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!