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Child's Play 2 & 3 movie adaptions
These were official movie adaptions put out by INNOVATION comics by writer Andy Mangels & artists Darick Robertson (Child's Play 2) & Brandon McKinney (Child's Play 3). The stories - Childs Play 2: The company behind the 'Good Guy' dolls rebuilds the supposed killer doll, Chucky, while previous owner Andy Barkley is now in foster care with the Simpson family & their foster daughter Kyle. The only way for Chucky to return to his human form is to switch with Andy, the first person he revealed to that he's actually the Lakeshore Strangler, Charles Lee Ray. And Chucky will stop at nothing to get to the boy. Child's Play 3: It 8 years later & now teenage Andy Barclay is enrolled in military school. Chucky has returned again & has a new target, a young military student Tyler. The book itself - This is actually a very true adaption of both films & all the murder & mayhem that Chucky causes is here & drawn in full bloody color. The artwork overall is really good, & because of that, we can overlook that none of the characters resemble their movie counterparts. (maybe it's a likeness issue or something?) Interesting added bonus - there are plenty of ad's for the Chucky 1-900 number. - rg.
Child's Play - Chucky comic book titles
With the success of the Child's Play 2 adaption, INNOVATION decided to continue their Child Play stories with writer Andy Mangels still on board & a rotating artist from issue to issue before the release of Child's Play 3. In issue 1, Chucky is rebuilt & ends up befriended a huge horror fan, Russ Timpone (who admit's he has no relation to the Fangoria editor "even though that'd be cool"). Russ calls his friends over, including Wendy who studies black magic & might be able to help. After a warning from Doctor Death, Chucky's mentor in voodoo, Chucky decides he's much rather kill his new found friends, leaving Russ alive by the end to frame him for the murders. Interesting tid-bits - the opening page is a drawing of Chucky surrounded by all the other movie maniacs, all fallen. On page 7, not only is Fango editor Tony Timpone mentioned but Chucky picks up & starts reading a Fangoria magazine. Page 19 is an homage to Psycho and on pages 20-22, Chucky actually uses... a Freddy glove!? It's a fun read that end's with Ms. Barclay's return. In issue 2, a parapsychologist recruits Chucky survivor & cop, Mike, to help him in his quest to help Karen Barclay & expose the truth about Chucky. Chucky however, has his own plans... kill off all the loose ends, & that includes Karen & Mike. Ends with a cliffhanger. In issue 3 - Mike is murdered by Chucky & Karen is framed for the murder of one of her doctors. Mike's partner Jack tracks down Karen & her doctor and they have a final showdown with Chucky in a warehouse where Karen finally finishes him off, once and for all. (or does she?) In issue 5, Chucky ends up in Hollywood and is trying to find a way out of the theme park. After his usual murdering rampage, he meets his end to... a shark that pops out of the water!? yep. This leads into Child's Play 3. - rg.
Halloween - Michael Myers comic book titles
Originally intended as a one-shot book, & then branching out to sequels, the Halloween books are a great treat for any Michael Myers fans. The first issue offers a present day story with Tommy Doyle & a coinciding backstory to Michael's childhood & early sessions with Loomis. This is truly what any Halloween fan would love to see. More Loomis! And more behind how he came to know this little boy... as pure E-VIL! Issue #1 features a great story by Phil Nutman & Daniel Farrands (writer of part 6) & fantastic artwork by David Brewer. Issue #2 is one of the harder to find collectibles. It continues the Tommy Doyle storyline which started in the first comic book & reintroduces more characters from the films. (Also present is the thorn storyline) Issue #3 is also written by Phil Nutman & illustrated by Justiniano, who gives it a slightly different artistic style then the previous issues. It brings back Lindsey Wallace & Tommy Doyle and ends with an unexpected twist (continuing from H20, but obsolete now with the story of Halloween: Resurrection). The other two comics were convention exclusives. The One Good Scare comic is an interesting story with Lindsey Wallace & Dr. Loomis' son. While the Return To Haddonfield souvenir magazine has an original story written & drawn by Derek Rook. -rg.
JASON VS. LEATHERFACE - & Jason Goes To Hell comic adaption
Ohhh bliss! The title alone of the legendary 3 issue series put out by Topps comics says it all... JASON VS. LEATHERFACE! Brought to you by Nancy Collins, Jeff Butler, & Steve Montano with front cover's by Simon Bisley. The worthless property on Camp Crystal Lake has been purchased by a wealthy corporation, and the lake is being drained to make way for a new factory. The toxic chemicals & contents of the lake (including a dormant Jason Voorhees) are transported across country, and that's when Jason awakens. He stumbles upon a cannibalistic family in the heart of Texas & joins them due to his infinity for the youngest son, Leatherface. However, when things turn sour amongst the family, Jason sets to destroy them all, but not without Leatherface getting in his way to stop him. Overall, this is just a fun read. It captures both characters at their best. The entire family from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film are here, as is the Jason from Friday's 7 & 8. It's an interesting take on what would happen if these two met & the artwork is pretty darned good and gory. The Jason Goes To Hell adaption, also published by Topps comics is the opposite.. A weak adaption with decent artwork, you might as well just stick with the movie version. -rg.
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 movie adaption
An adaption of Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 that was published by Northstar comics. Written by Mort Castle & adapted form the script by David Schow, it features artwork on issue 1 from Kirk Jarvinen and then artwork from Guy Burwell from issues 2 thru 4. The story follows Michelle and Ryan, a couple driving across the texas border to deliver their car to Michelle's father in California. But along the way, they stumble upon a cannibalistic family, hunting them for sport & food. Their only hope is Benny; an ex-marine/hunter who they cross paths with while driving on the hidden roads of the backwoods. Who will survive this texas chainsaw massacre... and what will be left of them!? The interesting thing about this book, is that while it faithfully adapts the movie into comic book format, it also makes a lot of changes toward the middle of the story, giving it an original spin. The art in issue 1 is pretty good & most of the characters have the likeness of their screen counterparts. Some of the dialogue is different, but overall, the first 20 or so minutes of the film are here. (the front cover is also a beautifully painted portrait of Leatherface). Issue 2 has a slightly different artistic style which will last for the remainder of the series, but some of the plot changes become apparent by the end of this issue. We get to get inside Leatherface's head & hear his inner dialogue. At one point, he bashes his head in anger against a tree for letting Michelle & Ryan get away. Another addition to the book lacking from the films is the gore!!! Being that the movie was brutally cut down by the MPAA, everything & more is intact in the comic book version. Added bonus on issue 2 is a 2-page short story by James Kisner. (acting as a prequel to TCM 3's plot). Issue 3 introduces us to more of the family, such as a very alive & well grandpa, the wheelchair bound mother, & the little girl with the skeleton doll. Leatherface personally takes care of Ryan by the end of book 3. (a bit different from the movie). Issue 4 is the grand finale & the ending is tweaked enough to not be the same as the film's ending. Benny comes into the house shooting, Michelle personally knifes down Tex, and later Benny completely loses his head to Leatherface's saw in a battle in the woods. Michelle survives this ordeal, but at the end, is passed by police car with Leatherface, the little girl and grandpa, all alive & well. There are ad's for an official Texas Chainsaw Massacre adaption. I've never seen it. Anyone out there have it??? - rg.
 
Freddy's Dead movie adaption & Nightmares On Elm Street comic series
The Freddy's Dead movie adaption was put out by INNOVATION comics; written by Andy Mangels with artwork by Mike Witherby & Rob Phipps. The plot follows along pretty faithfully to the movie version. A John Doe attempts to leave Springwood but it's all a plot for Freddy Krueger to lure back his daughter, Maggie; now a social worker at a clinic. In the first issue, there's an added scene of Maggie with her adoptive mother plus an introduction to the 3-D glasses by Doc. Issue 2 holds most of the kills being the center point of the entire story. And the third & final issue has a 3-D section. (in which, you were expected to save your 3-D glasses from the theater visit for). The first issue of the 'Nightmares On Elm Street' series is a good start into a direction the movies never tapped. It involves Cybil, the college roommate of Nancy Thompson, who keeps having nightmares of a Freddy Krueger dressed as Jack the Ripper. This leads her to get in touch with Neil Gordon; the last doctor to work with Nancy. (and a fan favorite from Nightmare 3). Nancy's spirit returns on the last page of issue 1, & it makes me wonder what happened to issues 2 thru 5, because i'm personally dying to know. Issue 6 intertwines all the key characters from the past few movies. Alice (the dream master) is trapped in an Alice In Wonderland dream sequence, while Freddy is trying to use her son Jacob to help him return to the real world. Meanwhile, Neil Gorden is in another realm with the spirits of the dream warriors from part 3. And Nancy Thompson's spirit is also traveling the dream realm with her father. It gets a bit confusing, but there's a bit of a battle between Freddy and Alice, Neil, Jacob, Dan & a new character Devonne. -rg.
A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Begining - FREDDY KRUEGER'S A Nightmare On Elm Street
'A Nightmare On Elm Street: The Beginning' was put out as a 3 issue mini-series between the INNOVATION release of issues 5 & 6 to tide over fans. Written by Andy Mangels with art by Dave & Dan Day. Don't let the title confuse you - it's actually a direct sequel to Freddy's Dead. Maggie is still having nightmares about her father's (Freddy) past. She heads back to Springwood to find out more about his past & confront the destiny she fears the most; that she will one day become exactly like him. Interesting follow up for the Freddy's Dead movie plot. They go into a bit more detail with the sequences seen in flashback form in Freddy's Dead involving Freddy's past. The BEST Freddy comics out there have to be the Marvel (yes... the MARVEL) 'Freddy Krueger's A Nightmare On Elm Street' magazines. Written by Steve Gerber & with artwork by Rich Buckler, Tony DeZuniga & Alfredo Alcala, these black & white classics are the adult themed Freddy stories every Nightmare fan clamors over. Issue's 1 & 2 showcase a storyline called 'Dreamstalker', in which a young Elm Street girl named Allison is brutally beaten & slashed in her sleep. In comes psychologist Juliann who's investigating the old case files on the Amanda Krueger case. (excellent back story here.) Juliann & Allison have a immediate connection similar to Nightmare 3's connection between Nancy & Kristin. The 'Dreamstalker' storyline ended at issue 2, & although there's an ad for Issue 3 (pictured below, far right), it never came out. The story & art for this series was top notch & the black & white only added to the dreaded feel. Both issues sport beautifully painted covers by Joe Jusko & pin-ups by Sam Keith & Bob Hall. If you can find these, buy them... and send us some extra copies!!! -rg.
MARVEL's Pinhead series (Hellraiser)
Marvel's 'EPIC comics' imprint took a stab at producing some books based on Clive Barker's most popular Hellraiser character, Pinhead; written by D.G. Chichester with art by Jim Sanders III. The book starts with Pinhead & his usual cenobite crew doing their business to yet another unsuspecting man who gambled with the box, when Pinhead's cenobites disappear. An all out Leviathan war is brewing in Hell. And there's some backstory into Pinhead's history. With that said... quite frankly, i'm not sure what exactly is going on in this book, nor what the intention was for this story. On the plus side, the artwork is decent & considering most of this story involves cenobites, there's plenty of new, interesting characters lurking within these pages. Not my cup of tea. I'd rather sit thru Inferno again. -rg.
       
Psycho movie adaption - Norman Bates comic books
The Psycho comic book was a 3 issue series, adapted from the movie by Felipe Echevarria, Vickie Williams, & Matt Thompson. The painting art style thru-out all 3 books is beautiful. The Alfred Hitchcock movie was adapted from the novel 'Psycho' by Robert Bloch, but much like any book to film adaption, some changes were made. Most notably, the appearance of Norman Bates himself, whom in the book was older, balding & over-weight. It seems this adaption is an exact copy of the Hitchcock film, right down to the camera angles & actor likenesses... with the exception of Norman Bates, whom appears as he is described in the original book. Now, i think the greatest thing about the movie is the beautiful, touching & creepy performance given by the late, great Anthony Perkins. So, why adapt the movie, and change only the Anthony Perkins version of Norman Bates? Well, recently artist Felipe Echevarria wrote in to Icons Of Fright to explain the change & put my mind to rest on the subject since the book's release. "Regarding Anthony Perkins not being in the Psycho comics adaptation—Universal Studios found half way through the project that Perkins did not want to have is likeness portrayed in the comic book. We were told he was not happy with being known as Norman Bates, and wanted nothing more to do with the role. I was forced to repaint half of the series and choose a model instead of using his likeness." Special thanks to Felipe Echevarria for writing into Icons Of Fright. -rg.
     
John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles