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Ghostbusters: Legion #3 & #4

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

February 2, 2005

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Legion Parts Three and Four

An old friend of the Ghostbusters threatens to send Manhattan spiraling into Hell!

Writer: Andrew Dabb
Pencils: Steve Kurth
Inks: Serge LaPointe & Michel Lacombe
Colors: Blond
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Sebastien Clavet
Cover Art: Steve Kurth
Publisher: 88 MPH

I have to admit, I missed the first two issues of this miniseries, but when the last two were passed into my hands, I thought they were definitely worth talking about. Ghostbusters is one of those movies (and later cartoon shows) that I absolutely loved in my formative years, and it’s nice to see it wasn’t forgotten in the 80s nostalgia bandwagon.

This miniseries, “Legion,” goes to the time-honored story of a character from our heroes’ past coming back to cause trouble. Michael Draverhaven (really, with a last name like that “supervillain” is your only viable career option) was a college classmate of Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman and Egon Spengler, a sometimes companion in their studies of the paranormal, who was caught in one of those inconvenient accidents that sent him to an institution for years. He’s out now, though, and he’s gained his own powers over the paranormal that are threatening to engulf the city.

It’s a testament both to the universality of the property and the construction of the comic that I could read the second half of this miniseries without having read the first and still understand it completely. There was no part where I felt lost or out of the loop, although I did feel the urge to go back and get those first two issues, if for no other reason than to establish the timeline. The book seems to take place in a timeline where the events of the movie happened closer to the present day (rather than 1984, when it was released) and the events of the second film and cartoon show never happened at all. Once you accept that, you’re fine.

Andrew Dabb has a handle on our heroes, and although the “old school chum turns villain” story is by no means original, it’s handled well here and adds a nice new dimension to the characters and their world. If there’s any flaw in this miniseries, it’s that the comedy isn’t played up as much as one would hope. The strength of the property comes in its perfect blend of laughs and monsters, and this version seems to lean a bit more towards the monster side. There’s still comedy, but not as much as one would hope. On the other hand, this is just the conclusion, where things have gotten hairy – it may have been funnier towards the beginning.

I’m quite impressed with Steven Kurth’s artwork. He’s got a great line and a strong feeling for the characters, wisely choosing not to try to copy the actors from the films exactly but instead coming up with his own designs that suggest them without dominating the book and dragging down the artwork as happens with most comics based on a live-action property. The colors, by Blond, really pop. They’re bright and cheery when need be, dark and moody when that’s appropriate, and they all blend together perfectly well.

Overall, this is an entertaining, solid series. The ongoing should have started by now, and if you were a fan of the movies, it’s well worth looking at.

Rating: 7/10