Fritz Babbles About Ghostbusters #13:
I guess I gotta get the bad news out of the way first:
The first four pages of this story were a complete waste of paper, as far as I'm concerned. This was just...filler. There's a guy who calls himself "ProtonCharger" who's accused IDW of too much "fan pandering" in the past, and I've never even thought of agreeing with him until this. There just seems to be no reason behind this other than to get some heat from Video Game fanboys. There's just no other reason to waste our time with an unnecessary appearance of...well, I can't even call him a character, more of a narrative device.
That Minimate pretty much encapsulates what I think about that "character"
(I know...I know...I'm probably biased by having never played the Video Game. Well, that and ten years of reading headache-inducing crap fan fiction that often started with "It was a dark and stormy night as Ray, Peter, Winston, Egon, and some character you've never heard of before who's been hired as the Fifth Ghostbuster get out of ECTO-1")
To also be fair, the two pages spent on Janosz Poha were almost as pointless, "knowing" he isn't slated to get out of Parkview until his nephew is a lot older than he was in issue #1, though at least it concerned a character who actually appeared in one of the movies. But at least we got a snazzy rendition of Janosz out of it; the previous cartoon version of Poha was just a generic blond guy with a buzz cut. The mustache looks good on him.
But enough about that stuff: the rest of the issue is completely awesome.
The Ghostbusters get back to New York and three days pass. With no calls. Hm. Janine mentions there was a steady stream of calls until about a week ago, and then...nothing.
Then Roger shows up to pick Janine up for a date, and Ray, Winston, and especially Venkman give him some grief.
Venkman: "It's been a long time since Janine's had a gentleman caller. It probably has to do with what Egon did to the last one; let's just say there's a reason he doesn't work here anymore, and will never eat chicken ever again."
Roger very much continues his role as "Egon but not Egon"; he even wears one of Egon's tuxes (the one from "Fright At The Opera"). And he's even a community college professor; it's literature instead of Parapsychology 101, but, again, another EGB Egon resonance.
Speaking of outfits, Ray and Winston where a couple neat work overalls. Ray's is kinda like his flight suit, but with darker brown on the collar and cuffs. Winston's is greenish blue with purplish red. They look darn good in those. A lot better than in those drab, monochrome jumpsuits they wear on the job.
Venkman tries to get Egon downstairs. Egon unsurprisingly has other things to do. Even if he didn't have other things to do, he has other things to do. Wonder if he's thinking about Madame Laveau's little present yet.
We follow Janine and Roger to the opera Don Giovani
. Egon's an opera buff too (at least in RGB, per aforementioned "Fright At The Opera"). Roger says it's because he thought she'd be amused by the fact it involved a ghost; much like Winston in the Now Comics series, she's not so sure because she has to deal with ghosts at her job. "I mean, good grief, we have a green one that
eats everything that isn't nailed down or on fire
sits in a fishtank leering at everybody all the time"
Knowing Dan Schoening, all the theatergoers are injokes of one variety or another, and it really annoys me I can't figure out who any of them are; the snooty blonde lady behind them really bugs me, maybe because she looks like a 1%-er version of Cindy Whittington. Those twin boys are the Meredith brothers from "The Grundle" maybe? Better go check mrmichaelt's posts like everyone else, I guess.
Then a real ghost shows up; Roger is skeptical at first, but then his Not-Egon instincts kick in and he even says the very very Egon line "I concur that we should run". Janine's called Ray, but it sure looks like the Ghostbusters aren't going to make it in time to stop it...
A proton shot rings out. Janine is incredulous--we know Egon comes running fast when she's in trouble (ie "What The Sam Hain Just Happened?", Ghostbusters: Infestation #1) but not this
And it's not Egon. It's three women and their ringleader, who introduces himself. "I'm Ron Alexander, and you're not." (Yeah, thought I was going for the Jake Kong joke again, didn't you?) After a year of build up, Ron has officially thrown down the gauntlet and created the Ghost Smashers. They have their own Ghost Buggy and everything, as well as their own proton blasters apparently created out of scavenged NES parts. And their guns are better--forget about catching the ghosts, they just blow them into nothingness!
Egon and Ray show up just after the show ends, and Ron sneers. Trapping versus obliterating the ghosts? "What do you think they'll pick?"
Egon's suddenly very worried. All that energy has to go somewhere. Ron dismisses his concerns, but I think we all know how this is gonna go...
This issue was awesome. It's starting a story line with some of the best ideas from "Ghosts R Us" and "Robo Buster". The six wasted pages aside, it's a really outstanding start and I'm looking forward to where it goes. As always.
Then we get a two-page wrap-up for "Who Killed Laura Parr?" as Venkman drops Laura off at her home, and then deals with the twist revelation that Laura died twenty years ago! Not quite a huge twist to the readers, granted, but it had to give Venkman the creeps.
I really enjoyed this whole story, and it was awesome to see the real (to me) Venkman again.
See everyone next month!