Halloween is nearly upon us, and with that, as well as the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters, it seems only fitting that I review the first issue of IDW’s Ghostbusters/Ninja Turtles crossover in order to mark the occasion. Both Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles are among my favorite franchises of all time. I quote all the movies from both sides endlessly and can watch both the first Ghostbusters film and the original Ninja Turtles movie anytime and it will never fail to put me in a good mood. So, as you can imagine, I am pumped to sink my teeth into this one.
We open with a narration of ancient legends of immortal beings that once ruled the earth but mysteriously disappeared from memory ages ago, or so we thought.
Cut to ancient Japan, where one such immortal by the name of Kitsune appears to be casting a spell to open a portal of some sort. She is interrupted by her brother, Chi-You, who is enraged at his sister for “breaking the agreement,” whatever that means. Kitsune chides him for being a slave to his rules as who should come through the portal but long-time Ninja Turtles villain, Krang. Chi-You, mistaking Krang for a demon, flips out, claiming this to be a “clear violations of the rules” and that Kitsune “forfeits her place in the game.” Chi-you transforms into a ferocious minotaur and attacks his sister, but Kitsune uses his strength against him and tosses him through the portal. Krang is annoyed by the interruption, but Kitsune ensures him that her brother won’t be a problem and that everything is going according to plan.
A few hundred years later, the Ninja Turtles, along with their allies, April O’Neil and Casey Jones, are at the lab of Harold Lillja, a scientist and ally of the turtles who has just finished building the Stargate. Look, I know how much IDW loves crossovers, but do you think we can stick to one at a time? Nah, in actuality it’s just a teleporter back-engineered from alien tech that the turtles are here to test. The portal is set to simply return the turtles to the abandoned church where they appear to live this continuity. However, there’s a fly in the lab, and the doctor gets distracted and hits a button marked DO NOT TOUCH.
That can’t be be good.
Anywho, elsewhere, we catch up with the Ghostbusters doing what they do best: ghost busting. This time their after a purple one-eyed focused, non-terminal, repeating phantasm or class five full roaming vapor – real nasty one too. While Ray breaks windows with his bad aim and Venkman spouts out his trademark Bill Murray snark, Winston and Egon trap the ghost, being very careful not to cross the streams, and seal him away. They came, they saw, they kicked its ass. However, as they all climb in Ecto-1, their secretary, Janine alerts them to a “Big Ping” on the east side. It could be nothing, but the boys decide to check it out anyway.
Meanwhile, the Turtles come out of the portal, which incidentally, makes a “ping” noise, and find them selves in a church during a wedding. Unfortunately, the portal also seems to have set Chi-You free. Worse yet, Chi-You’s trip through the portal appears to have made him different, more powerful. Leo quickly deduces that this is indeed their church, just not in their dimension. However, alternate dimension or not, the Turtles are still heroes and they have a job to do.
The turtles fight valiantly, but Chi-You is far too powerful for even the four of them. To make things even worse, if you can believe that, one of Chi-You’s new powers is the ability to take control of mortals like puppets, and proceeds to do so for everyone else in the church, including Casey. Through Casey, he learns exactly who the turtles are and now knows that they would stand in the way of his power, for which they must be destroyed. As the zombies advance on the turtles, help arrives in the form of The Ghostbusters. And so our comic ends with Venkman seeing the strange situation that has just unfolded and remarking how much he hates his job sometimes.
This comic does an effective job of setting up what’s to come. We get some great bits from both teams and a solid villain for our mini-series. The bits with the Ghostbusters are especially nice, Venkman’s trademark wit a great delight as usual.
My only complaints are minor nitpicks, but they are still worth addressing. The most glaring, to me at least, is the idea that The Ghostbusters and the Ninja Turtles do not share a reality. That would be all well and good, if it weren’t for the fact that earlier this year, IDW did an X-files mini-series that crossed over with both Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters, as well as Transformers and The Crow, implying that, unless the Lone Gunmen have the ability to casually teleport between dimensions, all of those franchises exist in the same continuity. I’m probably reading way further into this than I should, but it still bugs me. Also, if Chi-You has the powers of mind control, why wouldn’t he have used that power on the Turtles? Finally, while what we got of the Ghostbusters was great, there simply wasn’t enough of them in this issue. However, I’m confident that will be fixed next time around.
Cowabunga dude, bustin’ makes me feel good! Happy Halloween everybody!