Two movies, an animated series, and a plethora of games spread out over 25 years would lead one to believe that the Ghostbusters franchise is healthy and strong. There’s a third movie in the works, and the silver anniversary is upon us, and interest in the property is once again at a high point. With the release of Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression #1, IDW Publishing once again taps into a popular intellectual property and delivers a story that attempts to reignite the ectoplasm fever in the four color world.

GhostBusters_DA01_COVER.jpgThose that pick up the first issue might be a little confused at first; instead of taking place in New York City, this story takes place in the old west.  And, instead of the team you all know and love working together, this is a Peter Venkman tale as the hero takes on all the tropes of the western genre; from Clint Eastwood to High Noon, and everything in between.  But don’t worry, even stuck in the 1800’s, Dr. Venkman does take on more ghosts than you can shake a stick at, and a mad cow spirit to boot.

Of the four team members, Venkman’s smarmy nature plays out perfectly, as he rescues the school marm, then proceeds to bed her and leave her the next morning. I would have to put it too a vote, but my guess is Venkman is the most popular of the characters, and it makes sense to have him anchor this arc as he and a newly arrived Ghostbuster start a journey through time to rescue the lost members of the Ghostbuster team.

I like how Scott Lobdell drops the reader into the middle of the story, with no upfront explanation of how Venkam ended up in the old west, or where his companions are at. Of course if those questions were left unanswered, it would no doubt confuse the audience too much, which ultimately would have a negative impact on the story.  Turns out Gozur’s daddy was none too pleased his son was taken down by mortals, and banished the members to the four corners of time, leaving Koza’Rai to attempt a take over of the Earth with no one to block his way.

When it comes to the art, I really don’t expect the characters to look anything like their movie counterparts.  The characters have, to a point, transcended Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, and Hudson and as long as the build and attitude are correct, then Generic White Male with Brown Hair #25 works just as well as if Ilias Kyriazis had gone through painstaking research into recreating the likeness of Bill Murray from 1984.  Kyriazis also does the colors for the issue, and the etherial content jumps off the page.  The proton stream rendering is especially nice as Venkman fires at spirits, haunted trains, and a messenger from The Demon Collective out of 1800’s NYC.

Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression #1 is a fast paced story that draws the reader in from page one. The art is good, and the character development fits with the featured characters. Ghostbusters fans have probably already snatched up their copies, but if you are one that keeps your Halloween costume from 1984 hidden away in the back closet, waiting for the day you can strap on your proton pack and riding around town in your version of the Ecto-1, then this issue should bring back some good memories, while creating new ones.  Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression #1 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


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