any pesky poltergeists, while behind him the Ecto-Bomber flies to the bottom left, piloted by Ray Stantz. Slimer is in the upper right, while below him is a bust shot of Janine Melnitz looking skyward with a smile on her face. I’ve loved all these previous covers and I love this. The light blue background allows the characters to really stand out on the page. Outstanding. The B is by Tim Lattie and has four of the Ghostbusters turned into ghosts themselves. From left to right it appears that Eduardo Rivera, a woman I can’t identify, Ron Alexander, and Jillian Holtzmann are in their familiar clothes, but are sporting spectral green skin. They also appear to be covered in Stay Puft Marshmallow Man gunk and since they’re all bearing weapons, it makes sense they might have battled another version of the baddie from another dimension. I like the illustration and the colors are cool, making the image a little scarier by having their greens catch the eye so strongly. The Retailer Incentive cover by Ilias Kyriazis leaves me scratching my head because I don’t know who either character is. I like the illustration, of a boy dreaming of a butch Ghostbuster, but I might have a different reaction to it if I knew who these characters are. Anyhoo, it’s fine, but I’m indifferent to it. Overall grades: A A, B A-, and RI C

The story: Nine teams of Ghostbusters have gathered at a facility of the Prime Dimension Ghostbusters. Writer Erik Burnham introduces this story through Walter Peck, who heads the Offices of Paranormal Contract Oversight Commission. He’s receiving this information from an unseen character who’s revealed later in the issue. He pours himself a strong drink as he hears there are at least two versions of Peter Venkman present. The informer goes on to state what occurred at the gathering, starting with how the Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters, from Dimension 50-S, want to go back in time and just stop the mess of dimensional hopping from happening. Ray tells them that the transdimensional portal is not a time travel device. This causes another group to say that Egon Spengler, either one that’s present, could probably make it so. This opens the floodgates for all the characters to start putting in their two cents, until Janine quiets them with a piercing whistle. As Egon begins to explain why all their proposals won’t solve their current problems he’s interrupted by Agent Melanie Ortiz has learned there’s a “can’t-wait situation by the G.W.B.” and she needs to borrow some ‘busters to stop it. Jillian volunteers and is joined by Winston, Rookie, Dani, and Lou. By having this team trying to trap a spook at the George Washington Bridge, Burnham can have the action interrupted by Egon’s plans for the majority of the Ghostbusters. This allows for some good focus on the three newbies, whom I’m not familiar with, and allow Jillian’s wackiness to shine. Egon’s response to a sound on Page 12 is really funny. The ghost the team encounters is massive and how it’s taken down is great. Pages 19 and 20 have Egon’s plan fully revealed, with 21 showing that the team is unaware that a past threat is ready to take all of them out. Burnham again captures the fun of every iteration of the Ghostbusters, while keeping the threats creepy and cool. Overall grade: A+

The art: Dan Schoening continually amazes with what he puts on the page. The first page of this issue is a full-paged splash showing all the Ghostbusters that have gathered to listen to the Prime ‘busters. They all look fantastic and I was really happy to see those in the center of the page — No spoilers! The second page has Peck sitting at this desk, moving about while he’s being brought up to speed with what’s occurring. I loved the look of dread on his face in the second panel, accompanied while pouring a drink. His final panel on the page has him settling in for a long story that he does not want to hear. It’s a funny, honest reveal of Peck. The bottom panel on Page 4 had me hearing the sound, due to the precise visual, before I read the sound. Schoening has always done an exceptional job on Janine and he does so here. Also looking great is Jillian, the stand out character from Answer the Call. Her reaction when Ortiz asks for volunteers perfectly captures her character. What this sextet find at the bridge is huge. Again, without spoiling things, something is seen before the antagonist is encountered. It looks great. When the creature appears on 10 it’s wonderfully creepy and funny — the perfect combo for a Ghostbusters’ spirit. I would also like to focus on the tech that Shoening creates for the Ghostbusters; the proton packs the characters wear are great, but look at the gizmos they wear and hold: the goggles on Jillian are fantastic and what she uses and holds on 13 and 14 are perfection. The final page reveals the big bad who’s waiting to make a move and her I know! She looks fierce and her two companions are also monstrous. Any book illustrated by Schoening is worth picking up. Overall grade: A+

The colors: The work by Luis Antonio Delgado really increases the artwork by directing the reader’s focus in each panel and by punching up the issue’s frights. Each of the Ghostbusters teams have their own unique color scheme, allowing them to be visually different from the others and ensuring the reader can tell them apart from a distance. The whistle at the bottom of 4 has a background in a dynamic orange to increase the strength of the sound. What the team discovers at the bridge has gorgeous coloring, which uses a color not often associated with terrible things. The different tones used with this color give it some great depth. When the ghost reveals itself, glowing yellows make it a shock. Though it’s only one panel, I really like the colors of the fourth panel on 16 — very realistic. Delgado’s work is great! Overall grade: A+

The letters: Neil Uyetake creates this issue’s dialogue, sounds, quiet dialogue, screams, supernatural wails, and the three words that state this saga will be continued. The sounds on this book are incredibly fun, with SHZAAAKKK and WHAMM awesome. There are several yells and screams with all being funny and heartfelt. The supernatural wails, though only on one page, look appropriately otherworldly. Overall grade: A

The final line: A plan is hatched and a ghost is fought. Every iteration of the Ghostbusters has gathered to fight a foe and it’s fun and frightening reading. If you love any version of the Ghostbusters, you’re going to love this. Recommended for anyone who’s not afraid of a ghost. Overall grade: A

To purchase a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/ghostbusters-crossing-over-3/

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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