Whether You’re Jonesing For Some More Ghostbusting Action After Last Summer’s New Ghostbusters Movie Or Desperate For A Fix For More 80’s Ghostbusting Hijinks Featuring The Classic Crew, IDW Will Scratch Your Ghostbusting Itch
IDW Publishing has successfully carved out a place in the highly competitive comic book world by cornering the market on pop culture titles and nostalgia properties. And one of the cornerstones of that strategy has been the Ghostbusters, (IDW has published Ghostbuster comics since 2008). initially starring the original four ghostbusters, IDW has given fans of the thirty year old movie franchise plenty of new adventures to follow. And when Sony pictures released Ghostbusters: Answer The Call last summer, it presented IDW with a very unique storytelling opportunity, one they took advantage of with the recently completed mini-series Ghostbusters 101.
A six issue mini-series published over the summer, Ghostbusters 101 brought the two distinct ghost busting worlds together. The books dealing with the classic characters had already established the existence of a multiverse, complete with different versions of the Ghostbusters themselves. With Answer The Call having already introduced Abbie, Holtzman and the rest of the girls last summer, the narrative foundation had been laid to bring the two teams (and worlds) together.
But while the classic characters from the 80’s are front and centre, they aren’t your father’s Ghostbusters. The classic team has undergone a lot of changes in the universe IDW has created for them. The roster has expanded to include additional administrative staff to help Janine as well as some fresh ghostbusting trainees. Gregory Peck, the EPA rep who shut down the Ghostbusters operation in the original movie (thereby unleashing a wave of ghosts to be used by the world killing, dimensional hopping Gozer) now works for the team as its political liaison. Oh yeah, and Ray is dating a ghost. Yep. you read that right, and no, you probably shouldn’t wonder about the practicality of inter-living (?) dating. So while the guys are, well, still the guys, their world has changed big time.
Facing a nasty financial crunch, the ghostbusters decide to offer a “Ghostbusting camp” to avoid bankruptcy. While playing around with an inter-dimensional portal, some of the campers attract a ghost from the lady busters’ universe. But after it looks like they’ve handled said spook, the ghost in question is actually trapped between both universes. While the ghost has a spectral foot in each reality, the two universes begin to bleed into each other, tossing both squads (and both worlds) together. The two different teams (or generations) soon find themselves co-operating to hit the cosmic rest button and get their respective worlds back on track.
Not only does Ghostbusters 101 bring together the two different generations together, it captures the spirit of both respective teams perfectly (as well as the irreverent tone of the franchise in general). Seeing the subtly combustible Janine meet the impossibly dense Kevin was almost as fun as watching the friction between Holztman’s hyperactive quirkiness and Venkman’s dry wit. In fact, the fun natured spirit of Ghostbusters 101 will remind long time fans of the classic 80’s cartoon (which the series even pays homage to). While the scientific techno-babble sometimes slows the pace, it more than makes up for it but being an enjoyable read that blends both the vintage and the new while respecting both.
But while you have to wait until December for IDW to release the trade paperback collecting all six issues of Ghostbusters 101 (titled Everyone Answers The Call), the publisher will drop plenty of ghost busting action for fans of both franchises in the very near future.
Just in time for all Hallows Eve, IDW debuts Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, featuring the ‘Busters from Sony’s recent movie. In their first solo comic book adventure, the ladies find themselves staring down a demonic entity that feeds on their greatest fears (kind of makes you wonder exactly what it is that keeps Holtzman up at night, doesn’t it?). Meanwhile in November, the classic quartet return in Ghostbusters/TMNT 2, the second crossover between the original proton slingers and the heroes in a half shell. This time around, the Ghostbusters step up to free the Turtles from a supernatural prison sprung on them by an ancient enemy. Both monthly series will be five issues in length.
IDW has found plenty of success publishing Ghostbusters as multiple limited series instead of a single ongoing (which they were forced to cancel in 2014). If these two titles sell as well as Ghostbusters 101 did, perhaps we may see a pair of new unlimited titles starring both generations. But if not, IDW will still make sure we’re getting our ghost busting fix.