With the release of the Punisher series on Netflix we figured it was a good time to go back to The Punisher’s cinematic roots. In addition it’s always a good time to go back and check out the 1990 cinematic version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turns out these movies have a lot more in common than we thought. Since listener Allen asks the hard questions we also find out who is everyone’s favorite turtle is. We also talk about Baywatch, Robert Kirkman’s Secret History Of Comics, Event Horizon, and Colossal.
A few weeks ago (I got busy) I rounded up a crew and we sat down to discuss not only the new Netflix series GLOW but also the recently released Spider-Man Homecoming. Joining me is Doug from The Last Horrorcast, Noah from Hero Unabridged, Michael from The Awesome 80’s Podcast, and Mike Patterson of being Mike fame. There is a spoilery section but we denote it in the show so feel free to listen without worry.
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics.
In part one of this post I took a look at the first two issues of Innovation Publishing’s Nightmares On Elm Street comic line. If you haven’t read that post, check it out here.
The first two issues expanded on several aspects of the world Freddy inhabits and reintroduced us to one of Freddy’s survivors, Neil Gordon, and brings back Nancy Thompson in the form of a Dream Guardian.
However just as the arc brings us some interesting ideas and only seems to just begin the second act of a larger story, it ends like a door slammed in your face, raising an even bigger question that, unfortunately never gets answered.
Issue 3 of the series sees the return of Alice Johnson and her young son, and former Freddy target, Jacob as they return to Springwood following the death of Alice’s father. In the 6 years since the events of Dream Child, Springwood has began its transformation into the ghost town that we eventually see in Freddy’s Dead and now a new killer is on the loose.
We are quickly introduced to a new character Devonne. It is quickly made clear that there is something off about Devonne as one panel is shown from her viewpoint, looking down on Jacob who is eerily missing his skin.
We also find out that Jacob’s encounter with Freddy in the womb (and in the Babyscape) left him with psychic powers. The extent is never really defined, but he does seem to be able to read people minds, see their memories and pull people in and out of the dream dimension.
Freddy, meanwhile, has been plotting a grand scheme to once again use Jacob to bring Freddy out of the dream dimension so he can spread himself beyond the boundaries of Springwood. It turns out that Freddy has been using Devonne to kill in his name and feed him the souls of her victims (how this works is never explained, so just kind of take it for granted that it works) and now that Jacob is back in Springwood, he wants Devonne to bring him to her.
As word begins to spread of another missing child, Dream Child survivor Yvonne returns, fearing that Freddy may be involved somehow. Yvonne and Alice go hunting for Neil Gordon, hoping to contact Nancy in The Beautiful Dream to help stop Freddy, but they are playing right into Freddy’s glove.
Meanwhile in the Nightmare, Freddy tries to convince Jacob that he can help bring back Jacob’s father, former Freddy victim Dan, from the dead if Jacob agrees to help bring Freddy out of the dream world, all while planning a final confrontation with Nancy and Alice.
Freddy sends out Devonne to kill Alice and Yvonne in the real world before they manage to track down Nancy and Neil, not knowing that they already have. Devonne tracks them down to the hospital where Neil has been in a coma for years with Nancy protecting him from The Beautiful Dream. Neil wakes up when he hears the name Freddy and tells Alice that she needs to come to Nancy in the dream world with Neil.
Yvonne drugs Alice, putting her to sleep as Devonne begins massacring the hospital staff, making her way to our heroes. Inside the dream, however, Alice confronts Freddy once again, taking us to familiar locales like Freddy’s boiler and the Church from the finale of Dream Master. However this time, Freddy takes the Alice in Wonderland comparison to the next level, creating a nightmarish version of Wonderland.
Separated from Alice in the dream, Neil comes face to face with the Dream Warriors, Neil’s patients at Westin Hills, whose souls have been trapped in the dream dimension. As the story begins to wrap up, Freddy, in the form of The Jabberwocky, tries to force Jacob into pulling him out of the dream. Nancy, Jacob, Neil and Devonne team up to stop Freddy in an epic battle against his Jabberwocky form.
The book ends with a nice wrap up of Alice and Jacob’s story as Jacob pulls Dan’s soul into the body of Neil who chose to stay behind with Nancy and the family lives happily ever after.
Innovation would continue to publish two more arcs, an adaptation of Freddy’s Dead and a continuation called Nightmare On Elm Street The Beginning that featured Maggie, Freddy’s daughter, returning to Springwood to discover Freddy’s origins. However before the final issue of Beginning could be published, Innovation filed for Bankruptcy and closed their doors, leaving their magnum Nightmare opus incomplete.
Nightmares was a fun ride, expanding on the material that we all loved and finishing up Alice and Jacob’s story which, personally, I always felt was incomplete in the movies and gave a happy ending for Nancy and Neil all while creating a much larger universe that was sadly left unexplored by Innovation’s bankruptcy.
I have not been able to get my hands on copies of Freddy’s Dead TPB or the 2 available issues of The Beginning, so I can’t comment on them, but considering the excellent writing and the obvious love that was put into Nightmares, I can only imagine that they are must find reads.
After Innovation’s run, New Line Cinema would give the Nightmare license to Trident Comics, a UK only publisher who would reprint the Marvel 2 issue comic line and Innovation’s issues. Following Trident Freddy would find himself in the hands of Avatar Press, written by Evil Ernie creator and Chaos Comics! found Brian Pulido 13 years later.
Currently Freddy’s adventures are under the control of DC comics’ Wildstorm imprint and, as of this writing, his last comic appearance was in Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash: The Nightmare Warriors that would bring together a large ensemble cast from the Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street movies.
Hopefully we will see more Freddy gracing the comics soon. Maybe next I’ll take a look at the Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash comics. Have you read Innovation’s run? Let us know in the comments below!
You just simply keep a good slasher down. Throughout 8 movies, a shitty remake and a Tales From The Crypt-esque style syndicated television show, not to mention millions and millions of dollars worth of merchandise, Freddy Krueger has haunted the dreams of the world for more than 30 years.
Now that the movies are seemingly over, at least for the foreseeable future, I decided to take a look back at some of the other mediums that Freddy has dreamed his way into, especially in the world of Comics.
In 1991, the same year that Freddy’s Dead hit theaters, independent publisher, Innovation Comics, obtained the rights to publish a new line (pun intended) of stories featuring the Springwood Slasher. This would take the form of 3 story arcs.
The first 2 arc, published in Nightmares on Elm Street, take place between Nightmare 5 and Freddy’s Dead. While fairly run of the mill in the art work department, the stories massively expand on several ideas that were never fully fleshed out in parts 3 through 5, namely the physics, rules and realms of the dreamscape.
The first arc (issues 1 and 2) features an all new character, Cybil Houch, a Jack The Ripper researcher. Cybil has been having nightmares of The Ripper for weeks as he stalks her in her dreams.
Through Jack’s exposition we learn that he was also a Freddy like figure, possessing powers much like his, though the extent of them aren’t spoken of in much detail. That in itself could have been a very interesting comic in itself as it hints at dream monsters throughout mankind’s history.
We come to find that Cybil was a one time college room mate of Nancy Thompson. As Nancy’s home begins to appear in her Freddy induced nightmares she decides to hunt down her room mate, only to find out that she had died several years later.
Cybil tracks down Dr. Neil Gordon from Nightmare 3 who is currently working on dream therapy after his run in with Freddy. Neil realizes that Freddy is once again killing and rushes to Cybil’s aid after she falls asleep while on the phone with him.
Neil decides to take Cybil into the dream world and finds Nancy alive and well in what she calls “The Beautiful Dream”, a sort of Anti-Nightmare that Freddy can’t touch. Nancy has been protecting Neil for years from Freddy and growing in her powers as a dream protector, but not yet strong enough to take on Freddy.
Towards the end of the arc, we also discover that, aside from The Beautiful Dream and The Nightmare, there is a 3rd dreamscape. This plane is reserved for the dreams of the unborn, where babies, still in their mothers womb reside in their perpetual dream until birth.
The 3 face off with Freddy for a “final” showdown in what I am calling The “Babyscape” with an abrupt ending that comes out of nowhere and leaves you confused as to what really just happened.
The story is finished in the following arc, but we as the reader don’t know that at first and until I was able to finally read the next four issues, I was seriously disappointed in what was clearly an end to that particular story.
The first two comics are interesting from a story perspective for a few reasons…
One of the biggest points of confusion for me with the Nightmare series was part 4. While one of the best of sequels, right behind 3 in my opinion, it always seemed like there was a bigger story that was left on some part of the cutting room floor. In particular the idea that was only hinted on of the Dream Gate Guardians when Freddy tells Alice that he has been guarding his gate for a long time after she assumes her mantle as The Dream Master. This idea however is central to the story in Nightmares as we learn that Nancy is the guardian of the Beautiful Dream while Freddy is the guardian of The Nightmares.
Of course this also raises a question that, as Nightmare Guardians have been around throughout mankind’s history, has there also been a Beautiful Dream guardian as well, and what about the Babyscape? Is there a guardian for that as well?
The final panel of issue 2 also raises the question that, since Freddy is stuck in Springfield, are there other Nightmare Gate Guardians elsewhere in the world, possibly stuck in their respective killing fields, still haunting the dreams of those that live there. Questions we may never find the answer to.
Personally I loved that the books touched on things that were presented in Nightmares 3, 4 and 5. There was enough familiarity in the comics to make it seem like we were coming back to a world we were already familiar with while presenting new ideas and expanding on ones already presented.
All in all the first story arc in Nightmares On Elm Street does a wonderful job on expanding on the universe of the Elm Street movies and reunite us with some of our favorite Freddy survivors. The artwork, while certainly nothing special, gets the job done and, for an independent publisher, isn’t too bad.
If you are interested in these books, they are available on ebay and amazon, but can run on the slightly pricey side of things. If the price deters you, there are always ways to read them. The internet is a big, big place.
In Part 2 we will be taking a look at the next 4 issues of the 6 issue run of Nightmares, how it abruptly throws us into a new, yet familiar story and expands the universe even further, but until then, sweet dreams!