Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday The 13th: How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Wildstorm Comics)

Friday The 13th: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

This 2007 two-issue miniseries from Wildstorm Comics gives us a vastly different perspective on a vastly familiar character, which is always a welcome change of pace.

As a child, Jason Voorhees suffered from a slow mind and facial deformities, making him the recipient of plenty of ridicule.  Years later, his mother took out all kinds of revenge for him, and a short time later, Jason returned to continue the tradition.

And yet people never learn that opening a summer camp around Crystal Lake is a bad idea.  It seems that someone has done it again, and as fate would have it, young Dave Falkner--who suffers from "a bone disorder called Craniodiaphyseal Dysplasia"--is in attendance this year. With his own facial deformities mimicking Jason's, Dave finds himself in a precarious condition after Jason shows up for the traditional campsite slaughter--taken under the wing of the unkillable killing machine.

For roughly a week, Dave survives in the wild under the tutelage of Jason, and he has the time of his life...despite all the murders that take place. All the while, they are pursued by the local nutbag sheriff, the FBI, and the military.

This one was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It was interesting to see Jason Voorhees depicted in a much more sympathetic light than we're used to. His connection with the boy was brotherly and heartwarming, while the final panel broke that previously-warmed heart.

As Jason is, unbelievably, the protagonist this time around, his pursuers become the antagonists--another big change. Sheriff Tanneyhill is a dangerous meth-addicted schizophrenic, and is a bit over-the-top for my tastes. It would have been more effective for me if he was just a typical, small town lawman, and the morality of rooting for the killer was left in the grey area.

It was difficult for me to buy how easily Dave accepted the Voorhees lifestyle, and some of the sentiments he leaves us with are dangerous ones indeed, especially in these days where young people slaughtering innocents seems to be happening every day. I don't buy into the theory that depictions of violence in the media influences violence in real life, but this seems to be condoning these acts.

"You gotta understand, when you're different like Jason and me, it's just a fact of life. If you wanna survive, then sometimes a buncha assholes gotta die."

An uneven, but occasionally enjoyable, entry in the franchise.


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