Comic Book Review: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors

They made another six issue sequel to Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash in August 2009 through January 2010, with all the usual suspects coming back. Behind-the-scenes, that is, with the addition of Arthur Suydam on the art doing the cool covers.

Of course, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Ash are here. The sequel starts off six months after the events of the first comic book, when a “power-hungry government bureaucrat unleashes the denizens of the Necronomicon — including the banished spirits of the Springwood Slasher, Freddy Krueger.”

I suppose I have to eat my Deadite words again: I thought Ash had accepted his calling as the Chosen One, but apparently, he turned in his Chosen One card in the sequel for a life of “domestic bliss and retail.” That is, until the ghosts of his past show up to “punch his clock again.” Puns … puns are fun.

Dang, I’m eating my words again: No offense Suydam, but I’m not a fan of these covers! All he did basically was do a water color-looking background (although the capitol building in the background is fun) with three horror icons, but it’s the actual images of the film versions. Bleh, I would rather see the artwork of the previous installment.

Issue #1 of 6

We start with Jason Voorhees’ mother, Pamela Voorhees, bringing him back to life. Then we go to Director Russell, an idiot government bureaucrat, who doesn’t understand the power of the Book of the Dead, but wants it. Interestingly, we get a clue into what may be going on with Jason Voorhees, i.e., myth or reality. That is, everyone is always making it seem like Jason Voorhees died years ago, and any new killings are copycats or didn’t happen at all. Now, we know that the government has been covering it up as best they can. That’s an interesting twist.

Ha, they call the mission to take down Jason Voorhees (after they’ve retrieved the book) Operate Slapshot. More like Operation Slapstick, if you know what I’m saying. No? Moving on.

I also will note that once we get beyond the covers, the artwork is back to being as fun and good as it was in the prior installment. I’m happy about that.

Naturally, Jason Voorhees (or uh, unnaturally) rises from the water and destroys all the government people. It’s great, bloody action scenes that would be so fun on film.

Meanwhile, Ash is in Franklin, Michigan, and it’s July 2nd. He’s enjoying his days with Carrie, thinking the past is behind him. On the flip side to the government, we have Dr. Maggie Burroughs (one of my favorites from Freddy’s Dead!), who, in conjunction with Dr. Neil Gordon (from Dream Warriors!), a psychiatrist, seems to think there’s some project that could save millions of lives. Additionally, that there are special groups of humans known as “focal magnets” for the supernatural that could fight the evils in the world. She thinks Ash is one such person, of course.

I find it odd that Ash truly seems to think the Deadite world he’s fought all this time, and has before acknowledged that they seem to always come back, is done. It’s not, and Jason Voorhees is in MICHIGAN in the SUBURBS. I keep using the phrase, but “that’s fun.” He’s even got his machete arm from the prior installment.

The artwork makes Ash look even more Elvis-y in this one. His jawline is practically equivalent.

Meanwhile, back with the idiot bureaucrat, he seems to think they can somehow conjure up and control an “army of darkness” to gain supremacy in the world. Russell even thinks they can control Freddy Krueger. Yeah, good luck, buddy.

Back in Michigan, Jason Voorhees killed Carrie because Ash needs a reason to get back in the fight, although, true to form, Carrie’s family thinks Ash did it.

Issue #2 of 6

Now that’s a cover! Russell and his men are able to bring Freddy Krueger back, and he’s in his normal human form.

And you know I had to point this little easter egg out: Ash is at a train station, and there’s a destination for Haddonfield, Illinois listed! My boy, Michael Myers.

Maggie lets us in on more of what this project is. Her and Neil think that the survivors of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger are special, and if they can harness whatever that it is, they can stop the monsters. They spell the name differently, but Tina Shepard is here, the girl with telekinetic and precognitive abilities who was in A New Beginning. And Rennie Wickham, the “final girl” of Jason Takes Manhattan is also here. Wohoo! You know I’m going to get excited for bringing back all of these cool final girls.

We also have Steven Freeman, who survived Jason Goes to Hell, and his infant daughter, now a teenager, Stephanie Freeman.

I mentioned the last installment was gruesome. This one might already take that title. Jason Voorhees is on a rampage.

Then we go to Freddy Krueger, again as his normal self, which is (yes) fun to see, and Russell is interrogating him, trying to figure out what powers his nightmare fuel.

More survivors are joining the group, including Alice Johnson from The Dream Master and The Dream Child, along with her son Jacob Johnson. It’s basically the Dream Warriors concept, with all the survivors teaming up, and I love it! But the mayhem gets started, as Jason Voorhees followed Ash to the house, and he bursts in in his classic psycho style. Welp, one survivor, Steven Freeman is gruesomely killed instantly.

Okay, we all know, if you’ve read any of my blog posts about horror, that I’m a geek. I just got mega chills! Tommy freaking Jarvis from three of the Friday the 13th films, and the main foe for Jason Voorhees, rescues the others from the house. That’s a heck of a way to end the second issue. If I had to wait a month for the third issue, I would lose my mind!

Issue #3 of 6

We start this one with Carter, the subordinate to Russell, seeming to capture Jason Voorhees alive. Then we go to the house where all the survivors are, and of course, they’re arguing. But boy, this is great: This is the crossover of crossovers, as we have all of these great final guys and girls together. Jarvis is being a bit of a hot head loner who thinks he can take on Jason Voorhees by himself.

With Freddy Krueger back, we’re geared up to get something we’ve never seen before: Freddy Krueger in Washington DC. Or Freddy goes to Washington. Of course, Freddy Krueger is trying to control Jason Voorhees again by promising him all the souls that survived his previous onslaughts being ripe for the taking now.

“Will you keep trying to kill me — a misunderstood friend who’s only ever wanted to help you — or will you agree to be my agent, my sword, my black plague?” Freddy Krueger asks of Jason Voorhees

Uh, so Jason Voorhees agrees, and Freddy Krueger helps him get a more formed body again, and uh, lots of hair. That’s certainly a … look. I don’t think I need to see Jason Voorhees with better luscious locks than me.

We learn that Freddy Krueger is able to come back because he’s basically become the Necronomicon book.

Maggie, who we already knew from the films is the daughter of Freddy Krueger, kills Russell and reveals that she’s the … daughter of Freddy Krueger. And then Freddy Krueger starts kissing and grabbing on her, so that’s weird, to say the least.

Dang, another final girl has died in Rennie.

To reiterate, Jason Voorhees with hair is going to be a “no” from me, folks. That’s my main takeaway from this issue in the series.

Issue #4 of 6

At the start of this one, we learn that Jarvis seems to think he has the way to kill Jason Voorhees finally figured out.

We may have jumped the shark slightly when Jason Voorhees BURSTS THROUGH THE DOORS OF CONGRESS.

Meanwhile, Stephanie literally gets skinned alive by Freddy Krueger and is still somehow alive. It’s gross.

Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and the Deadites are quite literally taking over the White House and Washington D.C., with hopes of taking over the world. I mean, it’s always neat to see the craziness of the White House being overrun, but at the same time, we’re losing the intimacy of Camp Crystal Lake and Elm Street.

This shot alone might make the “jumping of the shark” here worth it:

“My new policy is called, ‘No Kid Left Alive,’ and I’m looking forward to introducing y’all to it one by one.” – Freddy Krueger doing his best George W. Bush impersonation behind the resolute desk

Issue #5 of 6

The entire area around the White House is being guarded by Deadites. I’m changing my tune: This is so cool! This is like if you melded horror with Lord of the Rings to get one last final battle between the forces of evil and the forces for good. And on top of all of that, it’s literally raining blood.

Fortunately for our heroes, we really are getting an LOTR-like final battle, as we’ve added the United States military to the fight, looking to take back the White House.

Back in the Oval Office (what a start to a sentence), Jason Voorhees and Maggie are battling it out because of course Jason Voorhees can’t be tamed, and he also wants his shot at Tommy Jarvis.

Nice cliffhanger pictured above!

Alice ends up sacrificing herself to try to take Freddy Krueger down, and unleash all the souls she’s been protecting to fight him, as well as transferring her Dream Master powers to Jacob.

Issue #6 of 6

We’ve made it to the final issue of the sequel! Freddy Krueger’s mother has come back to help kill the Deadites. It’s Ghost vs. Deadites action. But then Freddy Krueger gets the, uh, upper hand, if you will, and kills his spirit mother, and Jacob, or seems to. He is hard to kill!

The fight we’ve all been wanting to see again:

Enough said there.

Whoa, Nancy comes back! To help Neil. That’s exciting.

Before we even get to contemplate Nancy being back, Jarvis is able to decapitate the pretty hair of Jason Voorhees. I still don’t get why Jason Voorhees is better looking than I am in this comic book, but here we are. But that backfires, as Freddy Krueger absorbs Jason Voorhees’ soul and all the people he’s killed.

The Necronomicon literally acts as an deus ex machina by being the thing that stops Freddy Krueger, who is so powerful now. The book is basically like, whoa, hold on, we didn’t mean to give you that much power. We’re taking it back now. I’m not sure how I feel about that. We basically brought back EVERYONE who has ever survived Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, plus Ash, to take them down, and some get killed, some turn evil (Maggie), and some prove effective (Ash is a bad-ass, and Jarvis is able to decapitate Jason Voorhees), but at the end of the day, they are saved by the book. I guess.

As usual, we end on a tease.

Overall, I thought this was an even better story than the last one because I love the concept of bringing the survivors back. I’m not sure it worked to have Maggie turn evil, and that may be my Maggie-bias at play here, but still, the concept is great. And especially getting to see Nancy again! While at first, I was a bit skeptical of the White House angle, I thought it turned out well when I pictured this huge good vs. evil battle on film. Man, that would be fun to see. The only downside was luscious locks Jason Voorhees. That was a weird stylistic choice. Jason Voorhees should look ugly and menacing and zombie-rific.

I commend these two comic book stories. They were somehow able to do something new and interesting with two franchises that have been through the ringer for the 30 years prior. I’m impressed.

You should check them out!

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