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 and Bree flee from Jason’s deadly grasp, both are saved by Caroline, who followed Ash to the Voorhees house. Ash instructs Caroline to drive them back to the S-Mart, so he can decipher the Necronomicon and come up with a plan on how to proceed. Freddy, enraged at Jason losing the book, picks (literally) through Jason’s memory and finds a brief glimpse of Ash’s S-Mart nametag. Freddy instructs Jason to go back to S-Mart and retrieve the book. Meanwhile, Ash, Bree and Caroline arrive back at S-Mart and have little time to plan before Jason walks in the store. Jason begins to slaughter customers and staff alike (ala the Freddy vs. Jason party scene), until Ash confronts him with chainsaw and shotgun in hand. The battle between the two is short, with Jason tossing Ash aside, and then later throwing him through a wall. Caroline tries to intervene, but is easily discarded. Bree, mentally unstable from the night’s horrors, tries to escape with the Necronomicon, but is quickly killed by Jason. With the Book of the Dead now in his possession, Jason leaves the scene and returns to his shrine in the woods. After arriving, he turns Freddy’s severed head toward the propped up book. In the dreamscape, Freddy is able to decipher the necessary resurrection spell and escapes from Jason’s mind, returning to reality. Now free, Freddy attempts to leave, but Jason stops him, remembering their agreement. Freddy makes good on his promise, using the book to grant Jason “some intelligence.” Later, Ash, Caroline, and the few surviving teens from the store, retreat to Caroline’s parent’s house to make a plan on how to get the book back. When the group decides to get some sleep, Ash volunteers to keep guard, only to fall asleep himself. He awakens in the cabin from Evil Dead, with his normal hand intact, only to have it mutate with Freddy’s blades.
The Good: More Ash vs. Jason, with Ash quickly being defeated by Jason’s brute strength. Freddy finally makes a real appearance, with the artwork being very Englund-esque; it’s not hard to imagine Robert Englund acting out these scenes. Jason turning Freddy’s severed head to see the book is also very humorous, in that the reader knows this is how Jason would think.
The Bad: There are many problems with this issue. The artwork is not consistent, with the S-Mart massacre and Ash’s fight with Jason looking rushed, not keeping in perspective. Dialogue problems from last issue carry over here, with the aim clearly for a young age group. The pacing again suffers this issue, as the treatment was written for film, and has not been adjusted for the change in medium. Ash’s fight with Jason is completely unrealistic, even by the set standards, as Jason tears others apart easily, but Ash is relatively fine after being tossed around and thrown through a wall. Again, we have characters “figuring out” Jason is being controlled by someone. Considering they know nothing about Jason, other than what is said during camp fire stories, it’s absurd for the characters to be piecing this together. Lastly, Jason’s theme “sound effect” has returned in full force, which doesn’t work because this is a comic book, not a movie.
Final Comments: A true filler issue, with some pacing and logic problems. The artwork suffers here, and it is becoming more clear that the treatment should not have been used as a full on template.