After the success of 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason film, New Line Cinema originally planned to make sequel, adding Bruce Campbell playing Ashley J. Williams aka Ash from the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness film franchise. I remember hearing about it and thinking it was a good idea, as a sequel with the two monsters fighting each other again would seem too similar, and adding another evil character (such as Pinhead from the Hellraiser franchise, which was also considered) might be too confusing, because who do you root for when they’re all bad? But putting in Ash to fight both monsters would be a nice new twist. Film producer Jeff Katz wrote a script treatment for a film but, unfortunately, the studios could never work out a deal.
But in 2008, DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint teamed up with Dynamite Comics to publish a 6-issue miniseries, based on Jeff Katz’ treatment. James Anthony Kuhoric wrote the script, with some assistance from Rick Burchett starting in issue #3, and Jason Craig is the artist. The premise of the story is that it’s 5 years after the events of the movie. Since then, Freddy has been trapped inside Jason’s mind, and can’t get out. So he starts manipulating Jason in his dreams, and he convinces Jason to track down the demonic book the Necronomicon, which Freddy plans to use to regain his freedom and also gain the power to manipulate the real world like he can do the dream world. Coincidentally, Ash has just come to town. A brand new S-Mart has opened up in the city of Crystal Lake, and Ash has been sent to help manage it during the Christmas shopping season. There’s a group of teens hired to work at S-Mart, whom Ash has to train. But none of them respect him, and he doesn’t like any of them, either. But that’s just a cover for him anyway, as he’s looking for the Necronomicon too, which he’s tracked to somewhere in Crystal Lake, so he can destroy it once and for all.
This book does a very good job of characterizing the three main protagonists. Ash is his usual wise-cracking self. Freddy is his usual sick self. It’s fun to see the various scenes of him inside Jason’s mind, and the scenarios he creates, including letting Jason catch him in bed, having sex with Pamela Voorhees, and reverting Jason back to a little boy, and pretending to be his teacher in school. And Jason gets plenty of kills during his search for the Necronomicon. It opens with him killing Lori and Will, the survivors from the film, who were stupid enough to return to Camp Crystal Lake. We also see Jason slaughtering a group of cheerful Christmas Carolers. And when it is discovered that the Necronomicon is hidden in the basement of the old Voorhees house (last seen in Jason Goes To Hell), both Jason and Ash get there the same night, and find that it is inhabited by that group of bratty teens from S-Mart, who have camped out for the night to drink alcohol, do drugs, and have premarital sex, which makes them the perfect cannon fodder for Jason.
The story also manages to pay homage to the solo films of the characters. As Freddy’s power grows (yes, he gets the Necronomicon and uses it to escape from Jason’s mind into the real world), he invades Ash’s dreams, giving him a nightmare where his hand is restored, but he has to chop it off again after it becomes possessed by Freddy’s glove, and the blood drops and turns into a dozen miniature Freddy’s. After getting the book, and escaping into the real world, Freddy tries to stop Jason by reviving some of Jason’s victims from earlier FT13 films, forcing him to fight them again. But earlier, in exchange for getting him the book, Freddy had agreed to use it to give Jason back his intelligence. And, as you can probably guess, the only thing more dangerous than Jason Voorhees, is Jason Voorhees with a brain. That still leaves Ash trying to get the book out of Freddy’s hands, before he becomes irreversibly all-powerful, while also trying to avoid Jason, who just wants to kill everything in his path.
As for the ending, well, without spoiling too much, let’s just say that everything is wrapped up neatly, leaving readers satisfied that they read a complete story, while leaving it a little bit open for possible future stories featuring all three characters (&, in fact, there is a sequel to this miniseries, which I will review next Friday). I really enjoyed this series, both the writing and the artwork. I think every fan of any or all three of the franchises would enjoy it. And my only regret is that this wasn’t made into a film.
Unfortunately, the series is out of print, and hasn’t been made available digitally yet, so individual issues, or the collected trade paperback, can be difficult and expensive to find. Here’s the listing on AMAZON.