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Ghostbusters: Answer the Call: 09/20/18
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call by Kelly Thompson is the compilation of five comic issues that ran from late 2017 through early 2018. I originally read them in digital format but opted to save the review for the trade paperback.
Kelly Thompson took a turn at drawing the Ghostbusters from the 2016 film which Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening connected to the original and Real Ghostbusters (among others) through their on-going multiple dimension plot. It's basically a way to let all the different versions of Ghostbusters exist in their own timelines without having to retcon it all together. The art for this series is by Corin Howell. After years of reading the Burnham / Schoening, it was weird (in a fun way) to revisit a part of the Ghostbusters universe but from a different creative perspective.
I'm not convinced that either team has hit upon the quintessential 2016 Ghostbusters representation. I prefer Schoening's character models for Abby and Erin and Howell's versions of Holtzmann and Patty.
In terms of writing, I think Thompson has done a better job of getting beyond the characters' surface traits, especially Holtzmann's. Burnham plays her up for gags, which, granted was a big part of her role in the film, but he sometimes takes her beyond where I think her limitations would be, playing her strictly for the mad scientist lesbian without thinking through the whys behind her boisterous facade.
Thomas uses her five issue arc with the women to do a think piece on how they think as individuals and why they've come together as a team. She does this by creating a ghost who can make use of a person's deepest fears, thus giving an in to the vulnerabilities of each character.
I'm not going to go into all four of the women but do want to mention Holtzmann's dream sequence. It begins with her in a cubical farm, in either sales or marketing. She bolts for the exit and ends up holed up in the bathroom where she attempts to built something to use to facilitate her escape. Instead, her fingers turn to rubber and she no longer has control over herself.
While the setting was New York City, the nightmare explorations of the Ghostbusters reminds me of a M*A*S*H episode where the surgeons and nurses are so sleep deprived that they end up hallucinating their worst nightmares. Holtzmann's nightmare is a direct nod to Hawkeye Pierce's which culminates with him armless in a rowboat drifting across a river of arms.
I don't know if Kelly Thompson and Corin Howell will do a second Ghostbusters series. I suspect that Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening will because they seem to enjoy doing these crossovers and the readers seem to enjoy them (I certainly do) based on Facebook discussions. Thompson is remarkably busy but I hope there is time in the future to revisit her version of the Ghostbusters.