FRIDAY THE 13TH: BLOODBATH

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Avatar Press followed up it’s Friday The 13th Special one-shot issue with this 3-part miniseries titled Bloodbath. Once again, Brian Pulido writes the story, illustrated by Mike Wolfer. The story begins late at night in the woods around Crystal Lakes. A couple of hunters are driving the road in a pickup, with a dead deer strapped in the back. Jason walks out in front of them and they crash into him. Jason then quickly and brutally slaughters the two hunters and then leaves their gutted corpses tied to a tree.

Flash forward 6 months later. A group of teens are arriving by van to an old campsite, called Camp Tomorrow, where they’ve been hired by a man named Kevin Carney to clean-up and repair the camp, staying there for a week, so that it can be re-opened to the public. It’s a simple, but effective, premise for a Friday The 13th story, one that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray would use a few years later in their Friday The 13th miniseries for DC/Wildstorm. Kevin tells them that they can relax the first night, so the kids settle in their bunks. Then they sit around a campfire, drinking, smoking weed, and playing truth or dare, which involves some of them getting naked. Then they begin pairing off and hooking up, some getting into a hot-tub, while others sneak off into the woods. The twist here is that while you may think that this all sounds very Slasher Film Cliché, that’s the point. One of the girls, Violet, starts to notice that. First, while talking about their backgrounds, it’s revealed that all of the kids are orphans, they have no parents or families. There are 4 boys and 6 girls. One of the girls is a lesbian, and another says she’s bisexual, so those two hook up. There’s a Black guy and a Black girl, who also hook up. And all the other boys and girls also seem to each have a perfect person for them, like two kids being goth, and two having military backgrounds. It’s as if they were intentionally set up to be attracted to each other. And then Jason arrives, and the slaughtering begins.

This story is chock-full of good kills, for any Jason fan. Kids get gutted, sliced in half and, in one particularly inventive scene, have their heads mashed together. Violet and a boy named Rich eventually figure out the truth, after they escape from Jason and try to warn the others. Kevin is really secretly working for a mysterious organization (called, somewhat unimaginatively, The Organization), run by a group of wealthy men and women who want to capture Jason so they can study him and learn the secrets of his continued resurrections and immortality, for medical and military applications, to make money. Kevin leads a group of soldiers, hired to hunt and capture Jason, and all those kids were brought into the woods as bait (similar to the opening scene of Jason goes to Hell). Eventually, after killing all the other teens, the soldiers get Jason surrounded, and manage to douse him in liquid nitrogen, which freezes him, so they can wrap him up and take him to The Organization. But they also need to destroy all the evidence of what they’ve done, which means hunting down Violet and Rich so they can’t tell anyone. So now Violet and Rich are on the run from the soldiers and, as anyone who say the movie Jason X knows, freezing him can’t stop Jason for long, so when he gets free he’s back on the rampage. So that’s twice the danger, Jason Voorhees and the soldiers. Without spoiling too much more of the story, I have to say that Violet makes an effective leading lady, as she goes from frightened to angry and isn’t afraid to fight back.

So, overall, a very good story by Pulido, backed up by great art from Wolfer, who doesn’t hold back from portraying the blood, guts, and nudity.

GRADE: A

These comics aren’t available digitally, and it can be hard to find print copies. If interested, I recommend trying AMAZON or MYCOMICSHOP.COM

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