Comic: "Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash: The Nightmare Warriors"
Published by: Other
Written by: Jeff Katz, James Kuhoric
Artist: Jason Craig
Reviewer: Daniel Emerson
Plot: Freddy and Jason are back causing havoc, so it's up to one man and his boomstick to stop them once again.
Review: It's not often you find a crossover that not only combines your favorite mythologies, but packs so much into it that anyone who loved anything about any of the respective series can see it almost as a loving sendoff. Such is the case with Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash 2: Nightmare Warriors.
Though the authors had a daunting job combining the mythology of three separate series, they combine into a cohesive whole that tells a coherent story without betraying the feel or the worlds of any of the franchises involved.
The story begins as a continuation of the original Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash, itself a sequel to the cinematic Freddy Vs. Jason. Beginning immediately after the events of the first comic, the government, who has an interest in the Necronomicon Ex Mortis (the infamous Book of the Dead from the Evil Dead movies), attempts to excavate it from the frozen abyss of Crystal Lake, and after procuring it, stir up Jason Voorhees, who is once again being manipulated beyond the physical world by Freddy Krueger.
Six months later, Ash, who's living a happy life of deadite-killing retirement in Michigan with fellow FvJvA survivor Carrie, is met up by a woman purporting to be from a group of survivors of attacks from Freddy or Jason. Though Ash refuses, an attack by a vengeful Jason Voorhees (and subsequent murder of Carrie) motivates Ash to find the group of survivors and put an end to the threat once and for all, but not before Freddy once again begins to manipulate Jason into finding the Necronomicon for him, after attaining almost godlike powers from holding it previously.
Art-wise, the comic is very detailed and whimsical. From looking at the illustrations and dialogue, it comes across as apparent that the authors tried their damnedest to stay true to the core characters and the artist captured the mannerisms of the subjects. Verbally, the comic is a hoot; pitting the one-liner-spouting Ash against the acid-tongued Krueger is a complete snarkfest of awesome. Silent as always, Jason's thoughts and motivation are expressed not only through his unflinching drive but almost sullen facial expressions lent to him from the damage his hockey mask had taken and subsequent visibility of his empty, flesh-devoid face, almost making him a sorrowful, murderous Grim Reaper.
If there's one other thing of note, it's that continuity to the movies and prior comic are taken almost to the point of fanboy porn. You'll revisit survivors from previous movies of both Nightmare and Friday series, from Alice, who's managed to best Krueger twice, to perennial Jason arch-enemy Tommy Jarvis, back to telekinetic Tina from Friday the 13th part VII. Even Nancy, who hadn't been seen since the third Nightmare movie, somehow squeezes in an appearance. The only way this could have been better is if they'd found a way to resurrect Crispin Glover's character from one of the Friday movies, because everything's better with Crispin Glover.
Reading the comics, you can almost hear Bruce Campbell voicing Ash in your head, trading barbs with Robert Englund acting as Freddy, all the while the familiar CH-CH-CH AH-AH-AH of Jason's approach echoes inside your skull. Of course, what would Jason and Freddy be like without over-the-top gruesome kills? The comic delivers, with Jason getting his share of plenty of gory and amusing horror movie deaths.
The only real problem I had with the comic is midway towards the climax, as Freddy has regained the power of the Necronomicon, and in a bid to take over the world, partners with Jason to attack Washington, D.C., which features as the army has an interest in the Necronomicon to use an invincible military of Deadites. Jason leads a group of Deadites against Washington... aaaaaaand is the only real stomp against the mythology. Jason Voorhees always struck me as a character who killed out of his own motivation. Partnering with Freddy out of manipulation may work, but it's hard to picture the lumbering, hulking, idiotic Jason Voorhees being declared General of an army of darkness (ha!) by Freddy Krueger.
However, one out of character moment to drive the story doesn't destroy the whole comic. At least, for me, it doesn't. The comic almost reads like a way of providing closure to all three series, by bringing together everything and everyone that has survived all three series and taking it to a breaking point, with Freddy almost literally becoming a god thanks to the power of the Necronomicon, and the struggle the survivors and Ash have to bring them down once and for all. There is a feeling that there is a lot more to this comic, but words can't adequately describe it; it must be seen. Even if you're not a fan of one of the three series represented in this crossover, there's enough here to keep you entertained until your favorite character gets moving along. As a horror fan who grew up with the cinematic exploits of Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Ash Williams, I can't stress enough that this comic is a must-read, as seeing not only the continuing adventures of beloved characters but also the closing of an epic crossover is a dream made in Heaven (or Hell.) One, two, Freddy's coming for you...
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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