Like most red-blooded American men born in the early 80’s, I loved both the Ninja Turtles and the Ghostbusters. I had the toys, I watched the cartoons, and I saw the movies featuring both classic icons. I was probably more of a fan of the Turtles than the Ghostbusters, but not by much.
So when I heard IDW would be doing a long overdue crossover miniseries of these two franchises, I was pretty damn excited. And this crossover turned out to be almost everything I wanted it to be. Almost.
The plot is, by far, the weakest part of this crossover. The Ninja Turtles, along with April and Casey Jones, are testing out a teleporter device. It malfunctions and accidentally transports the six of them to the Ghostbusters’ universe. What’s more, the immortal Chinese demigod Chi-You has followed the Turtles from their universe to the Ghostbusters’ world. Our heroes must team up to stop this rather forgettable villain as well as figure out a way to get the Turtles back home.
A paint-by-numbers plot and forgettable villain may seem like enough to ruin this comic’s potential, but what it lacks in those areas, it more than makes up for in fantastic character moments and nods to long time fans. It may seem silly, but I actually loved when I saw the Ghostbusters fighting a ghost from their old toy line.
I couldn’t help but smile because I used to have that toy. I even remember the Christmas when I got it. But beyond fan service, the characterization of both the Turtles and the Ghostbusters is really well done. Most of our heroes’ time is spent sitting around waiting for Chi-You to surface again and working on building a dimensional transport to return the Turtles home. My favorite moment was when the Turtles are about to return home and Winston offers Leonardo a little parting gift.
Just a simple little moment, but it says so much about the kind of men these two are… assuming you can call a mutated humanoid Turtle a “man.”
Another thing this series really did well is despite it being set in the current IDW continuities of the Turtles and Ghostbusters franchises, you don’t ever feel lost, even when some unfamiliar side characters are shown. Since I (shamefully) haven’t been following either—though I might check them out now—that made it easy for me to follow along.
As I said, this comic has an incredibly basic plot and the villain is rather uninteresting and anodyne. It’s a good mini series in spite of these flaws, but I would have still preferred something a bit more epic: maybe the Shredder possessed by Gozer or something. That would be awesome.
All And All
Despite the comic’s missteps, it’s a damn good read. If you’re a fan of either franchise (or both) and used to reenact Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles crossovers with your action figures when you were a kid, you need to check this comic out. The collected trade paperback is easy to get and the four individual issues shouldn’t be too hard to hunt down either, if you prefer it that way.