New Ghostbusters Take On A Familiar Threat In Ghostbusters IDW 20/20 #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Twenty years in the future, and a new generation of Ghostbusters is sent on all the jobs Ray, Winston, Peter, and Egon just don’t feel like taking on themselves. The Sanctum of Slime Ghostbusters—Bridget, Samuel, Gabriel, and Alan—have proven themselves many times over… first against the demon Dumazu, and later with the Ghostbusters of many other dimensions in the recent Crossing Over event. Now they’re ready for an easy gig, something like a simple haunted house. But they better be careful… you never know Wat could happen.

Twenty years into the future, where would you expect the original Ghostbusters to be? Erik Burnham has the original team supervising the Sanctum of Slime squad that debuted in Atari’s 2011 co-op twin stick shooter and also recently appeared in IDW’s Ghostbusters: Crossing Over. Ghostbusters IDW 20/20 #1 seems to pick up directly following the events of the crossover event.

Immediately upon their return to the firehouse, the new team is dispatched to a creepy house that materialized out of nowhere in Bayside. When the kids arrive, they discover elderly Mrs. Rogers, the alter ego of a powerful demon called Wat, who has intentions on world domination. If I recall correctly, this was also the plot of a Real Ghostbusters episode back in the eighties.

Burnham hits most of the darkly comedic beats that call back to the original movie, although only two of the founding band members catch more than a single line of dialogue. The focus of this one-shot is squarely on the new kids as they revisit one of the classic storylines, almost verbatim.

The art by Dan Schoening is appropriate for the material, but I was a little thrown by the appearance of the originals. Likenesses are hard to hit, and the guys seem like an odd mix of their live action counterparts and the cartoon versions from the eighties cartoon series. Spengler is a dead ringer for Harold Ramis, but the others look more like their Real Ghostbusters analogues.

Ghostbusters IDW 20/20 #1 is a fun read. It’s got a little something for those of us who grew up with the source material, but also looks to the future of the franchise.

Ghostbusters IDW 20/20, IDW Publishing, released 16 January 2019. Story by Erik Burnham, story art by Dan Shoening, back-up story art by Tim Lattie, colors by Luis Antonio Delgado, letters by Tom Waltz.

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