Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Erik Burnham
Artwork: Dan Schoening, Corin Howell, Rachael Stott, Erik Evensen and Tim Lattie
Colours: Luis Antonio Delgado and Anna Chher
Release Date: 18th January 2017
Full disclosure: this is going to be a spoiler heavy review towards the end, so this is your one and only warning.
This annual should be used as an example to other publishers of what annuals should be. I’ve lost count of the number of times in the past that I’ve been disappointed with annuals from the likes of Marvel and DC, but this is just brilliant. It feels like a calm, deep breath after the recent events of GB International, but still manages to continue the story and the overall lore. Given how much I like this series I had already pre-ordered this issue and after reading this review copy, I’m so glad I did.
So, to ensure that I don’t spoil everything for you, here’s what’s going to happen in this review: I will be talking about my favourite stories in the annual, discussing the big reveal and, finally, sharing my interpretation of said reveal.
My favourite story is coincidentally the first story in the annual. In it Erik and Luis get to actually meet Winston and find out what he was doing during the Scolari Brothers fight in Ghostbusters II. It isn’t necessarily anything too amazing, but what it does is satisfactorily explain a plot hole from the film that always annoyed me. I really hope the Ghosthead community take the explanation as canon for the film, as I know I will be.
My second favourite story would be the Ghostbusters 101 prelude. The art, by Rachael Stott, is amazing! If Dan wants to take a break from the series, which I hope is never the case, then I would absolutely want Rachael to take over without a shadow of doubt. Her style has the same special indescribable quality as Dan, but manages to be completely different at the same time. It is just fantastic. The story introduces the 3 new characters; Janine’s niece and her friends, who will help initiate the events of the 101 miniseries. They steal a trap to help one of them get rid of a ghost, get caught, but ultimately impress enough to be taken on as trainees. It’s a nice, lively, action-heavy introduction to the characters
My third favourite is the origin of Slimer but to be honest, it’s too good to talk about and spoil in a review, so just go out and read it for yourself, ‘k?
As good as the stories were thought, the introduction to Ghostbusters 101 at the back of the book is what pretty much blew my brains out. All the PR I have seen for Ghostbusters 101 so far has basically said that it will be a crossover with new movie Ghostbuster team of Yates, Gilbert, Tolan and Holtzman. I was already looking forward to this, but what is shown/hinted at on the final pages is an event of biblical proportions. We are talking cats and dogs living together, folks. The IDW Ghostbusters are going on a tour of (or getting visited by) all the Ghostbuster teams across the multiverse. This includes the Real Ghostbusters and the Extreme Ghostbusters! The exact words are “This time EVERYONE answers the call”, and I think we can agree that’s one hell of a mic drop.
I think the last time I was this shocked and excited was when the XGBs appeared briefly in the Get Real series. Honestly, this is a brilliant piece of marketing underplay for a truly massive payoff. Well done IDW!
[Edit: Unfortunately, my pan-universal crossover bubble has been burst. As you can see from the comment below by Erik the 101 series is a crossover between the ATC and IDW teams. However, his comment is very interesting for the future.]
The writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags