When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna call? Seriously. Who are you going to call? Ghostbusters, to be sure… but which?
Since 2011, IDW has presented comic book adventures of Ghostbusters, the 1984 Ivan Reitman film production. These stories have nicely explored and expanded the profiles of the titular characters while also introducing new faces who actually fit the ensemble without a single “Cousin Oliver “ in the bunch. Generally speaking, the writing has been pretty solid. Most impressive so far has been the ability to tie events from the film to a 2014 comic book crossover event with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which also connect to the present story. In fact, the scripting on IDW’s Ghostbusters has been so well laid out that even though the current storyline, Ghostbusters 101, is on it’s 3rd issue, you can jump right in and be quickly brought up to date.
The Ghostbusters are now teaching a class on the paranormal called “Ghostbusters 101”. When a student decides to play with the equipment, opening a portal, a ghost residing in an alternate dimension attempts to cross the barrier. The portal is closed, but the ghost is now split, existing in two realities. The resulting aftermath first manifests in the appearance of a second Statue of Liberty. After beginning an investigation, the Ghostbusters (Egon, Peter, Ray and Winston) return their firehouse headquarters and come face-to-face with… wait for it… the Ghostbusters (Abby, Erin, Jillian and Patty).
Exploring the existence of a multiverse is not uncommon in comic books these days (Thanks for that, DC). In Ghostbusters 101, Eric Burnham has really gotten it right, weaving a story that not only brings together GB teams from the original 1984 movie and the 2016 remake, but doing it in a way that doesn’t feel forced. We even get a to look in on The REAL Ghostbusters as an added treat.
A good job has been done representing all the main characters when compared to their respective big screen counterparts. However, if I’m going to be completely honest, though I enjoy this title the design of the original four male Ghostbusters has bugged me for a while, almost to the point of distraction. With his long, pointed features and what appears to be a bicycle seat on his head, Egon is reminiscent of an alien you might find on Start Trek. Not one of the good ones either. We’re talking Deep Space 9 here. Ray is Dan Aykroyd-ish, but with a face so long and out of proportion that he looks like a baboon. Winston is all lips and jawline with two tiny eyes just below a barely existent dome. As for Peter… I’m just going to say it. His features remind me of Tow Mater from Disney’s CARS. Even when staged next to other male figures in their own comic book universe, the ’84 Ghostbusters look displaced. That said, the overall presentation of Ghostbusters 101 is very entertaining. Set for a 6 issue run, it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. However it ends, you can be sure there will be far-reaching effects across the multiverse, and when those ghostly chickens come home to roost, who you gonna call?
Overall: Four and half stars
Writer: Erik Burnham
Art: Dan Schoening
Color: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letters: Neil Uyetake
Publishers: IDW PUBLISHING