Published on January 27th, 2016 | by JCDoyle0
IDW Publishing – On The Shelf
As per usual, IDW Publishing have a wide mix of comics on offer this week each one a Jem*. These include the latest X-Files to whet your appetite for the new series, more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the collected edition of The Shrinking Man.
Also on the shelf this week:
A routine bust brings the paranormal elimination team face to face with something much scarier and more mysterious than any phantom; Erland Vinter, a rich tycoon who seems to actually like what the Ghostbusters do.
Despite being part of the greater ongoing story, as prominently explained in a full page of ‘previously’, very little of what came before bares any relevance on the story unfolding in this title. Erik Burnham writes the characters very well and anyone with the slightest exposure to the Ghostbuster franchise will recognise the characteristics present in all of the leads. Dan Schoening’s caricature style is a bit distracting at first but it doesn’t take long to adapt to it.
The story if funny and entertaining but isn’t much more than a set up for the ending of this issue and the greater story going forward. The routine bust at the start of this issue is exactly that: routine. It is too close to the Sedgewick Hotel bust from the first movie, right down to the refusal to pay by the owner although the added phantom spectators manage to give it a mysterious element that distracts momentarily from this comparison. Other than this initial burst of action, the rest of the story is made up of checking in with the series regulars in scene after scene of discussion and setting.
The script is strong and the art work has an energy that allows a satisfying pace to the overall narrative despite that fact that most of the action in this issue is boardroom/business based. It is the subtleties of gesture and facial expressions that makes this feel like a Ghostbusters comic because this is where the dry wit really comes through. And if you can’t laugh with the Ghostbusters then what’s the point? Not the most engaging issue, especially if this is the first Ghostbusters comic you’re picking up, but a good start to a new story.
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Dan Schoening
Ben Templesmith’s cover for Victorie City is worth the cover price of this comic alone: it’s dark and unnerving and could easily be a cover for Ten Grand which he worked on with J. Michael Straczynski.
However, the fact that Templesmith is not involved with any other part of the comic is irrelevant because Vincent Nappi’s art is just as twistedly beautiful and all encompassing. The use of a limited colour palette accentuates the rough and heavy pencil work and the wide, black gutters help to establish a gritty setting. The lack of pure white in a mostly grey scale comic simply enforces the darkness of the story.
The solicitation for this comic compared it to Se7en which is an impressive claim and one that sticks when you read through the first issue. There is a philosophising serial killer who only loses control when he gets carried away, his opening scene sets the tone of the comic as he compares natural instincts with what we believe to be right and wrong. Just like John Doe in Se7en, he is a killer who believes whole heartedly that he is doing the right thing.
The second half of the story follows Police Detective Hektor who is an Eliot Ness like figure: the only honest cop in a corrupt Police Station. The corruption plays on his mind and, even though he is offered a way out by his wife, he cannot sit by and allow unlawful payoffs to continue. This issue sets up his straighter than straight character, with his loving home environment and the need to do the right thing.
To return to the Se7en comparison, this first issue gives you the Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey characters all set up to come face to face and, most likely, destroy each other’s worlds. Time will tell if Keith Carmack can keep the tone of Fincher’s movie while creating a new story but if this first issue is anything to go by the reader will not be disappointed. It is a disturbing and engaging read with the very best urban horror style art work.
Writer: Keith Carmack
Artist: Vincent Nappi
*Did you see what I did there? No? Suit yourself