Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters 2 #3 – Comic Review

‘The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are on the run. The ghost of Darius Dun, a crime boss whose assassination was ordered by Splinter, has summoned a group of demons – The Collectors – to abduct the Turtles, all in an attempt to hurt Splinter. Luckily, Donatello reached the Ghostbusters for help before the dimension-hopping demons caught up with him.

‘To confuse the trail, the boys in gray split up with the mutant heroes and went on random runs through the infinite dimensions. They take a quick pause to allow their portal technology to recharge, finding themselves in vastly different surroundings!

‘Peter Venkman and Michelangelo appear in Zoo Amsterdam, a city of anthropomorphic animals, where Peter was mistaken for a demon by that dimensions paranormal investigators – the Ghostbusturtles! Ray Stanz and Raphael found themselves in a frozen forest, ambushed by Scandinavian specters! Winston Zeddmore and Leonardo wind up on a world of pure war, narrowly defying death at the hands of an unfeeling army of androids! 

‘Back in the Ghostbusters’ home dimension, Ego Spengler and Donatello work on a trap that will send the Collectors directly to the containment unit, a prison they can’t escape from… if the two teams can manage to trap them in the first place. Donatello has an idea about how to make that happen…’

The third issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters 2 continues the story of our two heroic teams working together across the mutli-verse to stop supernatural forces, whilst managing to pack a lot of fun and action into its pages.

Following on from the surprise little reveal in the previous issue that Venkman and Michelangello had discovered a group of turtle ghostbusters in a reality full of animal people, Venkman gets captured by these Ghostbusters, who are named Harold, Dan, Ernie, and Bill after the original Ghostbuster actors (a very nice touch). This leads Michelangelo alone to rescue him. This is a great set up, because it reminds the audience, and Venkman, that behind Michelangelo’s humour and loudmouthed joking, he;s a ninja. He can track people, he can sneak into places, he can jump out of the shadows and surprise you. It’s also a good counterpoint to their story from the last issue, where Michelangelo has the emotional beats and didn’t get the chance to shine as an action hero.

Over in the snowy wilderness of the dimension that Ray and Raphael found themselves in, it appears that the two heroes have found themselves throuwn out of their bodies and reduced to ineffectual spirits whilst their bodies have been taken over by Viking ghosts, who are using them to fight each other. Whilst this is great for Ray, who is absolutely loving that he gets to experience something like this and finds the whol thing fascinating, it’s the worst thing in the world for Raph.

Raphael is desperate to be able to take action. He cares about the things that he believes in so much that he’s always the first in line to put himself in harms way, is always the first to take action; so to be unable to interact with or touch anything at all is the worst kind of punishment for him. It’s a great decision to make him the member of the Turltes in this position, as it really challenges him in a way that we don’t always get to see.

Unfortunately, with the issue ending with him and Ray stuck in Ray’s body together things don’t seem to be resolved for the character, and I can see the next issue pushing him to realise that he will need to put aside his lone wolf style brashness and learn to work with Ray in a way that he hasn’t with anyone else in the past. It’s also looking like it will be allowing the creative team to further explore his emotional statre and his motivations as Ray has already picked up on some of his inner thoughts and emotions, commenting that even when with his family he feels incredibly lonely. I very much look forward to seeing how this will resolve with the two of them.

Over in the Terminator apocalypse, Leonardo and Winston get a surprise appearance from a group of toad mutants, who manage to steal their dimensional travel device, forcing the two of them to fight to get it back. It;s fun to see Winston and Leo work together this way, the two most straightlaced members of their respective teams, Leonardo with his strict sense of training and discipline, and Winston with his military background.

Instead of dragging the action out it ends fairly quickly, in part because the book doesn’t have the room to have a full scale fight, but also to showcase how good the two of them are compared to their opponents, they don;t need long to beat them even if they are outnumbered. Back in the Ghostbusters home reality Donatello and Ego continue their work towards a way of trapping The Collectors, ans making an arsenal of proton powered ninja weapons. We get to see Donatello going one on one with a giant ghost armed only with a glowing staff, and the result is as great as you’d think.

The inclusion of proton powered weapons for the Turtles is a genius idea, and one that I’m eagerly awaiting the team to be able to use at some point. Whilst most teamups mean that characters are able to come together to fight an enemy using their own individual skills, the Turtles fighting ghosts would never work without them being given proton packs, which takes a little something away from what they can bring to the table as ninjas. Giving them these weapons means that the two teams can work together whilst still being who they are, the trutles can actually fight ghosts the same way that they can their other foes, and that’s a great concept. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we get to see both teams in action together.

What this scene also gives us, however, is a chance for the two members of each team who spent some time dead since their last team-up, a chance to talk through their experiences. It’s a unique experience that neither one can really discuss with their respective teams in the same way they can with each other. Here they have someone to talk to who has gone through something similar, who knows the kind of trauma and mental toil that they have experienced. It’s a great scene that gives a good look into the minds of both of these characters, espescially Egon, who very rarely opens up about his feelings.

The story is definitely heating up in this issue, driving toweards the inevitable conclusion against The Collectors with both teams coming back together. Thankfully, the book is able to deliver both action and character development as it works to keep its players separate for now. It’s a story that could easily fall flat if in the hands of a less competent creative team, thankfully here it’s being done in such a way that it’s a genuine pleasure to read.

TMNT/Ghostbusters 2 is now available from IDW Publishing.

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