Reporting Luke McKinney
Ghostbusters is one of the greatest movies ever made. If you disagree, well done on getting a wi-fi signal inside the Ecto-Containment Unit, ghost, but if your opinion counted we wouldn’t hire freelance scientists to shoot at you.
Unfortunately, one of the Ghostbusters is now the wrong kind of hilarious. Dan Aykroyd has issued an ultimatum to Sony Pictures, declaring that if Ghostbusters 3 isn’t made in the next few months he’ll take it elsewhere. Apparently waiting the first 23 years was fine, but 23 years and 3 months will miss the narrow window of opportunity. Recently he’s been explaining what color UFOs really are, and drinking spirits out of glass human skulls, yet pushing Ghostbusters 3 is still his most ridiculous project.
Bill Murray has already announced that he won’t take part, so the whole project is like a Ken doll planning a trip to a brothel. Even if the Ghostbusters could be reassembled, their entire job is destroying horrible things which hang around long after they should have passed on to ruin things. They’d be contractually obliged to prevent their own movie. Ghostbusters 3 could only have happened a few years after Ghostbusters 2. Unfortunately, that was just after everyone had seen Ghostbusters 2, so nobody wanted to. And that was that.
Damn, Dan, take the hint. Not being able to get a sequel or reboot made in today’s Hollywood is embarrassing. If Monopoly can get a movie and you can’t, go home. Though the way he’s now directly talking to the audience about a movie might mean he’s forgotten how cinemas work.
Besides, the Ghostbusters are already back. Twice. The first return was Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which was the true Ghostbusters 3. It featured all four of the original cast downloaded into computer-animated young bodies, which is the only possible way it could have been made. The real actors would make it look like Ghosts vs Mummies.
It’s by far the best Ghostbusters game ever made, but that’s not saying anything. Most Ghostbusters games were proof that kids will buy anything. This game is genuinely good, cunningly continuing the plot of the movies, and – more importantly – making you feel like a real Ghostbuster. The stream-and-capture controls really do wrestle with particle streams to capture the ghosts, whipping them around until they’re in position for trapping. The first mission is even a return to the library from the first movie. And if you aren’t grinning as hunt the ghost through the shelves with a working PKE meter, you need to go and watch the movie I’ve been talking about because you clearly haven’t.
The second return is even better, because it’s ongoing, and from an unexpected savior. Comics have long been the Ghostbusters’ own personal hell. Decades of quick cash-ins have had them fighting zombies, travelling through time, and one miniseries even sent them to a comic convention. They’re the Ghostbusters! They bust ghosts! They’re the only people who do that! If you can’t think of something for the Ghostbusters to do without a ludicrous gimmick, put the license down and piss off.
But no more! IDW Publishing’s ongoing Ghostbusters comic isn’t just fun, it’s an ode to and expansion of everything great about the original characters.
Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening don’t just get the Ghostbusters, they clearly adore them. There are marriages with less love than this title, and religions with less developed thought on life after death and how to deal with it. The new stories are accessible for casual readers, while the backgrounds are stuffed with sly references and fun nods for lifelong fans.
It’s not just the movies. The series consumes and creates from every Ghostbusters title ever written, building on all the best bits. They’ve got the huge Ecto-Containment Unit, the game’s genius placing of Peck as government liaison, and myriad Easter eggs of ’80s awesomeness. They even salvage good things from the disastrous Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon. Even the Extreme Ghostbusters couldn’t get anything good out of the Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon. But you never feel like these are self-referential. Everything makes perfect sense for new readers. It’s just even cooler for long time fans.
The only thing the series assumes is that you’ve seen the movie. If you haven’t, go do that, then thank us for telling you. And anyone worried about whether the guys are in good hands, behold this chat show appearance at the start of issue #1:
It’s already up to 17 issues with several collected volumes across two titles, and with digital downloads you can read it right away. Start with #1. Now.
Luke McKinney watches the new Halo series and mocks The Craziest Scientific Theories of U.S. Politicians.
For more ’80s excellence, check out Three Ways ‘Die Hard’ Is Like Valentine’s Day and why We Have to Stop Arnold Schwarzenegger for His Own Good.