When the Ghostbusters are all taken to another dimension by a gang of ghosts New York is left without its protectors in grey… and with no sign of them coming back someone has to step up to the plate…
Enter Janine Melnitz, trusted member of the Ghostbusters support staff, Kylie Griffin who has worked in Ray Stanz’s Occult Bookstore for two loyal years, FBI Agent Melanie Ortiz an aquaintance of the Ghostbusters while the were crossing the country (and possible love interest for Venkman) and Ron Alexander, a rival of the team who set up his own group, the Ghostsmashers, but ended up in prison when it all went wrong.
Are these the future of paranormal eliminations in New York until the guys are rescued?
With this being the 17th issue of IDW’s Ghostbusters series (although it’s #1 under the new title) you’d think the creative team of Burnham, Schoening, Jones and Delgado would settle into their routine and get comfortable. Afterall, they’ve done an astonishingly good job so far (even winning the 2012 best comic book award here at FTN). But no, that would be too easy.
So far in the new ongoing series the team have managed to draw on everything in Ghostbusters mythology since 1984. References to The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, the video game, the old comics and even a few sly references to some of the more obscure toys have all been greatly appreciated by the more hardcore fans (of which I am firmly one) and it has made almost every panel worthy of a second look. But now, with the new series, the team have been asked to try something that only Extreme Ghostbusters has tried before. Create a new team of Ghostbusters.
Now, given that this is only the first issue it’s almost impossible to judge the degree of success with which this is done, but in a few short pages sooooo much is covered. The Ghostbusters are taken captive and New York falls into supernatural despair and Walter Peck soon needs to find a new team or his job may be on the line.
And a team is formed from established Ghostbusters lore; Janine from, well, everything, Kylie from Extreme Ghostbusters (although Erik Burham has informed me this is an all-new continuity – head officially wrecked now) and Melanie and Ron from the ongoing series. And full credit to Burnham, we must assume this was in the pipeline for some time as the team makes sense, each character has a reason for being there and a task to perform.
This all said, there are a few problems here, especially with the plotting which feels slow in parts and the simple fact that the Ghostbusters are, for the most part, missing still means the book feels a little at odds with itself. However, the subplot with the original four could work well alongside the main event and the knowledge that there are still plots to be tied up from the previous issues means that this does feel like a more of temporary measure than a permanent one. I feel echoes of Dan Aykroyd’s failed Ghostbusters Go To Hell movie idea here.
Will Janine, Kylie, Ron and Melanie endear themselves to us? Will Ghostbusters still be Ghostbusters without Peter, Egon, Ray and Winston? Honestly, I don’t think so. But I will say this, Burnham, Schoening and the rest of the team have, for the last 18 months, been giving us the best Ghostbusters since 1984 so if anyone can make it work it’s them.
So, flawed? Yes. But it could be one hell of a ride and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen…
Who ya gonna call, indeed…
4 out of 5 Nerds