In Review: Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #5

One of the most fun books on the shelves is Ghostbusters: Crossing Over.

The covers: A trio to scare the money out of you wallet this month. The A cover is by Dan Schoening with colors by Luis Antonio Delgado. This is in the same format as the previous A covers. Two diagonal yellow and black strips of hazard tape frame the cover with one going from the top center to the upper left and the other from the lower right side to the bottom center. Kylie Griffin is the predominant character on the left. Above her is Samuel Hazer. Ghost Jenny Moran is in the center of the book looking down at Winston Zeddemore and another dimensional Ghostbusters on a tugboat that’s speeding toward the reader, both heroes with their blasters out and ready to zap ghosts. As with the previous covers, this looks great. Tim Lattie has created the B cover that features three different Egons, a Winston, and one Louis Tully reacting to three gooey specters that seem to have come out of paint containers. This is a very cartoony illustration and I like it. I enjoy seeing different versions of the heroes and this has several neat ones. The colors are also really cool. The final cover is the Retailer Incentive by Emma Viecelli with colors by Delgado. Dimension 68-R Egon is back-to-back with Jillian Holtzmann. Egon’s Slimer is seeking protection from the other ‘buster who’s holding a trap threateningly at the cartoon ghost. This is another combining of different characters and it’s good. Overall grades: A A, B A-, and RI A-

The story: Erik Burnham opens this issue with a four page semi-summary of the series through Walter Peck who’s gone to the Ghostbusters’ headquarters to find out what the many teams are up to. Kevin Tanaka and Jenny Moran are there, as well as four different Slimers. Peck wants to be told what’s up, but Moran tells him if he just went to warehouse he could see for himself. He doesn’t address that, saying he just wants to know about the teleporter, which has Jenny say she’s surprised men in black haven’t come to steal it for the government. Peck’s response is great. Page 4 has the closest Peck’s ever shown he’s got a heart and the page ends with some characters thanking him for it; it’s a great joke and the his final words that lead into Page 5 are perfection. The rest of the book follows various team of Ghostbusters in the pursuit of spirits in other dimensions. Highlights include a foe for Jillian, a new identity for the Peter from Dimension 68-R, Eduardo Rivera’s progress at his game, and the greatest fire gremlins EVER written. Every page with a Ghostbuster has got some great gags and some solid scares. It’s a good gauge of Burnham’s writing skills that he can walk the line of funny and scary, which the movies did so well. He’s also adept at giving every character that’s shown a moment and giving them a voice that’s true to what they been shown to have in the past. Two pages of the book focus on the big bad that’s responsible for the ghosts getting loose in the first place and the final three pages have one character looking as though he’ll never be eating Baskin-Robbins again. It’s also one heck of a cliffhanger, with this individual in a situation that has the comedy disappear in a very serious way. Burnham is great. Overall grade: A 

The art: Just as strong is the artwork by Dan Schoening. His versions of the Prime Ghostbusters have plenty of attributes of the actors of the films to make them instantly recognizable to the reader. The same can also be said of the Answer the Call Ghostbusters, with Jillian being a wonderfully cartoonish character. The Ghostbusters from other dimensions nicely look like their television and videogame counterparts. The book opens with Walter Peck and he looks fantastic with his skinny head and hair that would give Conan O’Brien a run for his money. His posture is perfect, with hands on hips or arms crossed, visually showing he’s not happy with Jenny’s answers. Also impressive are all the Slimers who’ve been left behind. They look fantastic and the surprise fifth member they meet at the bottom of 3 is a holy terror! This issue features some terrific visual gags, with the first big one being the final two panels on 4, which continue to make me giggle whenever I look upon them. The black and white dimension is cool looking for creating an eerie mood. The character that Eduardo Rivero is playing against has a great change of moods and I like that Rivero doesn’t have the reaction to it that one would expect of the other ‘busters. There’s a terrific water effect done on Page 10 that looks photorealistic. The biggest laugh of the book comes in the first panel on 11 that features a great looking ghost and two tiny characters that makes me cheer every time I look upon them. The two panels that follow this trio’s reveal are also very funny for the physical actions, or lack thereof. Jillian and Erin have fantastic reactions to something they see that also elicit giggles. The appearance of the foe on 15 initially creates laughs, but the dialogue makes this individual become very scary. The final page has the same style for several characters that were shown earlier, but the actions that occur stop all humor. Dialogue isn’t needed to communicate what’s happening, but it does increase the drama incredibly. I love Schoening’s work. Overall grade: A

The colors: Another key contributor to this book is colorist Luis Antonio Delgado who also knocks it out of the park. For all the impressive background work that Schoening does it’s just as impressive that Delgado doesn’t have them overwhelm the characters thank to this coloring. Take a look at the first four pages, with the characters able to stand out against the blended colors of the backgrounds. I really like the different colors of each Slimer, being true to their source worlds and material. Jenny also looks good with her supernatural white and blue aura around her. Colors are also key to the dialogue from ghosts, with white letters on dead black dialogue balloons. The first creepy setting is on 5 and Delgado makes it ominous with the dark colors and then changes the lighting in the fourth panel to create a solid scare. Notice how Venkman from 68-R has flat colors that mirror his animated adventures. The black and white dimension is wonderfully morose. The violets used for a spectral realm look cool and otherworldly. The greens at the end of the book initially appear humorous, due to what they’re first used on, but by the book’s close they have the exact opposite reaction in the reader. Overall grade: A

The letters: This issue’s text is by Neil Uyetake and he creates yells, dialogue, spectral speech, and sounds. I cannot praise the ghost dialogue of this series, or this franchise from IDW, enough. It’s in a thin scrawl that looks as though it’s crawled out of a grave. It captures the eeriness of the undead, but also works well on Jenny, who poses no threat to anyone. The yells are fun and the sounds outstanding. Each sound amazingly looks as that’s how such noises should be visualized. Overall grade: A

The final line: One of the most fun books on the shelves is Ghostbusters: Crossing Over which is a gift to the fan of any version of the franchise. Every version of the Ghostbusters appears and they are absolutely true to their source material. The story is fun and frantic. The visuals are to die for, but there’s already plenty of spooks in this story. Seriously, don’t be afraid of the ghosts and pick this up! Overall grade: A

To order a print or digital copy go to http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/ghostbusters-crossing-over-5/

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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