Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters #2 (of 4) (IDW Publishing)

TMNT_GB02-cover - CopyPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artist: Dan Schoening
Release Date: 26th November 2014

2014 marks the 30th anniversary of both Ghostbusters and TMNT, two iconic franchises that helped shape my childhood, and which continue to entertain me to this day. When this series was first announced, it’s safe to say that it shot right to the top of my ‘most sought after’ list. It just seems like perfect comic-book crossover material, given the similarities between both groups, and with a creative team made up of writers and artists who’ve been killing it on the respective titles over the last few years, my expectation levels were sky-high.

The first issue efficiently laid out the overarching plot and neatly established how our heroes have come to exist in the same dimension. This time around both teams get the chance to feel each other out, before resolving to combine their efforts to halt malevolent demon Chi-You’s attempts to conquer the world, and rescue Casey Jones in the process.

From the outset, it’s abundantly clear just how well both writers know these characters, and the story is paced in such a way as to provide enough room to showcase each personality, from Venkman’s rapier-like wit and sarcasm, to Raphael’s belligerent, combustible attitude. In these early stages, the focus falls squarely on Donatello, who has cleverly been utilised as the bridge between both worlds, and as such takes a fairly central role in the story. So too with Winston Zeddemore, who came to the forefront in the recent Mass Hysteria storyline and it’s great to see a continuation of his rise to prominence.

The artist on this series was always going to have plenty of iconic imagery to work with, and the decision to continue with Dan Schoening and Luis Antiono Delgado on colours is a welcome one. Schoening’s Turtles have an edge to them that I just love, a mixture of the ‘80s cartoon version (complete with subtle colour differences between each turtle) and the Eastman Laird Mirage stuff, all encapsulated in those stacked widescreen panels, which effortlessly draw you in and hold your attention. Neutron streams, lightning, and swirling ectoplasmic entities abound in this issue, and each are each beautifully coloured in Delgado’s trademark dynamic style. The crowning glory, though, is the half page splash at the end of the book; it’s a fanboy’s dream come true.

This series is already exceeding my expectations, and looks set to go down as one of the best of the year. If you’re a fan of either franchise or both (and let’s face it, who isn’t, right?), you need this in your pull-list right now.

Rating: 5/5.

MDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
You can follow Martin on Twitter
You can check out more of Martins reviews and thoughts on random retro things over at Retromuse

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