Premise: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash was originally the proposed sequel to the hit film Freddy vs. Jason. Jeff Katz, formerly of New Line Cinema, wrote the original treatment in late 2003 for the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash project. This treatment added the character of Ashley (Ash) Williams from the Evil Dead film series; giving audiences an already established hero to take on the two villains. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash was New Line’s best idea on how to continue the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises, but Sam Raimi (Evil Dead writer/director) decided to not let New Line use Ash in the planned sequel. Due to an agreement could not be reached between the different camps concerning the use of the Ash character, Wildstorm Publishing and Dynamite Entertainment came together to release the sequel as a comic book limited series titled: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash. The first issue (of six) was released in November 2007, with subsequent issues released monthly.
Plot Breakdown (spoilers): As Ash walks up to the S-Mart entrance, he manages to hit on three young girls who pass him by. The manger of S-Mart meets Ash at the door, escorting him in and detailing the work that needs to be done in time for Christmas. Jason, who had been watching Ash from the nearby trees, engages the three girls Ash was hitting on and kills them. An old woman near the scene sees Jason and screams. Inside the S-Mart, the manger introduces Ash to the teenage staff in the housewares department, only to have Ash run out of the store when the scream is heard. Ash questions the old lady on what had happened, but her only response was, “Jason.” Later, after the police depart, Ash recounts his experiences with the Deadites to the teenagers. They laugh him off, thinking him old and crazy. When Ash goes on break, one of the teens named Caroline questions him further about the Deadites, and later recounts the legend of Jason Voorhees. Ash, taken back by the story, believes Jason is a Deadite and must have the Necronomicon. Meanwhile, Jason continues his way to his old house and happens upon a group of carolers. As the group begins practicing, they are quickly slaughtered by the masked murderer. Later on, as Ash’s shift is about to end, an attractive girl named Bree introduces herself and suckers him into purchasing overnight goods for her and her friends. One of the friends explains they are going to stay the night in the old Voorhees house before the city tears it down. The group leaves Ash in the dust after he loads their supplies, laughing all the way. When they arrive at the Voorhees house, the group pair off, not noticing Jason watching them from an outside window. Ash, who followed the group to the old Voorhees home, breaks into the basement and finds the Necronomicon. While Ash uncovers the Book of the Dead, Jason slays the teens upstairs, leaving Bree the only survivor. Ash, summoned upstairs by the commotion, meets up with Bree, only to have Jason bearing down on him. After a brief skirmish, which leaves Jason unfazed, Ash and Bree flee the house with Jason in pursuit.
The Good: Lots of action in this chapter. Many fans will love the brief nudity and gore panels; Jason is as deadly as ever. The art remains solid in issue #2, and many of the scenes are lighthearted, primarily taking place in daylight or in S-Mart. Ash remains wisecracking, per usual, with added silliness brought on by the S-Mart teens.
The Bad: The pacing for this issue moves too fast for the content. Ash’s awkward exposition comes across as forced, with his repartee getting old by issue’s end. Also, some of the comments he makes to his coworkers make me wince, as a sexual harassment suit is just waiting for him. This issue tends to suffer from the same problem Freddy vs. Jason did, as characters just seem to “figure out” information integral to the plot; for example, Ash “figures out” the Necronomicon is in the Voorhees house, though there is no reasonable explanation as to why he makes this connection. Freddy Krueger is hardly in this issue, and it makes you wonder if this is really an Ash vs. Jason book. For the most part though, this series doesn’t seem to be deviating much from the original treatment either, which leaves little room for surprises.
Final Comments: This issue is not as good as issue #1, but still moves the story along. It has lots of horror action and bright artwork, but the pacing is a little off, with clunky/forced exposition in some parts.