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Comic Review: TMNT/Ghostbusters II #1

by Dan Gehen

On their way back from “The Trial of Krang” in Dimension X, the TMNT are put in a ghost prison by an old adversary. Thankfully, they do have a set of extra-dimensional friends who happen to be quite familiar with ghosts…

Comic Review: TMNT/ Ghostbusters II #1

(W) Erik Burnham & Tom Waltz, (A) Dan Schoening, (C) Luis Antonio Delgado

Over the course of my life as a comics reader, I’ve grown leery series published on a weekly schedule. It doesn’t help that nearly all are compared to the gold standard that is DC’s 52 series that was published in 2006-2007. Since then, publishers have attempted to recreate that magic with underwhelming results. The Dimension X miniseries is the latest example of their penchant for mediocrity. However, TMNT/Ghostbusters II seems like a different animal in that it might actually be good.

It doesn’t hurt that the main creative forces behind each series, Erik Burnham and Tom Waltz, are working to bring this crossover to fruition. Because of this, the character voices come across as true to those that have been following these titles closely without alienating newcomers. Also, regular Ghostbusters artist Dan Schoening provides a unifying aesthetic which works for both sets of characters, as does the coloring by Luis Antonio Delgado.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most crossovers, TMNT/Ghostbusters II #1 spends the entirety of this first issue establishing the main conflict and the need for these characters to interact. As a result, this issue heavily relies on exposition. There’s a whole lot of talking and not much else. Given the predicament laid out before us, there is also a lack of interaction between the two groups of characters – which is this series’ entire selling point. However, this is [slightly] alleviated by the pairing up of each Ghostbuster with a Ninja Turtle, a set of dynamics which will play out over the course of the remaining issues.

Speaking of the set character pairings, they could have been a little more inspired. The brainy Donatello is paired with the brainy Egon. The comedians of each group – Mikey and Venkman – are a team. The hotheaded Raphael gets to work with the combustible Stanz, and the final pairing sees the levelheaded Leo and Winston matched up. While these pairings aren’t necessarily bad, they’re safe and predictable. It’d be a shame if the remainder of this miniseries is as well.

TMNT/Ghostbusters II #1 is a solid opening chapter. While competently assembled, it works very hard to keep readers from getting excited about the upcoming issues. This is a solid, if safe, foundation for the creative team to build upon.

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