A group of young adults come together to be paid for fixing-up
the camp at Crystal Lake before it reopens to the public.
Two surfer dudes arrive late and, after a confrontation with
the others, disappear overnight. Unseen by the rest of the
group, the two have been violently attacked and dragged into
the lake. Blonde teen Sally Thomas accompanies the son of
the lake's new owner to town to look for them, while the others
begin their work in torrential rain. Whilst changing a tyre,
Sally witnesses the man's brutal death at the hands of Jason
Voorhees. She warns the group, but even after more deaths
the survivors remain unconvinced the killer is the iconic
unstoppable monster Jason. Instead, they suspect her; especially
when they discover she is on medication for a bi-polar condition
and depression. Now Sally's tablets have mysteriously disappeared
and she begins to hallucinate...
an enthusiastic follower of the Friday films, you might
assume I would immediately sing this graphic novel's praises.
Instead, the opposite is more likely to be true, protecting
the integrity of the films and the character of Jason against
third-rate pretenders. Fortunately, I don't have to because
I absolutely love this interpretation of the legend. It might
bore some people to realise that this original story by Justin
Gray and Jimmy Palmotti conforms to the standard format of
the majority in the film series. My reply to those dissenters
is why change a winning formula? Like Columbo and Scooby-Doo,
if it ain't broke then don't fix it.
main players are a little predictable, but are well fleshed-out,
aiding the flow and conflict in the tale. We have a couple
on the run from something, the two surfer dude friends just
out for a laugh, an acid-tongued bitch, a hippy geek, a serial
killer enthusiast and a young woman with plenty of baggage.
They bounce remarkably well off each other, considering they're
only there as cannon fodder for Jason. Sex scenes which are
prevalent in the early Friday films, are fortunately
kept to a minimum here, so that we have one brief moment and
a separate gay kiss.
artwork by Adam Archer and Peter Guzman is vivid and atmospheric,
with nice use of light and shade. Jason himself looks cold
and imposing, as he should, with his figure considerably enhanced
by angling up at him so that he appears even taller. Thankfully,
our hockey mask-wearing maniac isn't overused, and when he
does suddenly arrive on the scene it's to great effect. The
slayings are quick and bloody; the writers realising full
well that Jason is simply doing a job without in any way glorifying
in the act.
is a valiant attempt to achieve something a little different
here. So we have a quick back-story of Red Indians (or Native
Americans, if you prefer) being massacred at the lake by white
men, intimating that Jason is their champion for revenge,
and a quick scene of ghostly wraiths rising from the lake
and just as quickly disappearing.
you can force your way through (or totally ignore) the obvious
and frankly needless written introduction by Andrew Wilkes-Krier,
you will be rewarded by another impressive graphic novel from
Wildstorm/Titan Books, topped off with some fascinating cover
sketches and artwork of different Jason portrayals. I look
forward to checking-out more of these horror graphic novels
to see if the general high standard continues. Let's hope
we can look forward to a Halloween one next (based
on the great John Carpenter's original of course).