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Comic Book: Ghostbusters

An ongoing comic series picking up a few years after the second Ghostbusters movie. The first issue opens with Dr. Raymond Stantz having a nightmare that may prove prophetic...

Printed by IDW Publishing, written by Erik Burnham, and illustrated by Dan Schoening, the series is littered with plenty of callbacks for long-time fans of the franchise to spot. The comics and their volume collections often feature supplementary material, such as the P.C.O.C. pages by Tristan Jones.

The series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: All over the damn place. In the first issue alone we have Ray being visited by the ghost of Joliet Jake and Peter talking about golf.
  • Arson Murder and Jaywalking: Inverted by Winston in the first issue of "The New Ghostbusters":
    Winston: Y'all invented a whole new technology, outsmarted Sumerian deities, and managed to never once try to seriously kill Pete here... Those are some big achievements, and it's time to top yourselves, guys.
  • Berserk Button: Don't deprive Egon of junk food. "I told you not to eat the rest of his twinkies. If he blows something up, it's on you."
  • Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: During the "Haunted America" arc, there's a multi-issue side story where Peter picks up a young woman named Laura whose car was totaled by a haunted 18-wheeler that's been terrorizing a certain non-New York local road. He captures the ghost trucker and drops Laura off at her house, though she disappears without getting out of the car. And when he goes to her house, her elderly mother says that Laura was killed in an accident on that road twenty years earlier. Then again, the ending was essentially spoiled already by the story's title, "Who Killed Laura Parr?".
  • Canon Welding: The different versions of the Rookie from the different 2009 videogames are all acknowledged as existing in the comics, though the realistic version's Rookie is the only one who gets more than a passing mention.
  • Child Hater: Ron Alexander, who throws chairs at elementary school kids when a school appearance goes poorly.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The ghost that speaks to Ray in his dreams, but only when he's warning Ray that something bad is about to happen. "The Third is coming."
  • Dope Slap: Peter gives one to Ray in the third issue of the "Haunted America" arc:
    Peter: And how did you know telling the aliens they weren't aliens would work, Ray?
    Ray: That? Oh, I didn't. I just guessed.
    Peter: ...*THWACK*
    • And Egon gives a rather ironic one to Peter in the first issue of "The New Ghostbusters" after all four of them have been kidnapped and sent into limbo:
      Peter: And the first person to make a "Peoplebuster" comment gets a whack to the back of the—
      Egon: *THWACK*
      Peter: —Hea-OW!
  • Dream Sequence: The opening of the first issue. It may not seem too suspicious that the Ghostbusters are on a talk show hosted by Janine, but the minute Gozer stands up in the middle of the audience (in the form "he" was first seen in) and raises her hand, it's far too surreal to be believed.
  • Fantastic Racism: Averted when Egon tries using a gris-gris bag from New Orleans to save Janine's soul from Viking ghosts and one of said ghosts accuses Egon of using magic against them.
    Egon: I didn't use magic, I was merely concerned that an evil spirit may have bewitched the woman and brought forth a protective talisman as a precaution.
    Viking Ghost: Do we look like evil spirits to you, Sorcerer?
    Egon: That would be profiling.
  • Foreshadowing: While researching the park case in issue 6, Kylie gets a fortune cookie fortune that reads, "Much happens to the west." Three issues later, the "Haunted America" arc begins, where the Ghostbusters travel westward across America to deal with urgent out-of-state cases.
  • Friend to All Children: Winston. He does free investigations and captures for them frequently, which exasperates Venkman.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Ron Alexander competes with the Ghostbusters by claiming his Ghostsmashers will destroy ghosts, thus removing the need to spend time and money on containment equipment. He honestly believes he's improved on the Ghostbusters' tech to do this, but it's the end of the Ghostsmashers, as well as the start of Ron's jail sentence, when it not only doesn't work but leads to a major catastrophe.
    • Bryan Welsh finds his "Rookie" name tag is a great way of handling angry clients. Ron later finds that Bryan's "Rookie" nametag is a great excuse to pretend he's the boss in front of clients.
      • Later loops around to bite Ron back when Bryan, tired of Ron's attitude, goes on a rant about it during a bust... comically unaware that Ron has been swallowed whole by the ghost.
    • Idulnas eventually possesses Janoz Poha and uses him as a means of summoning the demonic Collectors to send the Ghostbusters into limbo. Much later, Kylie eventually drives a wedge between the two and Janoz changes the painted spell so that the Collectors abduct Idulnas instead.
  • Hulk Speak: Egon, in response to Venkman's request to use small words:
    Egon: Energy big. Make ghosts on steroids. Me and Ray am have to adjust packs.
    Peter: Thank you, Professor Tarzan.
    Egon: Ungawa.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Chicago franchise finally gets another pair of hands - Bryan can't hire locally, so he's sent Ron, who is employed by the main office in New York.
  • Mythology Gag: When Bryan and Ron, the Chicago branch, do a school visit, the kids are not impressed; they were expecting the real Ghostbusters.
    • Janine briefly dates a man who looks exactly like Egon's cartoon counterpart (specifically the older version from Extreme Ghostbusters). Egon calls her out on picking men who resemble him to make him jealous.
    • The fourth issue of "The New Ghostbusters" has a subtle nod to Louis Tully from the movies combined with a Shout-Out to Scooby-Doo when Egon says the group has to split up:
    Ron Alexander: Do you guys also have a talking dog?
    Ray: Not since our accountant left New York.
    • The comic also contains numerous references to Dan Akroyd's original script and other cut content, including:
      • The man with the dogs whose room Ray bursts into as he tries to trap Stay Puft is the original version of Louis Tully as played by John Candy.
      • The name of rival ghost hunting company, Ghost Smashers, was originally a working title for the first film.
      • The ghost in Ray's dreams is based on John Belushi, who was supposed to play Peter Venkman before he died.
  • Noodle Incident: "C'mon, Eeg. Pop caught me up. He told me what you do for a living now. . . you tryin' to tell me this is the weirdest thing you ever came across?" "No, that involved an emu."
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat:
    • Walter Peck is still this. The kicker: he finally acknowledges that the Ghostbusters are not frauds, and outright states that he simply can't stand them. One of his conditions for not confiscating all the equipment and shutting down the business after the Ghostbusters go missing is that Janine and her replacement team can't take "time off" to search for them, they have to keep the business running as normal while trying to figure out what happened, which is already enough of a challenge for amateurs trying to fill the Ghostbusters' shoes. Another condition is that they have to comply with a marketing consultant he soon hires to make their image easily sellable, so the city can make money off of merchandising, special events, etc.
    • The Chicago franchise has to deal with one that would make Peck proud: the franchise, in fact, consists solely of Bryan Welsh for awhile because he's deliberately waylaid with absurd regulations preventing him from hiring anyone. He has to improvise whenever he gets a job he can't do solo. This also means he's way too busy to leave Chicago and help Janine when the Ghostbusters go missing.
    Bryan: I'm not allowed to hire locally until there's a training program, which I'm not allowed to start. [...] I got a couple temps out of Minnesota, for when something big comes up. And I hire some schmucks to sit around as bait every once in a while when I need that, so I make do.
  • OOC is Serious Business: In the third issue of "Mass Hysteria", Peter takes a phone call for help while discussing the current problem with Walter Peck and immediately leaves via motorcycle without a word, much to Peck's surprise. Considering the caller was Dana Barrett, it's understandable.
    Walter Peck: Ms. Melnitz, after taking that phone call, Peter Venkman ran out of here without a single smart-assed remark. That kind of character inconsistency is, in my experience, the reddest of red flags.
  • Perky Goth: The comic's version of Kylie.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jim Silver of F.Z. Foods, pre-possession.
  • Shout-Out: Among others:
    • After a possessed giant monkey statue is blasted in half and both halves get back up:
    Peter: That's not an indian curse - it's the friggin' Black Knight.
    Peter: (to the phantom of the park) We come loaded for bear.
    Ray: And monkeys.
    Egon: And horses.
    Peter: Oh, my.
    • After Egon uses a boson dart to finish off a possessed bear statue, Peter says, "Well, I think we found that kaboom."
    • The same bear statue appears to flip K.I.T.T. in a news broadcast after it is first animated.
  • Stripperiffic: Invoked, but downplayed. The marketing consultant doesn't deny that the new (mandated) outfit for the female Ghostbusters is to make then "look better," but the actual outfits are basically the coverall tops with really short shorts. Janine initially assumes they're costumes for photo shoots... and then it turns out the consultant has had the coveralls sent to storage so they have to wear the short shorts as uniforms. Naturally, Janine pointedly makes a good "argument" on why such a design for her, FBI Special Agent Melanie Ortiz, and Ray's assistant/employee Kyle Griffith is impractical for their line of work after coming back from an unexpected bust.
  • Technobabble: Named by Venkman, although Egon was using jargon with actual meaning at the time.
  • Unsatisfiable Customer: Bryan gets enough of these to warrant a mention; he deals with them by never replacing his "Rookie" nametag; irate customers see it and stop yelling at him so they can call and yell at his non-existent supervisor.

Ghostbusters: The Video GameFranchise/GhostbustersGhostbusters SLC
Dungeons & DragonsCreator/IDW PublishingGhost Whisperer

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