Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash - I read on a message board that this was based on the script from the scrapped movie of the same name. Since you should always have two sources, I decided to verify that and read on Wikipedia that this is "Based on the original Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash film treatment by Jeff Katz." A message board and Wikipedia, that's two sources, so it must be true. And since I thought the original Freddy vs. Jason movie was so laughably bad it was good, I was looking forward to this mini.
The story starts five years after the end of the Freddy vs. Jason movie with Freddy stalking Jason's brain trying to get Jason to make him whole again. At the same time, a certain S-Mart employee named Ash transfers to the new Crystal Lake area Super S-Mart. Ash is the narrator of this tale and it sets a great, snarky, badass tone for the book. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that while I enjoy the ridiculousness of Freddy and Jason movies, I really don't like Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2. I enjoyed Bruce Campbell in them and like the character of Ash, but I don't enjoy them as movies. Considering my gross dislike of the Spider-Man franchise, I'm going to say it's all Sam Raimi's fault.)
The dialogue, pace and humor in this mini-series are all spot on for a slasher film transfered to the comic page. I applaud the writers for this, as it seems many Hollywood to Comics scripters have difficulty adjusting to the format (see my Dan Goes Deeper: Joss Whedon article next Wednesday). To be fair, Katz is only credited with the "story," while regular Army of Darkness comics writer James Kuhoric does the heavy lifting.
I only have two knocks on the writing; 1) the intros/recaps to each issue are far too long and wordy, almost eclipsing the entire word count for the rest of the issue and 2) the phrase "playing grabass" was used three times by two characters in back-to-back issues. It was amusing the first time, an odd choice the second time and just lazy feeling the third time. But, really, those are nitpicks to an otherwise surprisingly fun read.
The best part of this mini-series was that we didn't stand around playing grabass (see, seems forced, doesn't it?) for five issues with a big fight in the sixth issue. Jason was slashing people up in the first issue. The focus moved to Freddy and Jason in the second issue and by the middle of the third issue we were in full-blown Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash territory.
Unfortunately, the art is nowhere near the quality of the writing. As the mini progresses the art get looser and looser to the point that characters facial structure change from panel to panel, and not just because their jaw was blown off with a shotgun. Additionally, the artists had a bad habit of turning what was supposed to be looks of surprise into something that looked like the lady who pops her eyes out of her eye sockets. On a positive art note, the first two issues have fantastic covers - J. Scott Campbell provides three interlocking covers for issue #1 and Eric Powell does an amazing job on #2, particularly when it's just the pencils and inks of the second printing cover.
If you're a fan of slasher flicks, WildStorm's previous Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street books, or just like a slightly silly, fun, action comic I think this mini-series is well worth checking out. B