With years spent reading single issues here and there, juggling storylines of dozens of titles, I decided it was time to find a better way to read comics. So, it was off to the back issue bins armed with the longest want list you’ve ever seen! Putting together series after series and reading them in their complete goodness, I was reborn as the Retro-Reader!
*Warning! Plot Spoilers Below*
Number of Issues: 4 (and a convention exclusive)
First Issue: February 2004 ($2.95)
Last Issue: May 2004 ($2.95)
Writer: Andrew Drabb
Artist: Steve Kurth
Twenty years after the first movie came out, 88MPH published this four issue mini series written by Andrew Dabb with art by Steve Kurth. Curiously enough, it’s set six months after the film and also in the year 2004. Therefore, it retcons the events of the movie so that they’ve happened in late 2003 or early 2004. Who knows where this places the events of the second movie, then!
With that being said, the Ghostbusters are now famous, having saved the world from Gozer (who was incarnated on Earth in the body of a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man … oh c’mon … you remember all this!) and Louis is cashing in on his connection to Ghostbusters fame as well as his brief time spent possessed by the Terror Dog, Vinz Clortho. The Ghostbusters have gained some credibility, although there are plenty of New Yorkers who still think they’re a hoax. Egon‘s continuing to study the paranormal beings they capture, Winston‘s still with the team, Peter is continuing to court Dana Barrett and Ray is wallowing in self-doubt, wondering if the things they’ve discovered will have the desired positive effect on the world. In other words, things are quite status quo for the Ghostbusters.
Status quo, that is, until they discover ghosts with lower-than-normal “brain activity” which leads Egon to believe they’re being controlled by something … or someone. Turns out, it’s someone. Michael Draverhaven, to be exact! “Who?!” you might ask … well, it turns out that Mike attended graduate school with Egon, Pete and Ray and assisted them in some of their earlier expirements with the paranormal. One such experiment led to a bad mishap which drove Michael into an insane asylum. It also granted him the ability to communicate with the ghosts.
Newly freed from the asylum and utilizing the symbiotic relationship he’s formed with the ghosts, Michael concerts a paranormal attack on New York City as well as the Ghostbusters. While the other three Ghostbusters are dealing with the havok the ghosts are creating, it’s Ray Stantz that takes down Michael and, with the leading mind behind their attack dispatched, the ghosts disperse and abandon their “mission”.
This series proudly carries on the traditions set forth in the first film with its great sense of adventure mixed with humor. The “voices” of the characters and their interactions are spot-on, specifically Venkman (played by Bill Murray) and Egon (played by Harold Ramis). The continuity is very tight with the first film, there’s a Slimer cameo and there’s even a fun poke at Egon’s silly hairstyle from the cartoon series (what more could a Ghostbusters fan ask for?). The art is incredibly slick and the coloring job makes it easily the best-looking Ghosbusters book … even to date! This book puts the more recent IDW series to shame.
It’s too bad that this publisher never put out the ongoing series that was advertised in the back of issue #4. Unfortunately, since this publisher was so small and the book was met with some delays while it was being published, these issues are very hard to find. And, for you trade fans, you’ve got even more work cut out for you. A trade paperback was indeed published … but it was only released in the United Kingdom. On the upside, fans of variant covers have 13 different covers to look for as well as a convention special that features an all-new solo story starring Winston.
On Ebay: Ghostbusters