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): Ash, thinking he is back at the cabin from Evil Dead, strikes out to find the chainsaw in the cabin’s shed. Once found, he cuts off his Freddy infected hand. As he sits and gloats about defeating the Deadites at their own game, he suddenly remembers he has done this before and must be dreaming. As he comes to this conclusion, Freddy Krueger makes himself known. He explains to Ash that he will be keeping the Necronomicon, and unveils a shelf full of Freddy infected hands waiting to strike out at Ash. Before the hands attack him, Ash uses the barrel of his recently used shotgun to trigger himself awake. When he awakens, he finds a burn mark on the wrist where the barrel touched him. Ash, piecing together what happens in the dream happens in real life, wakes the kids before Freddy can get to them. Unfortunately, he is too late for one of the teens, as the kid’s sleeping body is crushed by Krueger. Freddy, proud of his recent kill, returns to Jason’s subconscious and orders Jason to find and kill Ash. Meanwhile, Ash, Caroline, and the few surviving teens plan to take back the Necronomicon; Ash believes he can use its passages to eliminate both Freddy and Jason. After breaking into the S-Mart for supplies, the group returns to the old Voorhees house for the book. Ash, now carrying an upgraded chainsaw, ventures into the house, while the kids stay outside and try to lure Jason out of hiding and into an explosive trap. The kids manage to get Jason’s attention, but he doesn’t fall for their ploy – his new intelligence at work. While the kids confront Jason, Ash finds the book (again) in the basement of the house. As he reaches to collect the book, Freddy comes up from behind and stabs him in the shoulder. Freddy, standing over the wounded Ash, explains he has read enough of the Necronomicon to take dominion over reality, to bring nightmares to the waking world. As Ash tries to escape, Freddy summons the Freddy hands from Ash’s dream and uses them to pin Ash against the wall. While the energies of the Necronomicon flow around Krueger, Jason senses something is wrong and breaks onto the scene looking to stop Freddy. Freddy, in retaliation, summons the ghosts of Jason’s victims to rise up and destroy him.
The Good: This issue is more balanced between the main characters, as Freddy, Jason, and Ash all get quality panel time. The story in this issue moves things along nicely, making the reader feel there is something actually happening. Freddy confronting Ash in the basement is colorful work, with demon Freddy making a return. The panel of Freddy stabbing Ash shines, giving the reader an excellent idea of how it would look on film.
The Bad: Same problems plague this issue as the last one, though not on the same level. The artwork is not consistent, not keeping in perspective sometimes. Deadlines might be at fault though, as the artwork slowly suffers as the issue continues. Dialogue problems are still present, with the aim clearly for a younger age group. Once again, Jason’s theme “sound effect” has returned, which doesn’t work because this is a comic book, not a movie.
Final Comments: A step up from last issue, with resolution on its way. The artwork suffers again here, and the dialogue could use work. Overall though, this issue is a good showcase for the main characters and moves the story forward.