Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street #2
The second issue of Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street opens with a grueling dream quest, as our heroines find themselves trapped in an assortment of strange places, ghouls and critters riddling the frames. It’s a wonder to see, and you know Steve Gerber had a blast writing this story. It’s so wide open in regards to options, it’s really a wild tale.
The battle rages on through the first 13 or 14 pages, and Freddy seems quite in control of things until the girls are finally able to muster a little dream dominance and inflict damage upon Krueger. It’s an important moment, as it marks the first time the girls have seen Freddy appear vulnerable.
Another awesome aspect of this story is the incorporation of Hypnocil, the dream suppressant that most Nightmare fans will remember from Freddy vs. Jason, though it was also a part of the Dream Warriors story. And when Juliann returns to reality after their grueling battle with Krueger, and she’s holding a piece of paper with a note on it, from Freddy, of course, she seems to realize that there may be a way to pull Krueger from his place of comfort. Knowing they’ll need everything they’ve got to get the job done, she recommends utilizing some Hypnocil.
We get to learn quite a bit about Allison through the mid-portions of the book, as she recites one memory in specific: the first time she encountered Krueger. We travel through stretches of Allison’s youth as this tale is told, and it helps the reader to invest in the youngster. She’s already likeable, as she’s a resilient young lady, but after these six pages, we’re really behind her. She’s a good kid, and this isn’t a fate she’s brought upon herself.
The dream also yields some information: when at her peak, Allison is strong enough in her dream state to survive Freddy’s onslaught. That was the case the first time she met the creature, and now Juliann has her wheels spinning, working out a way to get Allison into a showdown with Freddy that can bring about a definitive end to the child killer once and for all.
Sadly, exhaustion catches up to Juliann, and so does Freddy. Cornered, with nowhere to go, the woman is murdered in her own home. This of course devastates Allison, but even worse, it leaves her to fend for herself when the time comes for the final showdown with Freddy, and with doctors pulling the Hypnocil from Allison’s daily diet, that encounter barrels toward the reader far faster than we’d anticipated.
When the battle to end all battles arrives, it’s a thing of beauty. This is one of those deviation points that completely rocks and feels very fresh. It’s something we don’t see every day. It’s something we didn’t see used seven times throughout the film franchise; Allison becomes Freddy, forcing Krueger to in effect, fight his own clone. And his clone, in the end, proves superior.
Until those pesky know it all doctors pull her from her nightmare, only to have her hauled off… and sedated.