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"Ghostbusters: Year One #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing


Written by Erik Burnham
Illustrated by Dan Schoening
Colored by Luis Antonio Delgado
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 22nd, 2020


You might think you know how the Ghostbusters got together, but you don’t know the whole story. When I first heard about Ghostbusters: Year One, I was worried that IDW Publishing was just going to adapt the classic 1984 film. That could not be further from the truth in this series. Author Rebecca Morales is writing a book about the group, interviewing each member, not to mention every other supporting character, to get an idea of how they joined up in the first place. Winston Zeddemore is the first one she speaks to.

While there are some moments ripped directly from the film, writer Erik Burnham fleshes things out greatly in this debut issue. The movie is gospel at this point and the Ghostbusters comics have definitely built off of it over the years. This book delves into it, showing us what happened between the scenes. In this case we see how Winston learned how to use a proton pack and just how quickly he went out into the field. Looking back at this from the perspective of the present day, it’s actually pretty terrifying. They basically strap a mini nuclear reactor to his back and send him out to shoot ghosts two days after he starts working there. I hope he had good insurance.

Click images to enlarge

Winston provides a unique perspective on the other Ghostbusters since he came in after Ray, Egon, and Peter had started this venture. He even came in after Janine. Winston joined an already cohesive group and had to catch up very quickly. I love hearing his thoughts on the other members, as they provide honest feedback for these men that he’s grown so close to over the years.

Burnham sprinkles in some fantastic dialogue that perfectly captures the essence of each character. This isn’t surprising, as he’s been writing their adventures in comics for many years now. I’m continually amazed and impressed by how he’s able to show us new angles on these characters that we’ve known for over 30 years.

Winston’s first actual mission involves tracking down the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, which leads to one of the scariest ghosts I’ve seen in these comics. Artist Dan Schoening manages to blend a cartoonish environment with pure terror. He lulls you into this false sense of security with the characters’ warm faces and jovial attitudes only to creep you out with a big skeleton cat monster.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Luis Antonio Delgado makes this ghost bristle with otherworldly energy. It has an eerie red glow to it, like just looking at it could lead to your death. This unsettling quality is matched by the pitch black birds that circle it, shrouded in the same red light. This effect really cements the idea that we can have fun and games, but at the end of the day we’re dealing with angry spirits that need wrangling.

Letterer Neil Uyetake adds to that too with a horrifying howl let out by this ghost. It spins out of it in a spiky black word balloon accompanied by a disturbing font. Fortunately, it’s met by the zapping sound effects of the proton packs putting this thing down. Uyetake wraps the effect around the stream for a nice added touch.

Ghostbusters: Year One is giving me a story I didn’t know I wanted. I thought I knew everything about these characters and their first adventure, but it’s clear the movie is just scraping the surface. If this first issue is any indication, we are in for a treat, mixing nostalgia with a damn good story and top-notch artwork.


Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating


About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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