This Week’s Finest: Ghostbusters International #5

381423._SX640_QL80_TTD_by Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, Luis Antonio Delgado, Neil Uyetake

This Week’s Finest goes to four guys whose philosophy to saving the day involves junk food, sarcasm and working hard for the highest bidder…

Confession: I freaking love this series, as I’ve written again and again that you should be reading it. Yes, you. You love the movies (or at least that first one)? You should be reading this. You liked the movies and dug the video game? You should be reading this. You’re a die hard Buster fan and love it with every fiber of your being….ect ect. Read this series, it does the franchise so well.

I didn’t want to just give this issue TWF, but as I went through my books there was only one that satisfied me and felt worth my money. Yeah, Marvel did something with Captain America and DC brought back a bunch of people. Do we care though? Honestly, every week  we read books and they promise us an earth-shattering story like none other but also playing to a continuity that can’t change too much.

Do we still care about the characters after all that? Sometimes its hard to, I’ll admit. In several dozen issues, Erik Burnham has never made me feel that way. In that number, there’s only four that I consider “bad”. In what has to be past 50 issues, only four felt lacking in story or character to me.

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This issue had the Ghostbusters hunting ghosts in the Louvre. That’s the long and short of the story, but all the characters feel alive and got me to care about their various concerns (Venkman wants more money and respect, in that order. Ray wants to learn how ghosts “evolve”. Egon is trying to solve the biggest mystery of his career and Winston wants to do the best job he can). Burnham isn’t trying to shake up the foundation of the Ghostbusters or sell some gimmick to cover for a creative speed-bump. Its the characters we love, just in new settings doing what we want to see them do.

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A private billionaire has offered to buy out Ghostbusters Incorporated. In order to do the most good, they’re traveling around the world catching ghosts while dodging bureaucratic red-tape  by various governments. On the way, clues are slowly being uncovered about a book with the potential to control even the most powerful of spirits. While Egon worries about it’s ramifications, the Ghostbusters and their various related branches focus on the day to day jobs. Honestly this shouldn’t work, but somehow Burnham sells it. Whatever he does to get this series back for a mini here or a mini there, works because he gets the characters.

His partner in crime Dan Schoening, continues his standard of excellence in art. One part traditional cartooning, the other part carefully rendered backgrounds and picture perfect scenery. The book wouldn’t be the same without him, literally. The way he draws the ghosts, as glowing blobs of light or something out of Attack on Titan all convey the tongue in cheek tone from the films while also showing the threats our heroes face daily. His panel composition as well as the character reactions sell the humor necessitated for this series as well. With Delgado’s colors, the book appropriately switches from dark and tense to mundane and introspective.

Yet another solid chapter in this series, but without a reboot or quick character assassination. Venkman, Ray and Winston are tearing up French landmarks and having fun with it. I couldn’t ask for more from this book, except for more stories involving my favorite 80s’ foursome.

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