“Let’s Do The Space-Warp Again!” Before they began investigating the supernatural, most of the original Ghostbusters were teachers… and they’ve decided it’s time they start sharing their knowledge again. But when their first batch of students start poking around the firehouse and accidentally set in motion the merging of two universes (it’s easier than you’d think) Venkman, Stantz, Zeddemore, and Spengler will need all the help they can get to put things right! And who do you think will Answer The Call? (If you guessed Holtzmann, Yates, Tolan, and Gilbert… you get a gold star!) It’s a brand new inter-dimensional meeting of the minds, starting here!”
IDW Publications has been publishing Ghostbusters comic books since 2011, and there have been three volumes, two mini-series,’ and two annuals. Today begins the third, four-issue mini-series, “Ghostbusters 101,” and this series will have the original team of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore meet the 2016 team of Abigail “Abby” Yates, Erin Gilbert, Jillian “Holtz” Holtzmann, and Patricia “Patty” Tolan. Also returning are Kylie Griffin, Walter Peck, Janine Melnitz, and Kevin Beckman. The 2016 Ghostbusters had mixed reviews, but seeing both Ghostbusters teams meet for the first time sounds captivating, but will this premiere issue stand out and impress the readers and hardcore Ghostbusters fans?
Returning to bring us a new chapter in the Ghostbusters mythos is writer Erik Burnham, artist Dan Schoening, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, and lettering by Neil Uyetake. One nice feature of these IDW Ghostbusters comic books are the preludes. This book starts off by recapping the stories, starting with the beginning…the events of the first movie. Followed by events in the previous story arcs, then the second film. Then the secondary team relocating to Chicago, meeting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, meeting The Real Ghostbusters, and finally, their international expedition. So for new readers, it’s not necessary to read all the previous stories in order to read this one, but they’ll be missing out on some fun and exciting reading.
Another nice feature in the Ghostbusters comics are the character introductions. There’s a splash-page (or two) of the main cast, and some of the minor characters, showcasing individual pictures of them and tidbits that best describe them. This is a great way to introduce the characters to new readers who haven’t seen any of the movies yet, never seen the animated shows, played any of the video games, or read any of the comic books. It is highly recommended to watch at least the first film from 1984 to get an idea what this franchise is all about.
On to the story, titled, “So What’s on the Other Side of the Looking Glass?” The original team is split up at Luna Park, Peter and Winston are dealing with a class 3 ghost above ground, and Egon and Ray are in the sewers dealing with psychomagnetheric ectoplasm (slime) underground. Being a Ghostbuster isn’t a very clean job, so let’s just say that the boys make a mess (again). A week later, the EPA isn’t happy with the Ghostbusters, so they send someone to talk to Walter Peck, head of the “Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission” (PCOC). The Ghostbusters may face some heavy fines…
Later at the Ghostbusters Headquarters, Ray is teaching a group of kids about paranormal research. Feeling like the kids need a break, Kylie decides to take them to see something that’s “actually cool.” Elsewhere at headquarters, Walter Peck is telling Peter, Egon, Winston, Ray, and Janine about the visit from the EPA. Peter has his idiosyncratic remarks, but he actually comes up with a good idea…and Peck wants to know more about this idea.
Downstairs, Kylie shows the kids the Ecto-Containment Unit, but they seem unimpressed. Kylie then shows the kids the Interspatial Teleportation Unit, which Egon and Donatello built so that the Turtles could go back to their dimension. The kids are fascinated by this invention, that is, until a ghost appears and heads right for them. Kylie is able to close the portal in time, and this is where the story shifts into the alternate dimension. This is the dimension where the 2016 Ghostbusters exist. Comedic moments happen, then the story ends…for now. This is followed by some classified Ghostbusters files detailing the different classes of ghosts. This book concludes with a five-page sneak peek of “Ghostbusters International.”
Overall, this series isn’t bad. I say this all the time, first issues are difficult, especially if it’s a mini-series. This series is going to be four issues long, and there are so many characters that have to intertwine, and the plot has yet to come into fruition. In this first installment, there’s so much going on in a few amount of pages. It would’ve been nice if this was a double-sized issue, then there could’ve been more story to tell. But it’s a nice start to this new series. It’ll be interesting and epic when the two Ghostbusters teams meet for the first time. To see Holtzmann and Venkman interact will be tremendous, Ray and Erin, Abby and Egon, Winston and Patty…this is going to be astronomical!
Like previous IDW Ghostbusters comics, the artwork by Dan Schoening is perfect for this series. Delgado’s colors compliment the artwork well, and he illuminates each page with the Ecto-Plasm and the Proton Streams. From cover to cover, this book should definitely be picked up and read, and considering it’s a first issue, it’s a nice starting point. The story is heading in the right direction…but there are too many subplots going on at once. Hopefully, things will focus on one main plot, and the rest of the story will flow nicely.
I rate this premiere issue 4 Geek-Heads out of 5. Recommended reading material, and this is a series that I’m looking forward to reading until the end. Not bad, just a little too much going on, and I’m sure the creative team has great things coming for the next three installments. “Ghostbusters 101” retails for $3.99 and can be purchased at local comic shops, digitally on Comixology HERE, or directly from IDW Publishing HERE.
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