Keith Champagne sets the stage for the Ghostbusters as though nothing has ever changed. This issue could easily be set a week after the first movie, or even yesterday. Even though the franchise was created before the concept of the cell phone was a given, the Ghostbusters concept can still offer up a great deal of entertainment.
This story has an interesting concept to stand upon, as the Ghostbusters run afoul of spiritual gangsters — deceased mobsters looking to extend their turf into the afterlife. The resultant adventure knocks Venkman’s soul from his body and initiates this latest story of the Ghostbusters.
The Ghostbusters depicted in this story are the same as in the movies and cartoon series, however, there is no exposition of characters or concept, as Champagne and crew presume that the readers picking up this book will be in the know and informed of the players, their roles, and the drives behind them all.
The biggest handicap for this story, however, is the art. Nguyen is capable, certainly, but in the pages of this issue he is clearly struggling with the identities of the characters. Certainly, Nguyen would like to portray Dan Akroyd as Ray Stantz and Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, but obviously there are some challenges presented there. That said, the layouts and composition are strong, and I have no doubt Nguyen will find his voice with these characters, hopefully sooner rather than later.
In all, this is a decent read, and having just watched the original film, I can attest that the flavor of the story and the characterizations of the major players are replicated here. For diehard Ghostbusters fans, this book is a can’t miss, but for the casual fan, the story might entertain, but the background seems to be quite lacking.