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"Ghostbusters: Year One #3" 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 March 25th, 2020


Rebecca Morales' research into a book about the Ghostbusters continues as she finally gets to talk to Peter Venkman. She's heard quite a lot about him from past clients like Dana Barrett and colleagues like Janine Melnitz, but what is the Ghostbuster really like? Well, he's a bit elusive on that subject.

You have to love Peter. He has the best jokes. He's charming in a way that's only slightly annoying. He's this big, funny ball of personality. But who is he as a person? Rebecca tries to get at that from a few different angles, but can't quite pin the man down. Any time she gets close to a nugget of truth about him, Peter sidesteps, changing the subject. This is fascinating, even if it has to be pointed out to us early on in the issue.

This makes you wonder about Peter as a character and what makes him tick. By keeping people at arms length, he doesn't have to get deep or even real with anyone. There's safety in that. Writer Erik Burnham does a tremendous job adding layers to characters like Peter that have been around for decades.

Click images to enlarge

That's kind of the theme with Ghostbusters: Year One. You might think you know the story, but do you know all the pieces and how they came together? Burnham adds some more context to some of the biggest moments in the Ghostbusters history, mostly consisting of the events of the 1984 film, yet this chapter takes us on a tangent, led by Peter as he avoids answering the questions at hand.

Artist Dan Schoening adds a ton of personality to each character and Peter is no different. There's a very brief moment where we see Peter's insecurities break through. He's caught off guard for a fraction of a second and you see the facade drop before his usual smarmy visage returns.

The ghost encounter flashback in Ghostbusters: Year One #3 is more on the silly side, dealing with a spirit that can't stop dancing and pulls in a bunch of folks at a night club. This does lead to my favorite line of the book, where Egon flatly says, “I dance like a god.” I believe this 100%. Letterer Neil Uyetake nails this delivery with pitch perfect accuracy.

Click images to enlarge

The ghost's design is quintessential '80s. It's not spooky at all, especially when compared to some of the others we've seen in this mini-series. It's light and airy, just like the conversation with Peter. It's interesting to see how these match up. Colorist Luis Antonio Delgado creates a cool blue aesthetic for this paranormal entity. It's non-threatening and easy, again, just like Peter's chat.

I was hoping to get a bit further into Peter with this chapter, but there's still a pretty solid look at the character here. The fact that this creative team can give us even a glimpse into new aspects of the Ghostbusters all these years later is a testament to their storytelling prowess.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 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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