"Ghostbusters 101 #5" Comic Review
Written by Angry Scholar
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Erik Burnham
Illustrated by Dan Schoening
Colors by Luis Antonio Delgado and Anna Chher
2017, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 26th, 2017
In another exposition-heavy issue, we learn the real reason for the dimensional crossover that’s pulled Holtzmann and co. into the main Ghostbusters universe. When the kids in the 101 class fiddled with the dimensional portal thingy, a powerful entity attacked them, and part of it got stuck between the worlds. Trying to pull itself back together, the entity is causing the two universes to overlap. If the Ghostbusters can sever its power supply—ley lines running beneath Manhattan—and seal the breach it’s created between the worlds, things should go back to normal.
While Egon, Ray, Abby, and Erin get to sciencin’, Venkman, Holtzmann, Patty, and Winston go chase the ghost of Moby Dick, because science is comparatively boring, even when it’s ghosty science. (Yes, Moby Dick was a work of fiction. But Melville’s ghost appears and is chased by a giant white whale ghost. What would you call it?)
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Again, not a lot happens here aside from the sciencin’ and some character development. The 2016 Ghosbusters are struggling with a bit of an inferiority complex, as they’re relative newcomers and haven’t established themselves in their world the way the main ‘Busters have in theirs. In the previous issue we learned that Holtzmann’s dumb dual pistol things actually make things worse by dispersing ghosts’ energy, which can then reform into uber-ghosts that are much more dangerous. In this issue, Abby has a crisis of faith when she realizes she doesn’t even know the purpose of much of the main ‘Busters’ tech. This is a nice nod to the fact that Venkman and co. are, after all, the original (and best) ‘Busters around; but Burnham is careful to include some optimism for the new team, who have contributions of their own to make.
Schoening’s art is, as ever, on point, with some truly great facial expressions that perfectly capture the essence of familiar characters. (Walter Peck is a standout.) Some of Delgado’s flashy colors are back, with the white whale’s ghost a prime example. I don’t know how they make them all glowy, but they sure do look good.
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We’ve got one issue left of the big crossover event, and while I’m not particularly attached to the 2016 crew, it’s been a fun ride. Next issue will (in theory) see things return to normal. I can’t wait to see what Burnham/Schoening/Delgado get up to next.