Written by Erik Burnham
Art by Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado
PCOC pages by Tristan Jones
My surprise of September was IDW’s first issue of their new Ghostbusters comic. Completely off my radar, and yet one of the best first issues I’ve read in years. Instant addition to my pull list, and I was ready to wait it out for as long as it took for the next one. Well, that was a short wait! The boys are back and I’m happy to say that the second issue more than lived up to the high expectations set by the first one!
The issue picks up a few hours after the first one ended, with Peter and Winston still trying to trap Slimer who is proving to be much more difficult than they remember. Ghosts are stronger now for some reason, and while it is casually introduced as a hurdle to overcome, I expect it to be a big deal in the coming issues. That their gear may not work as well as they would expect it to or hope it would, and exciting cliffhanger moments to come from it. We get another glimpse of the guy who was possessed last issue, and if the artistic clues weren’t enough, the fact that he walks in and starts directly accusing Ray of choosing Stay Puft as Gozer’s form gives away that there’s evil in this dude. Dude is a bit of a bully, trying to threaten them with talks of legal action, but it opens up a nice little bit of development for one of our boys. While Winston may not be a doctor of any sort, he has gone ahead and become something else that leaves him unique to the team. The guy has been studying law as a fall back, but it also provides the team with something they really could have used back in the movies when dealing with Walter Peck. Someone who knew the laws he was violating.
Of course, ominous guy with definite possession aside, that’s just not spooky enough for a book like this. Sure, last issue tossed us Slimer, but this issue outs the whole team in a situation that only they could handle. A haunted house. Egon and Ray figure out what it is and what spirit they need to locate almost immediately, and the character work is what does it. Egon is all business, Ray is an oblivious holder of endless knowledge, Venkman is a snarky dick, and Winston never lets you forget that he’s in over his head for this paycheck. The confrontation itself is relatively short, but creepy nonetheless.
Dan Schoening’s unique style really adds a lot to this book. It’s cartoony in nature, but highly detailed and while kid friendly, definitely has moments of eerie creepiness. Generally when I think of a more light hearted style I don’t think of the ghost at the end of the issue doing what it does. There’s some cool work all throughout this issue, and I really found myself enjoying the backgrounds quite a bit. The character work is great, the coloring is perfect, and it’s really just a great looking issue.
Tristan Jones contributes another P.C.O.C. backup in this issue, though while last issue featured a several page scene of Walter Peck, this one is Egon’s report on the ghost from this issue. Offering up a much greater background than what the characters gave us during the scene itself, there’s actual character given to someone that just repeats one word over and over again. I don’t sympathize for her by any means, but I can see why this person would be such a creepy and effective spirit. I could definitely live with things like this rotating in and out of the issues.
Just like last issue, this was one fun book. Two ghost fights, great characterization, creepy dude trying to bust Ray, this issue had it all. I want to see where this creepy dude plot is going, and I expect that (given the end of this issue) it will be next issue that we’ll get deeper into it. Anything Gozer is a major plus in my book. I have to wonder just how far into the horror realm this book will go, as the haunted house scene is proof that Dan Schoening could effectively draw it with his style, though the work we see out of Tristan Jones in this issue has me wondering if he might be coming in to do anything darker in nature. Can’t wait to find out.
Tags: Erik Burnham, Ghostbusters, IDW, Reviews