COMIC BOOK REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/GHOSTBUSTERS / AUTHOR: ERIK BURNHAM / ARTIST: DAN SCHOENING / PUBLISHER: IDW / RELEASE DATE: MAY 5TH
IDW have done sterling work so far in taking popular pop culture franchises and making them look shiny and new. So far, both the Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books have been cleverly written and delightfully drawn; each drawing upon the history of their franchises to deliver something that will appeal to large numbers of fans. Forming a crossover between the two books seems both obvious and a bit unusual. Luckily the result has been far greater than simply a straightforward promotional stunt.
The plot is quite amusing; Donatello’s experiments with a teleportation machine go awry, sending the Ninja Turtles to another dimension and unwittingly releasing an exiled god called Chi-You into the same world. Chi-You proceeds to wreak havoc, capturing Casey Jones and generally being a malevolent spirit. Fortunately, this is a reality in which the Ghostbusters exist. The two sets of heroes quickly exchange notes, and the Turtles discover that they have very little time to rescue their friend, defeat a god, and return to their own reality.
Broadly, this is a fun little romp. The Ghostbusters and Turtles have very similar team dynamics, and Burnham has a firm understanding of what makes both teams tick. Michelangelo and Venkman get the lion’s share of the funniest lines, Donatello and Egon are great together, and Leonardo and Winston also have a distinct moment. There’s also a nice examination of the thematic and metaphysical differences between the two settings, which sets up some of the humour and drama between the characters.
Schoening’s art is as beautiful as always. His distinct and definitive approach to the Ghostbusters also works quite well with the Turtles, though it’s clear that he’s more comfortable drawing humans and monsters than he is with mutants. The narrative and visual differences between the two New Yorks is also well handled, and the ghosts are particularly dramatic and notable.
The crossover works so well that you do wonder why they’ve never tried this before, and we do hope that they’ll do it again.
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