Innovation’s Nightmares on Elm Street #5
Issue five in this generally awesome run offers something we very, very rarely see, a vulnerable, frustrated Freddy Krueger. It takes a lot to bump this beast from his pedestal, but he’s having some issues in the early goings of book five.
For as flustered as Freddy may come across in the opening pages, he regains his sense of dominance, happy to see that the pawns in his twisted game – Devonne, Alice and Jacob – are sitting in the positions he wants them sitting. There’s only one piece of the puzzle seemingly out of place: Nancy Thompson!
That’s right, we’re working at making a full circle, here.
We cut away to a look at Alice, face to face with the freshly woken Neil. But Neil’s a little shaky, and he seems more interested in slipping back into unconsciousness where he can be with Nancy. And this should mark of one of the story’s crucial intersections. This is where all the pieces come together. Freddy has a chance to play his pieces and secure the souls of all of these unfortunate individuals. That said, with Nancy teaming up with Alice, and Neil being involved, along with the wildly powerful Jacob, Freddy doesn’t look like the clear favorite to me, though his menace isn’t necessarily downplayed.
It becomes a race against time. Alice must enter the dream world with Neil, where they’ll meet up with Nancy and attempt to save Alice’s son, Jacob. But there’s an equalizer named Devonne who shows up at the hospital where Alice and Neal are about to slip into another mental dimension for what will no doubt be the final battle between good and evil, and the only chance Alice has at saving Jacob’s life. Can they survive in reality, is the question. Devonne is clearly on a mission to slaughter, as she’s already blown away half of the hospital staff.
While Alice and Neil search Freddy’s realm we get an assortment of amazing visuals that damn near all reference the film franchise. Not only that, but we see a number of props used in the film transferred to page, and a few of them, like the television that claimed Jennifer’s life in Dream Master. Somehow, it looks as frightening on page as it was on screen. It’s all pretty bad ass, really, and it’s likely to please franchise fans.
Just as Alice and Neil meet with Nancy in the dream world, Devonne finds Neil’s room, gunfire spraying about everywhere. This is a determined woman. But her determination is crushed when she’s shot, and then we’re yet again reminded of her horrific past, as ghosts from a different life have now come back for Devonne.
In what is easily one of my favorite aspects of the story we see the entire gang from Dream Warriors surface in the dream world, ready to welcome our protagonists to a brutal hell that hasn’t left any of them in a stellar mood. But before we have a chance to see this little spin develop, we learn of what – precisely – Freddy wants with Jacob: he can bring Freddy back into the real world, for more tangible terror!
Arguably the finest book in this run, issue five is no doubt must-read material.