Friday, October 10, 2008

Collection Spotlight: A Nightmare on Elm Street

If you read the post at the start of the month, then you know I’m a big time horror fan and Halloween fan. Well I’m a huge fan of the New Line Cinema horror movies, you know, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and of course, A nightmare on Elm Street. But I have an especially strong history with Freddy Krueger, so I was especially excited to be picking up a new comic that promised to finally return the killer to his roots. Then again, we can’t always get what we wish for.

Written: Chuck Dixon

Art: Kevin West

Story Comments: There are 2 stories in the first volume of Wildstorm’s Nightmare series of comics. The first chronicling the story of a young girl who is new to Freddy’s stomping grounds and is the latest on his hit list.

If you ever saw the show Freddy’s Nightmares, then you know what to expect with this one. It feels similar to that in the light that it’s really just the typical “Freddy stalks, Freddy kills, Freddy is a jackass” story. While the movies often did this, at least some of them, like Dream Warriors, tried to shake things up a bit.

This is all standard stuff, there is little to no real character work with the character of Jade. She’s an all right girl, but we don’t delve far enough into her character to really care. The character of Nancy in the first Nightmare film was great, and I felt Craven really fleshed her out nicely, I was hoping for something similar in Jade.

While there are some nice moments, and the first part when Jade is just starting to see Freddy is fairly good in how it pays tribute to the first film, by stories end, it all falls apart and ends up like Dream Master, a crazy mess that has absolutely no suspense. I also didn’t like how Dixon decided to wantonly kill Jade off at the end, I felt it rather confusing to kill off a character we where supposed to care about, then give her such a random last minute kill.

While I enjoyed the bare basics of this story, it really just does nothing to advance the Nightmare mythos or add anything interesting. Seeing as Dixon must have been somewhat limited, I can be more forgiving of it. But it just feels like he really had the right idea, but that it just didn’t pull through when on paper.

The second story isn’t much better; again, Dixon favors a female lead character. While Jade was fairly standard in the characteristics, the second protagonist is done fairly well. She isn’t some super sweet girl who we feel bad for, she’s got attitude, she isn’t perfect, and I applaud Dixon for finally changing things up in that department.

This story however, similar to the last one, goes the way of “What the hell was that?” fast. While the opening death was kind of cool, and I liked most of the creative uses of the Dream World, when the main character finally comes into conflict with Freddy, things take a turn for the weird.

While I can appreciate that Dixon is trying to shake things up and be a bit more experimental with the Nightmare mythos here, adding some Aztec god to fight Freddy is the wrong way to do it. It ends up just being plain weird and is pointless either way. Though I like how Dixon doesn’t randomly kill off the main character so stupidly like he did with Jade.

This story is far gorier than the previous one, guys get smashed by rocks, there is a guy who gets cut in half and it’s all fairly sick. Dixon does, at the very least, capture the heart of the Slasher genre with that.

Art comments: I have no problem with Kevin West’s art. It’s all fine art and he does a good job. However, it’s all the same to me as far as his work is concerned. While he makes a great looking Freddy, his art doesn’t stand out much against others. Compared to some of the art seen in the Friday the 13th book, I feel it was rather unfair to pare such a blasé artist on Nightmare.

Final Comments: I doubt that if you’re not a big fan of the series, that you’ll really enjoy this series. It has all the good elements of what a Nightmare story should be, but it’s just lacking the punch that the first and second film had and since they’d promised to deliver on that, I feel more than disappointed.

Pass It.

Apologies for the fairly short Collection Spotlight. But eh, they can’t all be 4 pagers.
Week’s End is tomorrow and I have a new edition of the Andrenn Channel to post soon. Also, working on some ideas for a new Andrenn’s Game Shelf. Also I know I forgot to post the Red Snow report Card, expect that on Sunday. My apologies, again, really busy over here.
Until we meet again, sweet dreams.

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