Kevin Tanaka was born into a family of firefighters, pure New Yorkers all, and wanted nothing more as a child than to become one himself. Kevin was diagnosed with cancer when he was seven years old. He survived and made a full recovery but his left leg was amputated just above the knee. For the rest of his life, Kevin wore a prosthesis and retained normal movement. When the prosthesis was being adjusted or he didn't otherwise feel like wearing it, Kevin used a pair of crutches. Since then, he focused on his other love, literature, eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in that field. Walter Peck successfully negotiated a loan of the Ghostbusters' services, for up to two weeks each month, with the Scandinavian entrepreneur Erland Vinter. With Egon Spengler still recovering from an injury caused by a Werecat Ghost, Special Agent Melanie Ortiz busy investigating paranormal occurrences across the U.S. on behalf of the FBI, and Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore in Europe, Janine Melnitz was left severely understaffed. Jenny Moran took care of the bureaucratic red tape at the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission and suggested Janine hire someone to help out. About the time of when Peter, Ray, and Winston encountered the Plague Doctor Ghost on Poveglia, Janine and Jenny started open interviews at 2 pm local time in the Firehouse. During his interview, Kevin admitted part of his reason for applying for the position was he always wanted to work in a firehouse.
After two hours, Janine had a couple of "maybes" but felt Kevin could solve more problems in the office because of his typing skills rather than solving her problem of not having enough bodies to send out on a bust. Kevin was hired and given a flight suit to wear during office hours but Janine suffered another set back when she could not get him certified as a back up Ghostbuster.   Kevin also helped maintain the equipment. While Janine spoke with Special Agent Melanie Ortiz about personnel, Kevin carried a box and Trap to elsewhere in the Firehouse. While talking about her understaffing problems, Janine pointed out her issue with certifying Kevin. Kevin waved at them.
While two teams of Ghostbusters searched for artifacts in Chile and Japan that would grant them access to Gottskalk Nikulausson's hidden tomb, Janine and Jenny handled calls in New York. Kevin was left to manage the office at the Firehouse. He answered the phone and once again told the caller they didn't have a punch card then yelled at him to stop calling. A day and a half after the Ghostbusters returned with the Rauoskinna, Kevin answered a call from Loftur Þorsteinsson saying he was the one who visited Egon. Kevin called up Ray in the upstairs lab and notified him. Ray told him to put Loftur through. Loftur set up a meeting in Central Park at midnight. The next day, Kevin, while using crutches, reminded the guys to offer the new loyalty program as they set off for a case in the Bronx involving a dog-eating-toilet. Winston Zeddemore reckoned they were still trying to get rid of the mugs.
Janine and Kevin watched the commercial for Ghostbusters 101, Peter's idea for a Ghostbusters fantasy camp, before it aired on television. Janine couldn't believe they were going through with his pitch and saw it as a big damn headache. Kevin informed Janine that Melanie already heard about it and said the FBI will want to negotiate a dedicated class. Janine wanted to know how she found out so soon but the Firehouse got a visit by Dr. Carla Parker and her son Garrett Parker. Carla inquired about a spot in the 101 pilot program for Garrett as Peter promised over the phone. Janine had no idea what pilot program she was talking about. Kevin informed her it was the arrangement of Ray teaching Cait Banner, Evan Torres, and Zoe Zawadzki. Janine tried to downplay Peter's promise but Carla told her about Garrett's issues dealing his father's cancer ailment. Janine prepared to go over the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission paperwork with Carla and told Kevin to introduce Garrett to the others. Kevin came to attention, saluted, and welcomed Garrett to Ghostbusters 101. He directed Garrett to follow him upstairs. Garrett paused and asked Kevin how he lost his leg. Kevin inquired why he thought that. Garrett shared how he saw a woman wearing a prosthetic at the hospital last week when he visited his father. She walked with a limp like Kevin did. Kevin was surprised since nobody at the Firehouse noticed and confirmed he was right then told him he had his leg amputated when he was seven due to cancer. Garrett shared that his father had cancer, too. Kevin assured him cancer didn't get everybody and sometimes it only took a small piece. As they walked upstairs, Kevin asked him if he ever saw a ghost before.
Kevin took Garrett to a room on the third floor where Jenny Moran was teaching Cait, Zoe, and Evan about properly scanning a Class 4 Semi-Corporeal manifestation. Kevin joked it looked like she was teaching them how to work airport security. Garrett was a little concerned Jenny was a ghost but Kevin reassured him she was a very nice ghost. Kevin started with Cait and mentioned she was good with a sword. He continued with Evan who he described as a master of defense and Feng Shui and thought he was in love with his TI-87 calculator. Kevin ended with Zoe and admitted he had no idea how to spell her surname. Kevin admitted he might have mixed up some details but got their names right then introduced Garrett to everyone and requested they don't get him slimed on his first day. Cait and Zoe wrapped their arms around Garrett's and volunteered to help with his orientation. Kevin brought up he did have some PCOC paperwork to attend to. Jenny remembered Peter bought the good coffee and gave the teenagers a break.
A couple of weeks later, Kevin greeted Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert, Patty Tolan, and Jillian Holtzmann unaware they were a team of Ghostbusters from an alternate dimension. To make matters worse, they had no idea what happened to their Firehouse. Erin demanded to know what he did with Kevin. Kevin stated he was Kevin. Erin flipped out and stated her Kevin was a chiseled, godlike, specimen of a man and he wasn't. Kevin retorted he did all right. Patty intervened and advised Erin to take a breath. Egon and Beckman addressed them from the stairwell. The two teams, Janine, Kylie, and the Kevins gathered on the second floor. Egon concluded their respective dimensions were in a state of overlap. Kevin Tanaka returned to man the front desk but Holtzmann pounced on the phone and took down some information on a new case. After pressure from a buildup in P.K.E. was released, several items from the other Ghostbusters' Firehouse started to appear. Kevin carefully moved a finger towards the Ghost Transporter on the front desk. While the Ghostbusters took up positions in Times Square, Kevin remained at the Firehouse and helped Janine with the flurry of phone calls. Soon after Melanie arrived and the Ultimate Mobile Trap departed, Janine announced she just talked to the Queen of England on the phone. Kevin was impressed. Cait thought the guy from Queen was dead. Kevin told her she was thinking of the wrong one.
Kevin was present in the Warehouse when Ghostbusters of various dimensions met. During Egon's equipment lecture, Kevin listened to channel one on the Warehouse radio and heard most of what happened with Special Agent Ortiz's group during an investigation of the Fort Washington Park. Walter Peck requested an update from Janine but Kevin came to the PCOC offices in her place. At around 5:10 pm, Peck asked how many Ghostbusters there were. Kevin wasn't sure and guessed less than 50. Peck poured himself a drink and asked how many Peters there were. Kevin remembered there were at least two. Peck asked where they all were. Kevin replied they were at the Warehouse, where the Interspatial Teleportation Unit was moved as a containment measure. Peck still had questions about their interdimensional retrieval mission and the George Washington Bridge incident. He stopped himself and told Kevin to just take him through everything. Kevin started with Ron and Holtzmann's Remote Access Teleportation Unit glitching the Containment Unit and causing several ghosts to be dispersed into other dimensions. He stated how the main mission was to return all the ghosts into the unit then they could recalibrate and repair it. Kevin then went over the meeting at the Warehouse and what he learned of the George Washington Bridge incident from listening to Holtzmann's channel on the Warehouse radio. Kevin ended with Holtzmann using a lighthouse fog horn and searchlight to force the Doom Ghost to reveal itself. Peck couldn't believe he was serious. Kevin assured him he was definitely serious. Peck asked what happened to Janine. Kevin hinted Egon persuaded her to come along on the mission.
Peck went to the Firehouse and became irate at the thought of the situation worsening. Kevin corrected his assessment and calmly said it only got more complicated as usual. He suggested calling the Warehouse if he wanted another update. Peck already did and was annoyed a child answered. Kevin stated the 101 pilot team were high school seniors. Peck still qualified that as "child." He wasn't happy with the likelihood they were operating dangerous equipment unsupervised but circled back to his primary objection about not being satisfactorily updated on the imminent threat which he suspected was rapidly descending into hell in a hand basket. Jenny denied it upon arriving in the garage with six Slimers and the Ghostbusters of Dimension 11-W, of 68-M, and of 68-Q. Peck wanted more information and cited the Mayor as an excuse. Jenny pointed out the Containment Unit was already being monitored and the three teams were at their disposal to go out on any calls. Ray 68-M announced, in Japanese, he was ready to blow a lot of things up. Kevin immediately told Peck he didn't understand him. Peck exclaimed he already knew what that Ray said then followed Jenny upstairs for more information.
Kevin Tanaka went back to the Warehouse. Some time later, he noticed one of the lights turned on. Zoe told him it meant the teleportation unit was about to activate. Kevin wondered if that meant everything was okay. Ron fell through the portal and was injured. Kevin noticed something alarming on the panel. Mike took a look and confirmed something was wrong. All of the tracking devices were reading like they were in the same dimensional location.
- Kevin is visually based on Ghostbusters Wiki administrator User:Mrmichaelt
- Kevin can type 65 words per minute.
- In Ghostbusters International #3, page 8, in panel 2, on Kevin's file is his address: 424 West End Avenue #504 on the Upper West Side.
- Also on Kevin's file, his relevant expertise is an extensive knowledge of ghosts and ghostbusting and he excels in notes and research.
- Kevin's name appears to be a nod to the secretary of the same first name in the Ghostbusters (2016 Movie).
- In Ghostbusters International #4, page 2 panel 2, Kevin is carrying a box marked "Fire Station Headquarters," a nod to the U.K. printing of the Kenner Playset: Fire House Headquarters.
- Kevin is disabled.
- In Ghostbusters International #11, page 21, Kevin's name patch is visible for the first time, revealing his last name to be Tanaka.
- The Dramatis Personae of Ghostbusters 101 #2 revealed Kevin also helps maintain the equipment.
- The line "superhuman attention to detail" in Kevin's bio is a nod to Mrmichaelt.
- First seen on page 8 of Ghostbusters 101 #2, Kevin's civies were inspired by those selected by Mrmichaelt on January 30, 2017.
- Kevin appears on the Regular Cover of Ghostbusters 101 #5
- April solicits of this cover were the first clue that Kevin Tanaka was an amputee.
- Kevin's prosthesis on this cover is a modern running blade type.
- Kevin was featured on the 27th Crossing Over Virtual Trading Card, released on May 22, 2018. It revealed:
- Kevin is from a family of firefighters and wanted to be one growing up.
- Also loves literature and eventually earned a degree in that field.
- He enjoys basketball.
- He plays in a weekend basketball league.
- He is an avid fan of the Boston Celtics.
- On page 1 of Ghostbusters Crossing Over Issue #5, Kevin sports a red shirt. The color was chosen by Ghostbusters Wiki administrator Mrmichaelt on June 6, 2018. It is "High Risk Red" or Pantone Color Code #18-1763 TCX.
- On page 2 of Ghostbusters Crossing Over Issue #5, it is revealed Kevin has a limited to no degree of fluency in Japanese language.
- Ongoing Series
- Ghostbusters 101
- Ghostbusters Crossing Over
- What Came Before! (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #4" (2016) (Comic What Came Before!). Line reads: "Janine hired a new employee! His name is Kevin."
- Winston Zeddemore (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #11" (2016) (Comic p.21). Winston Zeddemore says: "We're still trying to get rid of those mugs, huh, Kev?"
- Kevin Tanaka (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters 101 #2" (2017) (Comic p.11). Kevin Tanaka says: "But to answer your question, it was amputated just above the knee when I was seven. Cancer."
- TomWaltz Tweet 5/22/18 Virtual Trading Card #27 reads: "KEVIN TANAKA comes from a family of firefighters and wanted nothing more as a child than to become one himself. Cancer struck, and an amputation of his leg was required. Since then, he has focused on his other love, literature, eventually earning a degree in that field."
- Kevin Tanaka (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #3" (2016) (Comic p.7). Kevin says: "Part of it is that I'd like to work in a firehouse..."
- What Came Before! (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #4" (2016) (Comic What Came Before!). Line reads: "He's definitely not cleared to use any kind of particle accelerator, but in the other hand, he can type 65 words a minute and enjoys paperwork... so Janine loves him."
- Janine Melnitz (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #4" (2016) (Comic p.2). Janine Melnitz says: "Sure I got a new guy - he's great around here, but getting him certified as a backup has become the new biggest pain in my rear... so I do not need anymore grief today!"
- Janine Melnitz (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #3" (2016) (Comic p.8). Janine Melnitz says: "I'm kinda liking the guy who types 65 words per minute. That'd solve more problems for me than just having another person to send out on a bust."
- erikburnham Tweet reply 3/22/17
- TomWaltz Tweet 5/22/18 Virtual Trading Card #27 reads: "When not reading, writing, or tending to GB paperwork, Kevin enjoys basketball. He plays in a weekend league and is an avid fan of the Celtics. (His family, pure New Yorkers all, have no idea how that happened, but at least it's not the Red Sox.)"