There was alot of controversy on this site, regarding the possibility of Jason Vorhees being a zombie. I’m here to put that debate to rest. Jason is not a zombie. He is a deadite. I wish I could say you heard it here first, but if you read the fifth issue of the FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH comic, that‘s old news. Earlier this week, Eric mentioned that the FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH 2 comic was in the works, so I figured now would be the best time to give the original FVJVA the Comics Creepshow treatment.
If you go all the way back to the golden piece of cinema, known as ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’, you can find the two “Easter eggs” (clues thrown into a movie for fans to catch) that helped spawn the idea of a ‘Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash’ movie. The most obvious Easter egg is when Freddy’s clawed hand reaches out of the earth and pulls down Jason’s abandoned mask. The second, more subtle, clue is when the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis is found in the basement of the Vorhees’ house. Writer Paul Katz, who also admits to be a rabid fan boy of all three of the involved franchises, told Comics Newsarama in an interview that these two Easter eggs inspired him to produce a thirty page script treatment for ‘Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash’. As you can tell, this story never made it to the screen, but thanks to DC comics and their imprint Wildstorm (who owned the comic book rights to Jason and Freddy) as well as Dynamite Entertainment (who owns the rights to the Evil Dead comic franchise) this battle royale was able to see the light of day.
The story takes place five years after the events of ‘Freddy vs. Jason’. How do we know? Because Ashley “Ash” Williams is narrating the story, and he said so. Ash’s narration was written rather poorly, including such clunky sentences as “Maybe you are that special one that has the ‘please screw up my life with this destiny-has-picked-you-to-be-a-hero gene’ and this is just part of fates master plan for you.” Now, I know I am not one to talk, being that I barely write in the MLA format, but clunky narrations and comics don’t mix. Narrations should flow, and be right to the point, to match the speed of the action taking place in the panel. In the case of that quote, it is in the narration for a scene, where Lori Campell and Will Rollins (the two survivors from the ‘Freddy vs. Jason’ film) are being attacked by Jason. It is a rather intense scene, but it suffers from both dialogue and narration that shows an author trying too hard to sound clever. Eventually, I dismissed Ash’s narration, and found the story could still work with only the images and the dialogue.
After Jason finishes off the survivors of the ‘Freddy vs. Jason’ film, he is drawn inwards, into his own subconscious, where it turns out Freddy has been chilling for the past five years. Just like in their first film encounter, Freddy speaks through Ms.Vorhees to manipulate Jason. Freddy wants Jason to return to his home, to collect the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in his basement. While this is going on in Jason’s mind, Ash is traveling to a brand new S-Mart superstore, that has opened up in the Crystal Lake area. The people in the Human Resource Department of this S-Mart must be either really desperate for workers or smoking serious crack. As Ash finds out, The Crystal Lake S-Mart Superstore seems to only employ super disrespectful, degenerate, teenage kids, who literally only talk in sexual puns. Their dialogue is unnecessary. They should just wear shirts that say ‘Human Fodder” and walk into Jason’s blades.
Ash eventually finds out about the history of Jason Vorhees and becomes convinced that Jason is a deadite. Ash also thinks that the Necronomicon has been manipulating reality, to bring him to crystal lake. He travels with the only girl at S-mart not sporting four different STD's, Caroline, to the Vorhees house, where, by coincidence, some of the S-Mart employees are “camping” over.
Jason is en-route to his old home as well, and we are just moments away from our first face-off. Writer, James Kuhoric has to throw in some teen sex, first though, to have the book feel similar to a ‘Friday The Thirteenth’ film. It follows the formula- teens go camping, have sex, Jason shows up and mutilates them. Unfortunately, the sex is thrown in so awkwardly, that the reader has to flip through two pages of a cartoonish orgy, with Jason thrown right in the middle. Gratuitous isn’t a strong enough word for it.
After the Necronomicon gets exchanged a few times, from Ash to Jason, Jason eventually captures it and brings it back for Freddy’s severed head to read. The Necronomicon serves multiple purposes for the villains. It brings Freddy back to life, and gives him the ability to blend the Dreamscape with the real world. It also helps him make Jason more intelligent. That might seem like a strange move for Freddy, but with the power of the Necronomicon at his clawed finger tips, he isn’t intimidated by a more crafty Jason. Freddy never seems impressed with Jason. Throughout the whole miniseries, he calls Jason all the different variations of the word retard.
James Kuhoric writes a very vulgar Freddy. The killer from Elm Street is chock full of sexual puns in this story (I guess he got them from the S- Mart employees) as well as taunts regarding male insecurities and misogynistic comments. The best is when he says to Caroline “Wouldn’t want to get blood all over it, when I cut you from your bitch box to your whore hole”.
I think the main reason why I rooted for Jason so much was because, more strongly than in any of his films, did I feel that his victims deserved to die. He is a very sleek killer in comic book form, as well. Whenever he would kill someone, it would all take place in one panel. Jason would just show up, out of nowhere, and slice a person in half.
Ash is the character who suffers the most from being translated from screenplay to comic script. Like I said before, I completely ignored his poorly written narration, and his dialogue was almost as bad. His lines are very similar to those in the ‘Evil Dead’ films, but unfortunately, Bruce Campell isn’t around with his hammy delivery to make them work.
Overall, FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH is a fun ride, but mainly due to the interaction between the three main characters. The first two issues of the series, where it feels like each of the main characters are in their own separate films, are pretty much useless. It is the scenes where the characters comment on how ridiculous the others are (with the exception of poor, mute Jason) where this book really shines. One scene stands out in particular, where, in the Dreamscape, Jason in Child form sits on Freddy’s lap, and Freddy pretends to read him a bedtime story. It truly captures the twisted relationship between the two iconic characters, especially when Freddy cuts open young Jason’s head and peers inside. Hopefully, FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH 2 will dispose of all the cliché elements from the three film franchises and focus more on the three horror gods interacting.