Ghostbusters: Funko Universe #01 Comic Review
Written by Angry Scholar
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Troy Dye
Illustrated by Philip Murphy
Colors by Luis Antonio Delgado
2017, 32 pages, $4.99
Comic released on May 10th, 2017
I love the Ghostbusters. I love IDW. I’m pretty lukewarm on Funko’s ubiquitous “POP!”-branded bigheaded toy things. Don’t get me wrong, I collect tons of plastic junk that takes up way too much space on my desk, but I don’t get the appeal of the bighead invasion. They’re kind of cute, I guess, but not something I’m interested in ever acquiring (unless it’s for free through one of Funko’s many Twitter giveaways).
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Maybe I’m showing my hand too early, but I can’t help it. This comic is part of a one-off May IDW event with other nostalgic franchises—Judge Dredd, TMNT, Strawberry Shortcake, and The X-Files—all of which are inexplicably reimagined in Funko style. And that’s... fine, I guess? I mean, it’s a blatant marketing scheme, sure. That’s not necessarily bad. These are major franchises that have already been cash cows for their rights holders. I’m not such a hypocrite that I’d get all sniffy about trying to use them to sell toys. Some of them were practically invented to sell toys.
The trouble is, it’s just not that good. I guess children might enjoy the silly, Cartoon Network (daytime)-like humor. If you’re a grown up fan, there’s not really much here to dig, not even the diffuse nostalgia one might usually experience with other Ghostbusters stuff. The plot, such as it is, has the ‘Busters chasing after four ghosts of rather stereotypical Japanese “masters”—a samurai, ninja, archer, and unarmed martial artist—who have a nebulous plan to take over the world. But none of that really matters, as it’s all just a vehicle for benign jokes that never land.
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The art is fine, if you like the way Funko’s toys look. Every character has a huge, rounded-rectangular head and huge black eyes, with stumpy little bodies, because that’s cute, or something. (They have mouths, thankfully, which the actual toys don’t.) Backgrounds are simple and cartoonish. Delgado’s colors, as always, pop off the page, at least with the ghost characters, which appear to glow in a way I don’t fully understand and I suspect might mean he is a warlock. Otherwise, though, this is a one-shot nobody should bother with. (Unless you get it as con swag, in which case, leave it in its sleeve for the next forty years and hope it accrues some collectible value, because it’s not worth reading now.)