Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. After a bit of a hiatus that may have been partly the fault of IDW finances and partly the fault of me not grabbing it the day it hit the streets… Here comes the Big Finale! We are finally at the last issue of the Answer The Call mini-series.
Good News: It’s not nearly as offensive as the movie.
Bad News: It’s not offensive because it’s basically an extended epilogue.
The entire issue is just the fight scene. They agree the plan to unite their psyches and trap Schreky in a shared memory of happy to combat the phobias is still their only chance. Then they do it. And do it. And do it. See a pattern? Patty gets to smooth our her phobia which is less about creepy bugs and more about being abandoned… Sigh.
Let’s get this out of the way. Patty annoys me. She invited herself onto the team in the movie, I get that Kelly kind of used that as inspiration here. The problem is… This was never demonstrated earlier on. The fear seemed to be creepy-crawlies as shown in Issue 2. This felt like a retcon. Perhaps, when the rest of the team appears, they can have this we’ll never leave you the team is love moment. Which is a variant of the former friends never really quit being sisters-in-spirit moment we got in the movie, so it’s retreading already. Where’s my vodka?
I have tried to avoid comparing this team to the O.G. Ghostbusters. I want them to be their own thing because gender-swapped but otherwise the same thing is boring and pointless. This whole team-building mini highlights what made the first two live-action movies work. The core three were already established buddies, and Winston came in as an employee that was instantly embraced. He filled that needed blue-collar niche. There was no awkward team-building stories that made us cringe with the sappiness of it. The ‘Busters Are A Team. Let’s have fun with them.
So yeah, Schrecky gets beat down in their happy pocket dimension of shared memory joy. They emerge in the real world. He brags that he can just re-power off the fears of the rest of the city. It’s not like we haven’t seen the entire mini. Dammit, Kelly! You had supporting characters from the movie. You have the Mayor, Mayor Assistant, Delivery Guy who is more famous for being Deadpool Taxi Guy. You have alternate dimension counterparts to the Ghostbusters.
Come on! Make some people up! He got strong from making people face their phobias. We never saw it. Schrecky is that guy in the bar who swears up and down he totally made it with this hot-as-sin chick you said you wanted to get with. No one ever saw him with her, and he has no pics. Like some folks we know on the internet… Totally happened, dude. Swear. To. God. Bro. Got. With. Her. Be jelly.
Flat Villain is killed by Kevin playing Fifth Wheel. He’s finally acting like he’s not a total himbo. This goes great until: The ladies point it out he is consistently proven to be too stupid to not need a caretaker. Then, we walk into the sunset and talk about eating scrambled eggs.
So, the entire series? It probably reads better as one trade paperback. Month-to-Month though Issue 3 and 5 felt wasted. The pacing was awkward. It has to be all read in one sitting. Schreky was a jerk but we never got to see him doing anything truly mean. He just said he did it and looked creepy. A fear demon feeding on the city should have had great scenes of random phobias. Go down the list and get creative, Schreky! Go wild…. Or don’t? I mean world-building is for long-term investments, amirite?
So, what is the future of the ATC crew? With a tighter story that shows them as an already competent and experienced team and a better sense of them fitting into a larger world, they can still be salvaged. The base idea of a team of Ghostbusters that aren’t Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston has merit. Be honest, reader. It always did. That garden hasn’t bloomed quite yet. I have hope, though.
The Ladies are coming back for the multi-dimensional Crossing Over that is drawing on the Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon for more variant teams.
To IDW: Don’t abort the experiment, yet. Just don’t cheesecake them either. Don’t ever get that desperate, please. You aren’t Image. For the love of all things holy from God to Allah, stay away from Erik Larsen’s well of ideas.