Friday the 13th Special #1 (2005)
By: Tristan Jones on May 5, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Written by: Brian Pulido
Pencils & Inks: Mike Wolfer
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: Avatar Press
Fans of Jason in need of a desperate gore fix due to a lack of ongoing Friday the 13th cinematic instalments can now rest easy (for the time being at least). Fans of compelling storytelling should probably look the other way however.

New Line Cinema's House of Horror and Avatar Press have teamed together to bring their three horror heavyweights; Jason, Freddy and Leatherface, back into the world through the comic book medium via horror comic book veteran Brain Pulido (creator of Lady Death and Evil Ernie, founder of Chaos! Comics), and so far, the results, much like the films themselves have been varied.

Friday the 13th, opens with two twenty-somethings getting their game on in the back of a van, outside Crystal Lake, on Friday the 13th. Yep. While this is happening, a squad of military operatives are searching the woods, armed excessively for a 'neutralise escaped mental patient' assignment… Right… Within panels this abuse of military resources is brought to it's knees in a fashion the movies probably wish they could emulate. Cut to two months ago, and we discover that two rich siblings, heirs to the Crystal Lake land, are planning property development, and have been for some time. The only problem is that someone has been stopping that from happening. The business savvy and ridiculously attractive sister decides to put and end to it by paying the army to fix their little problem. In true Jason style, everything goes horribly wrong and pretty much everyone winds up dead.

This comic is a classic example of quantity over quality. Quantity of gore, over quality of pretty much everything else. Every single cliché from the 11 films in the series can be found in this one, twenty-two page comic book. Again, that might be a good thing if you're just after bloodlust, but in today's market, where comic books are doing so much more with characters and stories, and allow for so much more, Friday the 13th seems content to sit in mediocrity (so much so that it basically rehashes itself in the mini-series follow up; Friday the 13th: Bloodbath).

The artwork is fantastic, I'll give it that. The amount of detail in the gore is certainly well above the norm, and everything else is drawn impeccably, but that doesn't save the writing, which is riddled with stereotypes, predictability, and clichéd to just plain bad dialogue. We all know what's going to happen to the horny couple who palm the unmistakable sounds of machine gun fire and explosions off as a squirrel on the hood of the van. But hey! At least we get to see her tits right? ...Right?

The one novel creative liberty taken by Pulido is certainly worth mentioning though. After Jason takes a grenade to the chest, we do get to see his body regenerate, which, unless I wasn't paying enough attention, was something the films never really showed to this extent.

This whole thing may have been a big stab at the movies (pun not intended), but there's simply not enough humour to the writing for me to believe so. This may have worked better as a part of the film series, where actors could be directed to deliver lines particular ways and any satirical undertones of the script can be drawn out, but as a comic, it simply doesn't manage and comes out taking itself a little too seriously for what it is.

The Friday the 13th series comes across a little to me like Troma films. They clearly aren't for everyone, and those who love Jason stand by him completely. Those are the people who are likely to enjoy this comic, as they are likely to be far more forgiving of it's obvious problems than I am. But having read comics for as long as I have, and seen so many horror icons handled better than this in their transitions from one medium to the other, and without offering anything really new, it ultimately felt like a waste of time.
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