Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CBR Friday the 13th Book Two


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Comic title: Friday the 13th: Book Two
Art by Adam Archer, Andy B, Shawn Moll and Mike Huddleston
Written by Marc Andreyko, Jason Aaron, Ron Marz and Joshua Hale Fialkov

Published by WildStorm
From 2008
Lineup Friday the 13th series
Format: Trade Paperback collecting the Friday the 13th mini-series and one shots PAMELA'S TALE #1-2, ABUSER AND THE ABUSED #1, SUMMER VACATION #1-2 and BAD LAND #1-2.

After a long overdue, here's the second Volume of Friday the 13th stories produced by WildStorm back in 2008!

While Book 1 was more of a traditional comic book-long Friday the 13th story, this new volume actually collects several shorter tales.

Four great original stories exploring fun new scenarios within the franchise!

Since it's a comic book it also allows the authors to explore and tale stories you wouldn't get to see in a full motion picture.

They all have their own good aspects and own shortcomings, so let's dig into this book, one story at the time...

The first tale opening this book is "Pamela’s Tale", written by Marc Andreyko with art from Shawn Moll. It was originally published in two issues. The story here is actually a prequel of sorts, expanding upon the events witnessed in the first Friday the 13th. We are introduced to a younger Pamela Voorhees, before the birth of her son Jason. Pamela’s Tale explains her past life and her connection to the Camp Crystal Lake. As well as introducing us to the first time, on screen, to Jason's father, a violent man named Elias. The key scenes from the film are still here but through her perspective this time, as if to redeem her a bit and make her more sympathetic to the audience (despite the violent killing). It's a great interesting opener, Marc Andreyko did Mrs. Voorhees and the rest of the characters great justice. Pamela Voorhees is seen her as more of a tragic figure who only had one thing going for her in her life.. Her love for her child. Killing for horny teenagers ensue.. There's a more sexual tone to it than in the actual first film though. The art is decent enough and gives this story an old school vibe fitting the era the story takes place in.

Next up is "The Abuser & the Abused", written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Andy Belanger. It's the only one-shot actually collected here, so it is a very short one. In this special one-shot, we are introduced to Maggie. Maggie is an outcast with low self-esteem, treated as a freak by her peers, she ended up in an abusive relationship with this guy Steve. One time she gets hit one too many times and swears this will be the last time she will fear Steve. She's going to get rid of her boyfriend with the help from the local urban legend. Things take a turn for the worse when she finally meets the real Jason Voorhees! While it's a pretty standard straightforward fun revenge story, it's worth a look if for the pop art tone Andy Belanger came up with. The comic is illustrated in a sort of vintage pulp comics tone. And it looks great! It doesn't add much to the saga of Jason, but it even has a nice little morale at the end of the day. Who is scarier... Abuser or abused?...

Another two parter! "Bad Land" comes from writer Ron Marz with artist Mike Huddleston. It's actually two separate connected storylines taking place in the same location unfolding in parallel. The firsttale takes place a hundreds of years ago and follows a group of hunters that arrived on Native American soil. They attacked a woman and her child, left the husband suffering in rage. Then the man decided to take revenge on those hunters for their abominable crime! Meanwhile, in present day, we are introduced to a different group of people under a snowstorm. These friends took shelter in an abandoned cabin. The guy knows his girl is cheating him with the other guy so he storms out in jealously... not knowing Jason Voorhees was not that far away... These separate conflicts seem quite distant at first but they obviously draw some similarities between them. It's also nice to see Crystal Lake as a possibly cursed bloody location long before Pamela Voorhees and her son. It adds to the overall mythos of the series, giving some history to Camp Crystal Lake. "This is a bad place...a bad place..." Nothing is left clear and there's enough room for interpretation. It does add a slight ghost/urban legend/curse to the place not just Jason himself. It was also particularly nice and original to see a slasher story taking place under the snow, since it's not really common for the genre.

Finally we have "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" issues #1-2, from fan favorite writer Jason Aaron, penciled here by Adam Archer. It's the story of this little kid named Davie Falkner. Davie was born with a skull deformity that might just kill him before he ever turns 18. Without no reason ("to enjoy childhood and make some friends!") they send him to "Camp Blood" Camp Crystal Lake  itself, of course. Being different, the other kids spend their time teasing and bullying him. Throwing him into the Lake and whatnot. But his difference might just save his life when he finally meets his only ally to date, Jason Vorhees himself! In Jason not only he finds a friend but also someone that like him was also bullied (to death) as a child! Jason takes care of him and protects the little boy. The local douchebag Sheriff Tanneyhill tries to stop Jason but actually ends up killing more counselors (by accident). And now Davie is trapped between Jason and a dangerous police officer after him since Davie witnessed Tenneyhill's own murders. Talk about a summer vacation gone wrong! The artist Adam Archer already worked on the first book and came back to Jason with perhaps a shorter tale but also a lot more memorable. I'd like to also add that Jason Aaron's story is easily one of the strongest of this entire book!

And that is all Friday the 13th Book Two! There's a great diversity in these short stories collected here.

With plenty of sex and gore but also a lot of creativity and a unique approach to the Friday the 13th series.

Overall, a really fun solid recommend read.

This is a great way to explore film-to-comic adaptation. It's easily amongst the best (and gory) work published through WildStorm New Line Horror line at the time.

Really excellent. The short tales formula really work for Jason.

As much as I loved Palmiotti and Gray on the first volume, the one big comic book arc covering several issues felt a bit too much for a Jason Voorhees story.

Here, in these shorter comics, the authors really got to play and stretch the Friday the 13th formula.

While it was probably not that terrifying in the end, neither really were the movies actually.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 ManThings!

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