Wednesday, December 2, 2015

(Recent) comics review: Ghostbusters: Get Real #1-4 (complete mini-series, IDW, June-September 2015)

Although IDW's Ghostbusters comics of the past few years have overall been quite good, at times I couldn't help but wonder, "Well, if they're going to be drawn in a cartoony way... in fact, if they're going to be drawn, period, why not just do The Real Ghostbusters?" While that may not appeal to some fans, who would prefer the movie GBs -- which is what IDW has been doing, kind of -- by and large, my nostalgia for the franchise lies in growing up on DiC's animated series. I have no shame in sharing that when reading the IDW comics, the voices I hear in my head aren't those of Murray, Ackroyd, Ramis, and Hudson, but of Coulier, Welker, LaMarche, and Hall.

(The cover used for the first issue's 2nd printing, 
appropriating the splash panel that closes 
the first installment, sans word balloon.)

Though Get Real can be viewed as a novelty project (and possibly the most redundant [non!]-crossover of all time, especially when you consider that the IDW Ghostbusters can never really [no pun intended] be the movie ones!), it sure has been nice to see "The Real" guys again, especially given how Dan Schoening's renderings and Luis Antonio Delgado's coloring makes them look so much like their animated selves of 25-30 years ago... but with the color palette being much richer, honestly. Same goes for the backgrounds, in particular, the animated universe's firehouse.

As well-done as writer Erik Burnham's appropriation of Greek gods Proteus (the main villain) and Ananke (in a smaller, more heraldic role, in Hero's Journey terms) is, they serve in an ancillary capacity, providing a plot vehicle for what everyone's really (cough) reading for: the IDW/psuedo-movie Ghostbusters meeting and interacting with their animated counterparts. Burnham, of course, knows these characters inside and out, and so he nails setting them up as foils for themselves: the Rays sharing in their enthusiasm and sense of wonder, the Egons working together on the scientific and technical matters of their universe-crossing dilemma, the Winstons sharing in their everyman skepticism, and most bitingly, the Peters finding each other to be insufferable jerks.

As someone who even as a child thought that the interior of the animated Containment Unit was some sort of physics-defying vast, dreary realm functioning as some sort of ghost purgatory -- and not simply compounded, locked-down spectral energy -- was a stupid idea, the mini-series' most priceless moment, far and away, is as follows: the animated Peter asking the IDW/movie Egon if he's ever taken any "trips into the containment unit". The reply? An absolutely dry, flat, "It doesn't work that way." Oh, sweet, sweet vindication!

I'm hoping this is prelude/precedent/way-paving for a new, ongoing Real Ghostbusters comic. Please, IDW, make that a realality!

-- Ryan

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