Is this story arc really worth owning or is just a rushed excuse to dip the proverbial narrative toe back into the haunted waters of the Ghostbusters franchise? Read on to find out.
The official description from IDW:
New York City doesn’t have a monopoly on the supernatural, and it was only a matter of time before apparitions in other areas were enhanced by the expansion of psychokinetic energy! “HAUNTED AMERICA” finds the Ghostbusters venturing out far beyond the comfortable confines of the Empire State. This ghostly tour has stops in Detroit, New Orleans, Roswell, and Seattle.
The doctors are in and I hope the creative team behind this latest romp never leaves! From the first page all the way to the somewhat lackluster finish what we have here is an increasingly engaging romp across America that plays up all the stereotypical tropes associated with both this dynamic team and the locals they deal with. Yes this collection is not exceptionally deep or thought provoking, but it’s funny and enjoyable which more than fits with this franchise.
Erik Burnham is hitting all the right nostalgic points with his multitude of plot threads and inside jokes that are just oozing out of this tale. Each issue doesn’t completely build on the previous one but the continuing narrative at play offers just enough connection to justify each random occurrence. Now I could wax intellectually about whether or not there is any retaining value ebbing and flowing forth from this narrative but the truth is fans of this franchise are more concerned with how the characters themselves are represented. And if you’re looking for an extremely solid rendition of Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddmore despite any potentially minor dialogue missteps then you’re in the right place.
Dan Schoening absolutely nails the art in this book. When it comes to adapting a film franchise there are usually two versions people are accustomed to getting, one where the visuals try to mimic the movie and the other version that uses a warped style to make it their own. Personally I prefer the latter, so you can imagine that I was absolutely engrossed by the dynamic and deformed style being presented here. From the action shots to the moments that rely heavily on dialogue I just have absolutely no complaints about the work on display.
As a bonus this set collects in entirety the jaunt, “Who Killed Laura Parr?” This back-up feature when read in one sitting is exceptionally structured and the unique pencil strokes from writer / artist Tristan Jones nails the look and tone in a way that is simply exceptional. However it is a bit predictable and some of the dialogue is just not as strong as it should be, but nonetheless it’s still a very solid read.
Ghostbusters Volume 3: Haunted America is an excellent collection that upon reading these issues in one sitting (especially the back-up feature) you get a better grasp and thorough understanding of the zany fun that’s right in front of you. Recommended.