The team from the 2016 Ghostbusters return for another comic outing following their inclusion in the Ghostbusters 101 crossover event. Whilst we all know how the internet reacted to the newer version of the Ghostbusters the team itself was very entertaining, with some great quirks and character traits, all of which are further explored in Ghostbusters: Answer The Call.
After responding to a call at an old brownstone in New York City, the Ghostbusters find themselves going up against a spirit a lot more powerful than they were expecting, a Schreckgespenst, or Boogyman. The spirit is the ghost of a mad scientist called Dr Kruger who has found a way of invading people’s worst fears and trapping them in their nightmares (yes, the characters do address the fact that the ghost that invades dreams is called Kruger).
This nightmare invaision ability gives the story ample opportunity to explore the psyche of the characters, giving more insight into the characters than the actual film did. We learn about their insecurities, their past traumas, and in the case of Holtzman, what makes her so determined to be strange and different.
We also learn of an event in the past that connects all of the Ghostbusters to a time long before the events of the first film. Whether or not it means there was some kind of fate involved in the four of them coming together is left open, but it does add an extra layer to the characters then there was before.
Kruger seems to challenge our heroes in ways that the villain of the movie didn’t, he makes them doubt themselves, to lose faith in their abilities and even come close to giving up on being Ghostbusters altogether. The stakes feel bigger than anything that the team has faced before, and this makes it feel like a worthy follow-up. If this story was used for a sequel film it would make for a great second movie.
The story has some good action in it, as well as the deeper character beats, with some over the top moments that really are too silly but work brilliantly. The proton whip that can be used to drag spirits out of people they’ve possessed is a particularly cool and inventive device, though the ghost killing zamboni might be Holtzman going a bit too far, especially as it tears a hole in the roof.
Corin Howell’s art is great throughout, and is able to capture the likenesses of the characters and infuse them with energy. It’s not just the Ghostbusters that Howell makes pop on the page, his ghosts are particularly good, and whilst Dr Kruger looks good it’s his spooky ghost child that really steals the scene.
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call is a great follow up to both the original film and Ghostbusters 101. It manages to be full of action, character development, scares, excitement, and even some emotional depth. Whilst I found the film enjoyable it didn’t go too deep into the characters, and this book manages to make up for that. It may even appeal to some of the people who hated the film, though that’s perhaps asking too much.
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is now available from IDW Publishing.