Mass Hysteria! feels like an organic follow-up to the movies. Needless to say, that's a very, very good thing. Writer Erik Burnham is essentially giving us more of what made the two films so very enjoyable and this absolutely feels like a third movie. There's plenty of heart, lots of sharp laughs, and the supernatural side is a whole lot of fun. All of that has been present and then some in this latest tale, and this week's chapter introduces the uncomfortably awkward yet still lovable Louis Tully back into the mix. Naturally, he's missing some of his "charm" without Rick Moranis' performance, but Burnham's able to deliver on a fitting set of lines. His role feels a bit limited (for now, at least), but it's an understandable choice given all that the story is juggling and, honestly, too much of him would probably hurt the quality of the issue, anyway.
I love how Dan Schoening's pencils allow you to immediately identify who's who and will force you into getting hit by some heavy doses of nostalgia. There's one page with Louis that'll immediately make your mind wander back to big scenes in the first two movies and Dana looks just like an animated version of Sigourney Weaver. There's a great amount of fan service and effort put into this pages and it really shows. These energetic and fun visuals (along with Luis Antonio Delgado's vivid colors) continue to impress my eyes and serve as the perfect compliment to Burnham's script.
It's a bit of a bummer the cliffhanger isn't quite as a strong as the previous chapters and, truthfully, the jokes aren't as consistent or as solid as the ones in the last two issues (though it'll be tough to top the universe/gravity bits). It does, however, compensate for that a tad by continuing to move the plot along.
As much as I enjoy Schoening's work, I can't help but become distracting by the hands. It seems like he puts extra effort into those details, and the result seems to give them a different texture (more wrinkly & bony) than the rest of the individual's body.
What you gonna buy? GHOSTBUSTERS! ...#15! But seriously, this volume is doing a tremendous job reminding me why I loved the movies as a child. Burnham continues to balance humor and the supernatural incredibly well and Schoening/Delgado's artwork is an excellent fit for the book's tone. It's animated and cartoon-ish, so it sells the lightheated material with ease, and the more intense and diverse situations are a total joy to witness. All in all, this story is feeling like a love letter to the classic films and I'm most certainly enjoying the ride.