Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Ghostbusters
Story by: Erik Burnham & Tom Waltz
Art by: Dan Schoening
Colors by: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letters by: Neil Uyetake
Reviewed by: Joe Bones
A comic book featuring a team-up of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Ghostbusters!? The 90s kid in me just gave a high five to the comic book nerd I’ve become as an adult. This mini-series features a fast-paced story filled with action sequences and comedic moments. A mishap while testing an inter-spatial teleporter causes the Turtles to be transported to a different dimension’s New York City. The New York City they find themselves in, is of course the home of the Ghostbusters. The glitch that brings the Turtles to a different dimension also releases the spirit of the Chinese God of War, Chi-You, who has been trapped between dimensions for centuries. Chi-You quickly learns he can mass possess people and begins to build an army with the goal of conquering the world. The Turtles and the Ghostbusters have to team up in order to stop him.
The storyline of TMNT / Ghostbusters is incredibly fast paced, but never feels rushed. The authors do a great job of capturing the energy and quip-filled dialogue common of both teams. The authors also do a good job of splitting up the members of each team into groups with similar skill sets. Egon and Donatello work on the tech stuff. Leonardo, Raphael, and Winston handle the fighting. Ray and April deal with the history and theory. All while Venkman and Michelangelo offer a commentary of hilarious wise cracks. Even with the teams split and working toward different goals, the story is very balanced. Each grouping is featured just as much as the others, and it is clear how their individual goals culminate in the story’s climax. Chi-You is also the perfect villain to pit both teams against. The Ghostbusters get to deal with his spectral form while the Turtles fight his thralls. Both teams have to rely on each other to overcome the obstacles posed by this new foe, and it makes for an exciting and action packed adventure.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of Shoening’s art style. I feel like he’s a great artist in general, but has no idea how to draw for comic books. Each of his panels is really well done, but more often then not, the scene in one panel does not fluidly transition into the next. So at times the action scenes feel choppy, and it can be unclear exactly what is happening from one panel to another. I do like how he draws the Turtles in this mini-series though. The Turtles each are drawn with slight differences in the shape of their heads/faces. They aren’t just the same humanoid turtle mutant with a different colored mask and set of weapons. This is a nice change of pace for how the Turtles have often been drawn in their own IDW series.
My biggest problem with the art, and the worst part about this mini-series, is the combination of Shoening’s style and Delgado’s color choices. Delgado uses a lot of subdued colors, and many of the scenes are set at night and colored darkly. Shoening also doesn’t draw with a lot of detail when the perspective of a panel is wide. Because of these two issues, the Turtles tend to blend in with the background unless drawn in close up. At times it is also hard to differentiate the Turtles because of the lack of detail and muddled color scheme. Unless the Turtles call each other by name, or their weapons can be clearly seen, there are many instances where it’s hard to tell which Turtle is being featured in a panel. Along those same lines, it’s also hard to tell Ray and Venkman apart unless they’re in close-up as well. I love all these characters and so it’s frustrating to not be able to tell which character is speaking or engaged in the action.
The story in TMNT / Ghostbusters is really good, and makes up for the problems with the art team’s creative choices. This book strikes a perfect balance between action and humor. Both teams of heroes fit really well together and compliment the strengths of the other. It’s honestly a shame that they aren’t featured in more team-ups together. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Mikey wearing a proton pack? If you’re a fan of TMNT, Ghostbusters, or both, this is a comic you should definitely check out.