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): Jason, now in the resurrected hands of his dead victims, fights to break free from their grasp. Freddy watches, and amused, summons one of Ash’s “Freddy” hands to drive Jason’s machete through his chest. Jason eventually breaks free and pulls the machete out, leaving him weakened on the floor. Freddy then turns his attention back to the Necronomicon, only to find it and Ash missing. Enraged, he shouts out at Ash. Meanwhile, Ash has managed to escape the Voorhees house and into the woods with the book. After running into a clearing, he is attacked by Deadite possessed trees and crows. Freddy, now able to manipulate reality, used Ash’s memories to bring out the Deadite force. After eating crow, Ash uses his chainsaw to free himself from the assault and meets back up with Caroline, who is the lone survivor of Jason’s earlier attack. Ash informs Caroline of the book’s ability to open a portal, which could be used to send Freddy and Jason to the Deadite’s dimension for all eternity. As they discuss their options, the book flips open, revealing a young Pamela Voorhees using the book to resurrect her dead son. Ash, annoyed, hands the book over to Caroline, telling her to find the correct incantation for the portal. Just as she begins, Freddy’s face appears in the clouds above, prompting the two to flee back to the Voorhees house for shelter. When they arrive, they look back and notice the Voorhees house is no longer there, but rather, the house at 1428 Elm Street. Three little girls in white dresses are jump roping out front, singing Freddy’s familiar nursery rhyme. Ash warns the little girls to run, but is soon attacked by the demonized children. While Ash is tied up with the three girls, Freddy opens the front door and grabs Caroline, dragging her in the house. Ash quickly uses his chainsaw to cut down the kids and rushes after her. Inside, Freddy threatens Caroline to hand over the book, just as Jason bursts back onto the scene. Freddy uses pieces of the house against Jason, effectively battering him to a standstill. With Freddy’s attention turned toward Jason, Caroline attempts to utter the words to open the portal. Jason however, realizing what she is doing, reaches over and snatches the book. Ash arrives moments after, and blasts Jason pointblank in the head with his gun, revealing Jason’s disfigured face. Unrelenting, Ash chops off Jason’s hand with the chainsaw, freeing the Necronomicon. Jason, mimicking Ash’s chainsaw hand, takes his machete and shoves it, blade out, in his bloody stump. Caroline promptly escapes the house with the book, while Ash and Jason square off. Jason quickly brushes Ash aside, throwing him through one of the front windows, out of the house. With Ash out of the way, Jason engages Freddy. As the two villains battle, the house collapses upon them.
The Good: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #5 manages to successfully showcase familiar elements from all three series, i.e. the Deadite possessed trees, Jason’s face reveal, demonic Freddy, and 1428 Elm Street. It is good to see the house finally making an appearance; it is just too bad it took five issues to see it. The artwork is steadier this issue, an improvement over the previous two issues – 1428 Elm Street and Jason’s face reveal were illustrated very nicely. In addition, the dialogue sees some improvement with dropping most of Ash’s Army of Darkness lines.
The Bad: Stuff happens but nothing happens. A lot of this series has been about grabbing the Necronomicon and making a break for it. This entire issue, in of itself, seems like one big book chase. Also, some panels come across as silly, especially Ash’s eating of the Deadite crow, Jason mimicking Ash’s chainsaw hand, and Freddy constantly telling of how powerful he is, but doesn’t really do anything. Once again, the film treatment is at fault for this, though the creative team here should have made adjustments for the medium change. Dialogue this issue might show improvement, but it still far from good, with most of Freddy’s lines being the worst so far. Overall though, this issue is a step in the right direction.
Final Comments: Issue five effectively picks up the action and incorporates familiar elements from all three series. Artwork this issue is steadier and the dialogue is showing improvement.