Get ready for IDW’s version of Marvel’s “What If” storylines in “Deviations.” IDW will be releasing five comics over the next five weeks from different universes. Ranging from this one, Ghostbusters, to The X-Files, and ending with possibly the most titillating concept of the Ninja Turtles joining Shredder, “Deviations” are one-shot comics that pick up somewhere in the timeline of the respected franchises and show us an alternate world that would have happened if events deviated from what actually occurred.
This comic, the Ghostbusters’ story, begins about ten minutes before the end of the first movie, when the four Ghostbusters do what they were expressly warned not to do: cross the streams of their ectopacks. In this story, though, they don’t cross their streams and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the form of destruction chosen by Ray for Gozer to bring about his demi-god-like rule over Earth, is not stopped. This is such a fun idea that Thompson has penned. Seeing a marshmallow-filled apocalypse is a hilarious concept. Kicking off the action, Daniel illustrates beautiful action sequences filled with mini-pufts that are infesting the city. Where these little mini-pufts come from is truly a laugh-out-loud moment.
The once-ancient demi-god who brought destruction to so many civilizations is trapped in this fluffy gigantic body, and he is not happy about it. The Ghostbusters are blamed for this terrible white apocalypse, and they too wish for things to be different. The interaction between Stay Puft and the Ghostbusters is a really fun dialogue that just shows how unhappy both parties are and the way the movie ended really is the best course of action. They form an unlikely truce and partnership, although neither trusts the other. Seeing who betrays who is another element of this comic that was just really great to read. As Thompson describes in the afterword, this particular deviation from the original script was chosen because readers don’t need to be overly familiar with Ghostbusters lore and their expanded stories. They just need to know the Ghostbusters DID cross the streams (can you spoil a thirty-plus-year-old movie?) and that even the Gatekeeper and Keymaster are thoroughly unhappy with the world if the deviation from the true-and-given course isn’t rectified.
The art had a really cool, almost Sunday-morning comic-strip feel to it but with much more detail. Everything about this one-shot comic was just really fun and interesting to read. Everyone should pick up this and the next few “Deviations” comics. Of course, this will have no impact on the continuity (which is nicely recapped too of where the actual story stands and is heading). Seeing a Marshmallow Apocalypse was well worth the read.