Premise: In 1989, Marvel Comics began publishing the first comic book series to feature Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street mythos. Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street was published in classic black and white, on magazine sized stock, running for two issues before it was cancelled.
Plot Breakdown (spoilers): Allison and Juliann sink into Krueger’s brain, where Freddy manages to separate them and confronts Juliann in the boiler room. After degrading her, Freddy is repelled by Allison, who had taken the form of an energy bolt. The two dreamers awake shortly after; stunned at what occurred. Juliann, intrigued, prescribes Allison Hypnocil, to keep her from dreaming until she has had a chance to learn more about controlling her nightmares. Later, Juliann contacts one of her mentors and inquires about those who can dream stalk, as she thinks Allison has the ability. Her mentor warns her that dream stalking can be disastrous, and to heed caution. Meanwhile, Allison is to be transferred to Westin Hills from Springwood Medical, under the care of the skeptical Dr. Watley. After she is transferred, she will be taken off Hypnocil, as the institution is still reeling from the lawsuits incurred from the events in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Juliann, knowing their time is short, questions Allison regarding the first time she dreamt of Freddy. Allison explains she had a severe case of scarlet fever months ago and had a dream where she visited Freddy in a bar full of ghouls, walking off the path of “good” dreams. When Krueger tried to kill her, he found out he couldn’t, because she didn’t belong there. Allison escaped back to the path of good dreams, though Krueger has been after her ever since. Juliann, convinced Allison’s inner strength can destroy Freddy, informs Allison of her theory. Afterward, Juliann retires back at her apartment, contemplating her next move. While thinking, she drifts off asleep and is confronted by Krueger. After a game of cat and mouse, he tricks Juliann and stabs her in the stomach, killing her. Allison, distraught over Juliann’s death, vows to destroy Krueger once and for all. Three weeks later, after successfully ignoring Dr. Watley’s counseling, Allison draws pictures of herself to use in the dream; a wrestler, a punk warrior, and more. She’s confident that when the time comes, she will be able to finally eliminate the threat Krueger poses. While doodling Freddy’s sweater, glove and hat, she falls asleep, only to confront Krueger sooner than she planned. Allison combats Freddy using the different dream forms she drew; albeit to no effect. In a moment of self realization, Allison becomes Freddy, using the sweater, hat, and glove she drew. Freddy and Allison square off, where tapping into his power, she manages to wound him. When poised to deliver the killing strike, she awakens to a startled Dr. Watley, who thinking she is having an episode, orders for her to be sedated immediately. Allison, too weak from her previous encounter with Freddy, cries out in terror.
The Good: The artwork continues to be very solid, with added shading bringing out extra dimension for the characters. Again, pacing is consistent and the reader feels time has actually passed between events. Character dialogue is acceptable, with Freddy having some very Freddy-esque lines. A lot of action this issue, with a climax that effectively pays off, leaving the reader truly feeling for Allison and her fate. Lastly, Sam Keith provided a bookend illustration of Krueger that is truly great!
The Bad: This issue is not as strong as the first one. Dialogue is weaker here and some of Freddy’s lines are just terrible, trapping the reader with wisecracking Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. In addition, some key plot points tend to go nowhere. The dream stalking theme isn’t really delved into (perhaps planned for an upcoming issue) and Juliann’s mentor comes into the story from out of the blue. It would have served the story best if these elements would have been better utilized or just dropped altogether. Allison meeting Freddy in a ghoulish bar is somewhat hokey too, introducing a somewhat silly view of everyone’s favorite dream killer.
Final Comments: An entertaining issue; acceptably written and well illustrated, with a lot of action and a lot more Freddy. Some dialogue suffers this issue and some plot elements fizzle out. Overall though, a good close to Marvel’s journey in the Nightmare on Elm Street mythos – it’s too bad it was so short.