Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Dan Schoening
Colorist: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editors: Megan Brown, Tom Waltz
Cover Artists: Dan Schoening, Luis Antonio Delgado, Timothy Lattie
Publisher: IDW Publishing

The Ghostbusters franchise has thrived thanks to IDW’s long-running collection of ongoing titles, mini-series, and one-shots. Now with the impending release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, we’re going back to the team’s humble beginnings to discover a few unexplored areas of the original film, as well as what happened after. The hook of this particular story is simple: mere weeks after the events of the first film, a journalist is hired to a write an in-depth exposé on New York’s premier paranormal investigators, starting with the team’s newest addition Winston Zeddemore.

The focus on Winston is an inspired choice, especially since he’s generally considered the least fleshed-out member of the team (as far as the films go). Here, he gets the attention he rightly deserves, providing his own perspective of the film’s events and his role in them. Writer Erik Burnham provides some great insight into Winston’s motivations, as well as his professional and spiritual background. Rather than rehashing certain scenes from a new perspective, Burnham fills in gaps here and there, such as the start of Winston’s job interview with Janine, his first experience with a proton pack, and even his very first encounter in the field.

The art by Ghostbusters mainstay Dan Schoening is fun but a little inconsistent. The core team, particularly Winston, is depicted in the overly-cartoony style many of the comics are known for. The early pages feature brief appearances by many of the first film’s supporting and background characters, who receive an equally stylistic, but more subtle approach. Characters like Dana, Father Mike, and even the Sedgwick Hotel manager are instantly recognizable, which is a stark contrast to the team, particularly Winston, who bears no resemblance to Ernie Hudson whatsoever. Despite this, Schoneing’s style is well-suited to this universe and looks even better with the fantastic Luis Antonio Delgado’s coloring. Additionally, the lettering by Neil Uyetake is fantastic, employing an excellent style for spectral dialogue that contrasts nicely with the more standard aesthetic throughout.

Ghostbusters: Year One #1

8.8

Story

9.0/10

Artwork

8.5/10

Lettering

9.0/10

Cover

8.5/10

Premise

9.0/10

Pros

  • New insights into the first film
  • Winston’s character development
  • Ghost Edgar Allen Poe!

Cons

  • Some inconsistent art
Cameron Kieffer
cameron.kieffer@gmail.com
Cameron Kieffer wears many hats. He is a freelance writer and artist, creator of the webcomic "Geek Theory" and is co-host of the Nerd Dump podcast. He lives in Topeka with his wife and increasingly growing comic book collection.

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