- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: WildStorm (October 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401220037
- ISBN-13: 978-1401220037
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Friday The 13th Vol. 2 Paperback – October 28, 2008
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I read volume one and although it introduced a new twist in Camp Crystal Lake's history, it was still just another Jason tale. I am so played out on Jason (well, at least the Jason we all know) and this book altough it had Jason in it, it brought something much needed to the fore: Pamela Voorhees.
Pamela Voorhees stories are hard to come by and Marc Andreyko made it all possible. Although the story tells of events inside the original movie, it does give a back story of Pamela's pregnancy with Jason, her relationship with her husband as well as her history with th Christy family and Camp Crystal Lake.
The other stories are all right, but I am so played out on Jason that they are not really that memorable even though they have been written by great writers like Ron Marz and Jason Aaron.
First is "Pamela's Story", told within the first Friday the 13th and using it directly, where Pamela literally tells us her past life story. Without giving too much away I can say that it keeps the key moments we know, but they are a lot more raunchier and intense. I thought the sexual nature was a little strong in comparison to the first Friday-film, but it's compelling to know more about Pamela and her firstborn son. The artwork is pretty good, even if the characters look a little overly intense at times.
"Abuser And The Abused" is a very short and special story about a disturbed young woman, drawn in a unique sort of "ultra-violent Archie"-kind of style, complete with rasters and muted colors. It's almost like an intense short story from a (female?) student with a passion for horror films, at least that's the vibe I get from it. It's over in a flash, but it really sticks out, even if Jason in that "Archie"-style just doesn't look right at all.
"Bad Land" interconnects two stories at the same location (guess where?), and is impressive because both stories have their seperate conflicts (before or without Jason involved), and it really involves the reader even before it gets to all the blood and guts.
Finally there's "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", told from the perspective of a little boy resembling Jason in both physicality and mentality. Jason slaughters completely mercilessly in this (no barriers, and so rapidly that I didn't pick up on it at first), but the boy becomes trapped between Jason and a police officer on their trails. That sounds like a simple story, but it's a little more complicated (and a lot crazier) than that. There's extreme gore, and the same artist/s that did the entire first book, which again, I'm not extremely fond of, but the environments, the violence/gore and special story makes up for it.
Overall I really liked Friday the 13th: Book 2. There's a diverse collection of stories here, and they relate and connect to the Friday the 13th-universe while keeping the unique qualities of their makers. The artwork is overall well made, usually without looking too wrong but neither jumping out of the page completely. There's also plenty of sex and gore, but it's nice to see that there's more to tell than "kids arrive at Crystal Lake and Jason slaughters them" for the ten thousandth time. I hope Wildstorm continue to make issues and volumes like these in the future.
Pamela's Tale is, obviously, a prequel to the movies, casting the spotlight on Jason's mother Pamela Voorhees from the early days of her pregnancy with Jason right through to her appearance in the original Friday The 13th movie. Pamela leads a terrible life, married to an abusive scumbag, but is given comfort by the fact that she's carrying a child. The child is whispering to her from the womb (and it's never specified for sure whether this is real or in Pamela's head) on potential ways to take care of the situation, which she does before moving on and eventually (and fatefully) finding work at Camp Crystal Lake. The art and the story have a nice creepy vibe to them, but it's when the tale moves on to Jason's early life that we run into trouble. Although his physical depiction is accurate with the movies, I never got the impression from the movie series that he was supposed to be a 'bad guy' from day one, which is how he's portrayed here. If Jason's a psychotic, animal-torturing monster as a child, the whole Friday The 13th mythos falls apart, in my mind. Jason's whole status as a tragic monster who didn't start out evil is erased. That's why, unlike the story in the first F13 Trade Paperback, I don't consider the Pamela's Tale segment a part of official F13 continuity. On one hand, it may have worked better as a non-F13 story, with different characters slipped into the slots Jason and Pamela occupy. On the other hand, the brief more sympathetic glimpses of Jason's young life give us a look at how powerful the story would have been if it hadn't gone with the 'bad-from-birth' angle.
In "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", at the modern-day Camp Crystal Lake, a deformed little buy is being given a terrible time by the camp bullies, only to (and I know everybody can see what's coming here...) find a kindred spirit in a most deadly form, which intercedes on the child's behalf with predictably bloody results for the boy's tormeners. Jason then takes over as a surrogate protector to the child - who he's clearly relating to - and hauls the child along with him as he sets out on a killing-filled journey towards an unknown destination, pursued by police and national guardsmen who have little luck in their attempts to bring Jason down. This story is a good one, not quite as good as it Could have been, true, but the revelatory final page and the implications behind it make up for any shortcomings. Really powerful, memorable image there.
"Bad Land" unfolds by flipping back and forth between past and present time frames. Both of them are winter storm settings, and I don't know what it was about it, but for me something just clicked and it was one of those stories where you really feel the scene, like you're there in the middle of these powerful gales. In the past, a hunting party gets lost in the storm and takes refuge in an Indian wigwam; in the present hikers get lost in a winter storm and take refuge in a closed-up-for-winter building at Crystal Lake. In the past, something terrible happens in the wigwam, with the hunting party by their own actions inviting disaster on themselves; in the present the hikers make themselves comfortable and hunker in for the night while outside, in the storm, Jason lurks. There are several different ways the story's latter portions can be interpreted; I don't think the male Native American character is intended to be the shaman seen in the first F13 Trade, but others may view it differently. I think it does play into the whole 'this land is cused and bad things have been happening here for a long long time' theme that was established in the first Wildstorm F13 series (where it was revealed that Jason's drowning was Far from the first tragic death at Crystal Lake) and I think it does it without diminishing the potency of the Jason character just because he's a part of a larger cycle of horror.
"The Abuser And The Abused" would have been far better off as at least a two-parter rather than a one-shot, and the fact that it reads so quickly makes it seem even more sparse. In it, a troubled young girl gets it into her head to lure her abusive boyfriend to Crystal Lake in hopes that the local legend will finish him off for her. The unusual art style is worth pointing out, but overall this came off as more of a slice of a story than a complete one, and with it so short there's not much more one can say without giving toio much away. I wish it had been longer; I think the book's creative team could have delivered something really good here. In its current state though, it's certainly not bad.
Overall, despite a couple of the segments being less than they could have been, this collection still gets high marks. They're forging new ground for the F13 saga while basically remaining true to its roots. As said, the depiction of the child Jason in Pamela's Tale was, I feel, incorrect; and readers will notice some discrepancies in How I Spent My Summer Vacation as well, but one can always do what I do with a collection like this: assign to the official continuity the tales that one feels fit best, and just take the rest as a different, not necesarily canonical, take on the concept. Both this volume and Friday the 13th: Volume 1 are highly reccommended for all F13 fans.