Ghostbusters #14

"Ghostbusters" #14, featuring snazzy Dan Schoening art for a story written by Erik Burnham feels like a transition issue. This comic gives readers a chance to reconnect with certain members of the comic as well as ample opportunity to check in on character relationships as a number of subplots bubble in the background.

The issue opens with another of Ray Stantz' revelatory dreams, which provides a nice artistic interlude for Schoening, giving him a chance to draw snowmobiles and James Bond-like adventure. Peter Venkman checks in with Walter Peck and gets an update on the Ghost Smashers, a competitive team of supernatural slayers who have managed to substantially undercut the Ghostbusters' business. That leads to a confrontation with the Smashers and some more interesting developments that seed this series for the future. Burnham and Schoening, while not directly transcribing the characters from film to comic book page, certainly capture the spirit of the characters and make it easy to imagine hearing the actors' voices in your head when reading the word balloons. That really sells the book, making it a fun, fast-moving, pleasant read.

Schoening's art is lively and animated, bringing plenty of bounce to the pages despite the mundane scenes of people talking or arguing. The artist's style lends itself to delivering exaggerated expressions that really liven up the characters in those scenes and throughout the issue. This isn't the most action-packed issue of the series, but "Ghostbusters" #14 has enough going on to showcase Schoening's ability to tackle nearly any subject matter or setting and envelop it in his style, all of which is spectacularly colored by Luis Antonio Delgado.

Burnham imbues the characters with charm and attitude, the same qualities that make the movie enjoyable to this day. Given the tightness of the cast and extended supporting characters, Burnham does a nice job of finding new points of interaction for the reader to engage in. Adding in the ignorant threat of the Ghost Smashers certainly helps, giving the Ghostbusters a rival to measure up against.

"Ghostbusters" #14 doesn't deliver an all-out slugfest between the Ghostbusters and the Ghost Smashers, but it certainly does establish expectations for a confrontation of some degree in the near future. This series has been quietly chugging along, telling good stories with lively art and refreshing the Ghostbusters brand. If you've recently re-watched either of the films and want a little more Ghostbusters entertainment, "Ghostbusters" #14 is a fine place to start. Without any knowledge of the previous thirteen issues, fans of the brand can jump right in and enjoy further adventures of these familiar characters.

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