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"Ghostbusters: IDW 20/20" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing

ghostbusters 20 20 00

Written by Erik Burnham
Illustrated by Dan Schoening
Back-up story illustrated by Tim Lattie
Colored by Luis Antonio Delgado
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
2018, 36 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on January 16th, 2019


When you start a business, you build out a plan as to where it might go. Somehow I don't think the Ghostbusters did that. In this special one-shot, we jump twenty years in the future to see where Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston are, as a new generation of Ghostbusters have risen...taking the jobs the old guys don't want to do. This new group is put through the ringer on this mission, battling a mysterious entity known as Wat. No, this isn't an Abbott & Costello routine.

What struck me about Ghostbusters 20/20 is how jaded the original cast has become. They've been through so much and saved the world countless times and it's all just another day for them. This is even reflected in Dan Schoening's artwork, where his signature style is updated for less of a cartoony feel and he creates more of a battered and tired older group. They lack the life and energy they have in the present. You have to wonder what happened to them over the years to beat that out of them.

Click images to enlarge

While we don't know exactly when this book takes place, the technology – or rather the lack thereof – stands out. I guess you could make the argument that the original Ghostbusters takes place in 1984, so if we jump twenty years in the future, we're only in 2004, so it's not a huge leap in technology. That being said, we had the Internet then and there's plenty of easier ways to look up information on demons by that point.

There's a scene where the new Ghostbusters go to the library for research because Ray donated a bunch of occult books there. You'd think they would have been digitized somewhere along the line and indexed for easy searching.

Ghostbusters 20/20 mainly serves as a way for people to get acquainted with this new group of characters. This is a bit of a bummer because I'm obviously more interested in the OG team and they're barely in it. That's also the selling point for this one-shot. In any case, writer Erik Burnham gives us more than enough to dig into. The characters are varied and don't play into stereotypes. One of them even ties back into the movies in a fun way. I'd be happy to follow their adventures further, especially if we get to see the original team in a mentor role.

Click images to enlarge

Colorist Luis Antonio Delgado makes the paranormal energy pop on the page like always. He's an absolute master for Ghostbusters and this issue is no different. In this case, it's cool to see how the lightning-like energy contrasts against the grittier reality these characters find themselves in. It stands out in a neon-like way, drawing your eye to these bits of power during the fights.

Wat, the big bad in this issue, proves to be a formidable foe. It goes through a few transformations, starting as a little old lady and ending up as a giant dinosaur creature. Letterer Neil Uyetake uses black, jagged word balloons and a large, bold font for Wat, giving the impression that it's bellowing its dialogue at the Ghostbusters. This really differentiates the ghost and plays up the paranormal aspect of it.

This wasn't quite what I was expecting when IDW Publishing took my favorite franchise and jumped it ahead twenty years, however I found a lot to enjoy with this new cast of characters. I'm definitely interested in finding out more about them and how they get to here. They also made an appearance in the recent Crossing Over series, so I'm going to have to go back and pick that up to fill in some gaps. This shows that Ghostbusters can truly stand the test of time.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
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Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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