Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash: Nightmare Warriors (Wildstorm Comics)

Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash: Nightmare Warriors

This 2009 follow-up miniseries to the previously reviewed Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash from Wildstorm Comics picks up some six months after we left off. Ash is retired from deadite slaying and living an idyllic suburban lifestyle with Carrie, a fellow survivor of the previous grudge match. The Happily Ever After ends abruptly, though, when Ash returns from the liquor store to find his dearly beloved hacked and/or slashed to death.

Jason is alive and well again, thanks to the magic mojo that mama Voorhees instilled in him years ago with the fabled Necronomicon--the very same Book of the Dead that a shady branch of the U.S. government has recently gotten their paws on and intend to use to become the superest super power in the world. Just think--an unstoppable army of deadites doing Uncle Sam's bidding, lead by infamous child killer Freddy Krueger. What could possibly go wrong?

The freshly-returned Freddy's not much for being a puppet, though, and has plans of his own to use the power of the Necronomicon to take over the world. And if he can get Jason to fall in line and take orders, well, that's all the better.

Ash stumbles into an army of his own--not an army of darkness, but an army of survivors, of both Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Utilizing all of their special talents, they hope to take down these monsters once and for all.

Sound like a lot of plot? Well, it is. And a plot this big takes a pretty big cast to pull it off, and therein lies the major problem with this series. There are just too damn many people to keep an eye on, and every time you think the cast is complete, somebody new gets thrown into the mix.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy seeing familiar faces pop up again, but the writers tried to do too much in one short six-issue story arc. It would have been better to have them appear throughout separate minis rather than all at the same time. It's a comic book, not It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

--Neil Gordon from Nightmare on Elm Street 3
--Maggie Burroughs from Freddy's Dead
--Stephanie Kimble from Jason Goes To Hell
--Stephen Freeman from Jason Goes To Hell
--Alice Johnson from Nightmare on Elm Street 4, 5
--Jacob Johnson from Nightmare on Elm Street 5
--Rennie Wickham from Friday the 13th 8
--Tina Shepherd from Friday the 13th 7
--Tommy Fucking Jarvis from Friday the 13th 4, 5, 6

And surely others that I forgot. That's not even making mention of some of the cameos, such as the spirits of Nancy Thompson, Amanda Krueger, and the original dream warriors themselves.

As you can tell, a bit of familiarity with the key entries in both the Nightmare and Friday franchises will help the reader out quite a bit. I'm familiar with all the films, and even I found myself struggling to keep up on occasion.

There's good art, good writing, and good action. It was all just a little too busy for my tastes.  It was initially conceived as a 12-issue maxi-series, and then the giant story had to be condensed into 6 issues.  It definitely shows.  A decent follow-up, but not nearly as much fun as its predecessor.


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