August 20: FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH promo comics art!
Comics that continue the adventures of movie heroes and villains are about as common as those that simply adapt the screen material to the printed page. But this November, horror fans will be getting a comic that will give them their only chance to see a movie that almost made it into theaters but was never filmed: FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH, for which Fango got ahold of the advance promo art seen above.
The six-issue miniseries’ origins go back to the success of the first clash between the fiendish molester of dreams from the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films and the unstoppable walking slaughterhouse of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. Jeff Katz, then an executive at New Line, home of the two franchises, worked up a 20-page treatment that picks up the story five years later, just as the recovering town of Crystal Lake is getting ready to change its name to Forest Green and reposition itself as a nicer, less violent community. Freddy is still trapped within Jason’s subconscious, but he hasn’t been idle. The Necronomicon has been resting in the Voorhees home’s basement since JASON GOES TO HELL, and Freddy has discovered how he can use it not just to escape, but to gain powers unlike anything he’s had before. Using Jason as his tool, it seems as though nothing can stop him—except for the local S-Mart’s new Home Wares manager, Ash. Learning that the Necronomicon, the bane of his existence, is in town, Ash is determined to destroy it…and any boogeyman or hockey mask-wearing hulk who may be in the vicinity.
New Line was high on the project, and deals came close to completion, but by 2004, Sam Raimi pulled out, not wanting to see Ash handled by another director. Although the film project was dead, Katz found new hope when he saw A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FRIDAY THE 13TH becoming comic-book projects at Wildstorm, and Dynamite producing comics detailing Ash’s exploits beyond ARMY OF DARKNESS. While he urged New Line’s licensing division to look into resurrecting FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH, Katz became involved in other things, including co-writing DC Comics’ BOOSTER GOLD. But by the time things had been worked out between New Line, MGM, Wildstorm and Dynamite, Katz found that he couldn’t write it, thanks to his leaving his day job at New Line for one at Fox.
Instead, James Kuhoric, who penned the ARMY OF DARKNESS comics, will be scripting FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH, with Jason Craig handling the art chores. Although Kuhoric has been chronicling Ash’s exploits for some time, this miniseries won’t tie into them, as it will hew close to Katz’s treatment. If readers have been following the three antagonists’ film careers, they’ll be right where the audience would have been if this story had opened up in theaters rather than on comic pages. Wildstorm will release the first two issues of FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH in November, with the rest following monthly. For more on the comic, check out Fango #268, on sale in October. —Daniel Dickholtz