“Ghostbusters: Get Real Review”

October 1, 2015

The recent run of IDW’s Ghostbusters: Get Real miniseries has come to a close. It featured the Comic Universe Ghostbusters teaming up with The Real Ghostbusters. For a long time, diehard fan of The Real Ghostbusters like myself, this was something I never thought I would see; a return of the heroes I grew up watching, in a brand new adventure.

Before I start the review, I should give some background. My very first memory is when I was two years old and I saw the commercial come on my living room TV screen, showing The Real Ghostbusters. I don’t know what it was about what was being shown, but I knew I had to find out what the show was. I remember pointing to my screen, turning to my mom and saying, “Momma! Momma!” That was it. From that very moment on, I was hooked. I watched AND recorded every-single-solitary episode of The Real Ghostbusters & Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters (just adding that even though it’s all the same show). My parents made sure I had every toy, every product, and even made me things that didn’t make it into the toy line; like a small Containment Unit (my dad is awesome). Even when my local ABC station decided that Saturday Mornings were better suited for morning news, I got up at 5:50 AM to watch Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters on Sundays.

Yes, I was completely obsessed with The Real Ghostbusters. They were my very first heroes. I wanted to be a Ghostbuster when I grew up. I wanted to own and drive the Ecto-1 (still do). I wanted to live in the Firehouse. I wanted Slimer as a pet. I developed a sarcastic sense of humor from idolizing Peter. I get some of my nerdy traits from Ray and his love of life. I learned to look at things scientifically thanks to Egon. I knew to just always work hard on what I do like Winston. I saw women as strong, independent equals thanks to Janine. While I do love the Ghostbusters movies, it’s the show that introduced me to the world first, and it is the show that I fell in love with. I’ll always say that The Real Ghostbusters laid the foundation for the nerd I was destined to be.

So now it’s time to get to the review. Oh, and yes this review will include spoilers.

Issue #1 “A Protean Escape”

The issue begins with a very familiar face. We see The Real Ghostbusters logo talking to us, the same way he would before & after the commercial breaks. He gives us a bit of background as we join The Real Ghostbusters in the episode “Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster”. Truthfully, we join the guys moments before part of the episode. A spirit is about to attack a woman named Claudia, who actually looks like a younger Dahlia from the episode “Moaning Stones”. The Ghostbusters come in just in time and save the retired mystic’s life. She wants to repay them, but Egon and the others refuse, much to the chagrin of Peter. As the guys are heading to their next call, this is when we join the original episode, which is still perfectly recreated by Dan & Luis.

As the guys are fighting Proteus in his Altas Statue form, Claudia is watching the news feed at home. In order to protect the Ghostbusters and repay them, Claudia casts a spell of protection on the guys just as Proteus zaps them. However, for interfering with his plan, Proteus also punishes Claudia. Luckily, Claudia’s protection redirects the Ghostbusters to the Firehouse, but not exactly the Firehouse they are used to.

The guys head inside, and while things seem a bit off or different they still head upstairs. They then find that things may not be as they should. They soon encounter the Comic Universe “Slimer” and quickly discover that he is not a pet. Luckily their Proton Packs and Trap are able to wrangle and capture the class five. That’s when The Real Ghostbusters find out they aren’t in THEIR New York City anymore.

Back in The Real Ghostbusters Universe, Proteus is upset about loosing the Ghostbusters. He demands that the demon from “Ragnarok and Roll”, who appears to answer to Gods more powerful than he, locate the Ghostbusters. Limited by the demon only having two eyes, Proteus requests help from Ananke, one of the Fates from the episode “Hanging By a Thread”. Proteus explains that he does not believe that these men should hold power over Gods, but Ananke warns him that his fate is now entwined with those of the Ghostbusters.

Back in the Comic Universe, the Comic Ghostbusters discuss how this occurrence has happened before (the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ended up in the IDW Ghostbusters universe). So the Comic Ghostbusters do have a way home for The Real Ghostbusters; a dimensional transport. They first have to figure out the coordinates of The Real Ghostbusters home dimension. Finally, Janine comes in with a call from the Bronx Zoo, figuring that with eight Ghostbusters now, they can spare some of them for the call.

Issue One packs a LOT into one comic. We get to see parts of a classic episode of The Real Ghostbusters, other “unseen” parts of the episode, great action, humor, and just a ton of fun.

Issue #2 “They’re All Real Now”

After a recap from our friendly Logo Ghost, we join the Extreme Ghostbusters. Yes, we are technically back in The Real Ghostbusters Universe, just so many years in the future. The Extreme Ghostbusters are on a call to take down a familiar spoke at the Bronx Zoo. However, they are soon interrupted by Proteus who is himself hopping through space, time & dimensions to find his prey. After quickly realizing these Ghostbusters are not the ones he is seeking, he bats them aside and leaves.

In the Comic Universe we join Comic Kylie, Janine, Egon and Ray in the lab as they are performing scans and tests on Real Peter and Winston. We have some very funny scenes as Peter wants to compare adventures they’ve been on to those the Comic Universe Ghostbusters have been through.

At the Bronx Zoo in the Comic Universe, Comic Peter and Winston are with Real Ray and Egon to track down a sprite like spirit. After Ray becomes entranced by the sound of the spook, Peter calls for help in a very humorous way. With help from Real Egon and Comic Winston, they manage to trap the ghost, and keep Ray safe. But Egon notices that there was something familiar about the ghost, and he wants to study it back at the Firehouse.

Back with our antagonist, Proteus decides that in order to find the Ghostbusters, he will create his own hunting dog. The god conjures a three headed hound and unleashes him upon the realms to find The Real Ghostbusters. I won’t spoil this part, but there is a magnificent two-page spread that shows why this issue was entitled “They’re All Real Now”.

In the Comic Universe, all of our heroes are back in the Firehouse trying to figure things out. It appears that the ghost they captured at the zoo is in fact from The Real Ghostbusters Universe. Both Egons determine that the Containment Units, once filled will so much Psychokinetic Matter, can create a dimensional nexus, allowing spirits to move from one universe to the next. The news of their cartoon doubles dropping their ghosts into the Comic Universe perturbs Comic Peter, and we get a funny glimpse of what happens when you have two smart-talking, sarcastic alpha males, that are essentially the same person.

Still, the Comic Ghostbusters have figured out the way home for The Real Ghostbusters. However, before returning, they decide it is best to figure out who they are dealing with, so they can better arm and prepare themselves to fight whatever was strong enough to displace them, and cause the huge uptick in supernatural activity to begin with. Meanwhile, Proteus’ hound is getting ever closer to finding his prey.

Issue 2 is a ton of laughs, and really good action. Seeing the teams work together on a call is so much fun. It’s quite enjoyable to see just how similar yet completely different both teams are.

Issue #3 “The Hound of the Busters”

Another recap from Logo Ghost and we are into the Containment Room of the Comic Universe. Comic Ray is preparing to enter the transporter to get some readings from The Real Ghostbusters Universe. He is sporting the Ecto Suit worn by Real Egon in the episode “Xmas Marks the Spot”. After entering The Real Ghostbusters’ Firehouse, comic Ray is amazed by how similar it is to their own, though there is a distinct smell. All of this is being feed back to the Comic Universe, with the others watching, including Janine who is not pleased with how her cartoon double sounds. The video feed also leads to a moment that I laughed out loud at, between the two Egons.

Ray gets the readings, but has to duck from being seen by Janine and Slimer, after Slimer has returned from inside the Containment Unit to get info on what has caused the increase in ghost activity. Thanks to Janine’s good thinking, and Slimer’s recon, the Ghostbusters learn that Proteus is the one behind everything. As Comic Ray is listening in, Real Slimer finds him and we have another great encounter of Comic vs. Real. Comic Ray returns home, leaving The Real Ghostbusters universe. Now knowing what they are up against, the Ghostbusters can begin their research.

In the Sanctum of Slime Universe, the Hound has found this Ghostbusters team and has Bridge trapped. However, before anyone can react, Ananke enters, freezing time for everyone but her and the Hound. She informs the Hound that this is not the team he was sent to find. She provides the Fate Thread for the Hound to smell and chase after. Once both beings are gone, time resumes and these Ghostbusters are shocked to find the threat has disappeared.

In the Comic Universe recreation room, the Ghostbusters and Kylie are reading up on Proteus. They discover that Proteus does not like being captured. Anyone that is able to capture him is then shown a vision of their future. This is something that Proteus is bound to do, no matter who captures him. They also begin working on how to fight the god, and determine that Comic Egon’s grenades might come in handy.

With the Egons and Rays working on the equipment downstairs, Kylie is upstairs with the Winstons and Peters. Suddenly the alarm begins to go off, alerting them to a dimensional breach. The Hound has finally found them and burst through, taking out a wall too. With the group unarmed, it is Kylie’s brilliant thinking that buys them enough time to get downstairs.

On the ground level, all eight Ghostbusters have suited up and have their Proton Packs ready. The Hound makes his way downstairs, smelling The Real Ghostbusters, and not showing any interests in the Comic Ghostbusters. Unfortunately, the Proton Streams are not strong enough. Luckily Kylie is there to save all their behinds again. She pulls out the Mega Trap, and jumps right into the action to take down the Hound.

While Kylie has saved them, for the second time, all is not safe. Though the Hound is gone, his quest was a success. Proteus enters and is ready to reclaim his prize.

Issue 3 packs in the fun. It starts out with a great bits of humor with comic Ray encountering The Real Ghostbusters Universe. Then the action kicks into high gear with the arrival of the Hound. Plus, it is always great to see Kylie saving the day. She’s a great team member in the Comic universe.

Issue 4 “And All Is…”

Logo Ghost brings us up to speed, and then hides behind his “no” sign, just as he would sometimes on the show bumpers. Proteus wastes no time and begins zapping away. The Ghostbusters hightail it up the stairs, but Janine decides she’s going to create a distraction. She throws a paperweight from her desk at the god. This ends up being a bad decision, as she and Kylie end up being zapped to the home of the B Movie Monsters, Tokyo, Japan.

Back in the Firehouse, Proteus is so large that he pops his head right through the floor of the Firehouse’s second floor. The guys all open fire, but the god changes into a serpent creature to avoid the streams. However, this time he isn’t in a bronze statue, so he can be weakened. The guys get back to the ground level via the fire pole. But once they do, Proteus disappears. They all stand on guard as Real Egon and Comic Ray check the PKE Meters for him. They find him hovering above the teams, wearing his toga. This doesn’t please Comic Peter, and he tells both Egon’s to deal with the “flasher”.

Thanks to the Proton Grenades, Proteus is blinded. All eight Ghostbusters fire on Proteus and all eight streams lock onto him. This forces Proteus to show each Ghostbuster a vision of a ghost or spirit they are to encounter in their future. While each one of The Real Ghostbusters see ghosts they will encounter (3 Ghosts from “Janine’s Day Off”, Samhain from “Halloween II 1/2”, Grundel from “The Grundel” and a Thon from “Egon’s Ghost”), the comic Ghostbusters are shown visions of their future. This is an excellent way of showing the readers what the IDW team has in store for the Ghostbusters in the coming November annual “The Sandman”, as well as what is to come when the ongoing returns for Volume Three in 2016.

Having to show eight visions greatly weakens Proteus, as well as the eight Ghostbusters. However, Proteus is still strong enough to zap The Real Ghostbusters, and himself, back to their home dimension, and the realm where he plans to hold them. Comic Winston quickly awakens and rushes to the Containment Room, planning to use the transporter to get The Real Ghostbusters back. However, Ananake appears to him, and explains that it is not his fate to interfere, and it is not their fate to be trapped.

Back with The Real Ghostbusters, we find them on the other side of the mirror Proteus has trapped them in. Peter wakes up thinking it was all a dream, but the other remind him it wasn’t. They soon find Janine on the other side of the mirror, ready to save them. Once more we rejoin the episode “Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster”, again recreated flawlessly in comic form. The only added extra is one last visit from Ananke. She appears to Proteus right before his destruction, freezing time for everyone but them. She there to remind him that she did warn him, but he ignored her. It was he who weakened himself by searching the dimensions, creating a Hound to search, traveling to another universe to capture his prey, and then being caught and forced to show eight mortals future visions. He weakened himself, and thus sealed his fate.

The show kicks back in and plays out just as it normally did. We see Janine and the guys escape just as the 13th floor explodes. They return to their Firehouse and thank Janine, and discuss how things have returned to normal. We also get another added extra in seeing Claudia returned to the Real Universe.

The Logo Ghost pops back in to let us know that all is well again. We are returned to the normal Comic Universe, where Janine and Kylie are at the US Embassy in Japan, waiting to get home. However, there is going to be a great deal of paperwork to fill out, as this is a very odd occurrence. But the duo just want to get home, and it appears someone may be coming along for the ride.

Issue 4 is amazing. It has the right amount of action and fun, with still strong humor. I love that the IDW team took this as a moment to tease what is in store for the comic in the future. Once again, the scenes from “Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster” were recreated perfectly.

If you are a Ghostbusters fans, then you should certainly pick up these issues. If you’re a big fan of The Real Ghostbusters like myself, then you should all ready own these comics. If you don’t? Get them now! I purchased all four issues, The Real Ghostbusters variant covers of Issue 1, digital copies of the comics, and I will be buying the trade paperback release when it comes out in December. 

These four issues are complete masterpieces. The writing of Erik Burnham is spot on with capturing the tone and feel of The Real Ghostbusters. All the humor, tributes, and just outstanding dialect and discussions by all of the charters is the best anyone could hope for. I found myself hearing all of the original voice actors in my mind as I read the comics. Then you have the PERFECT works of Dan Schoening and Luis Delgado. Dan drew everything from The Real Ghostbusters Universe (as well as the other GB universes) excellently. Then Luis got all the colors perfectly. You cannot tell any differences between the colors of the show, and those that Luis used. The amount of research, time and effort put into these four issues has to be much greater than that of a standard issue. Not to mention all the fun “Easter Eggs” Dan threw in throughout the series. These men were tasked with bringing a cartoon, whose last new episode aired on October 5, 1991, back to life as if it had never left. Just look at any one of the shots I showed in this review and, if it weren’t for the speech bubbles, you would be hard pressed to tell if the picture is from the show or the comic.

To fully express my thanks to the IDW team, I want to once more tell you a bit about my childhood. As you might be able to guess, I didn’t have friends growing up. I was the shy and quite kid, that was just too afraid to ever approach anyone or speak. As such, I was quickly branded as “weird, strange, eccentric, sick.” Okay, maybe not those other terms, but certainly weird. While I didn’t have any physical friends as a boy, when I got home from school, turned on my TV, and saw that smiling ghost strutting down the sidewalk, I knew I was about to join my fictional friends. Peter, Egon, Ray, Winston, Janine and Slimer were my friends. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, Luis Delgado, Neil Uyetake, and Tom Waltz. You not only brought back my heroes, you brought back my friends. Thank you.



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