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A Nightmare on Elm Street: Paranoid #2

Posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2006
By: Michael Aronson



"Paranoid"

Writer: Brian Pulido
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp

Publisher: Avatar Press


Plot: After the death of her friend, Claire continues to try to convince her surviving friends of the conspiracy on the part of the adults of Springwood to drug them. Freddy continues picking off her friends one by one before making a play to get all of the teenagers to believe in him again, so he can regain the power he lost.

Commentary: I am a huge fan of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of films. Not all of them, mind you. They started to go down hill around number four, and by six it was just a whole lotta silliness. New Nightmare doesn't really count because it is set apart from the previous six, but it was still an awesome movie. I never had the chance to read the Innovation Nightmare series, nor the Topps Comics books, so I made an effort to get the Avatar comics when I saw them listed in Previews.

Now I wished I hadn't bothered.

Don't get me wrong, Brian Pulido hasn't butchered Freddy. He obviously likes the character enough to produce comic books about him, but at the same time I think there is something wrong with the story he is telling.

What I enjoy about the movies (and Freddy vs. Jason really nailed this) is that creepy feeling I get watching the dream sequences unfold. Jason is a pretty simple horror figure, as is Michael Myers. They come after you, and they kill everything that gets in the way of their agenda. Freddy's different. He gets into the head of his victim and messes with them using their hopes, dreams and fears. This is set against the back drop of a small group of characters, usually led by a young yet strong willed woman, who are paying for the sins committed by their parents. As the movies progressed, Freddy had lost some of his power, and this culminated in Freddy vs. Jason, where he tried to use Jason to get the kids to believe in him again.

As much as this worked for that film, I think it was played out by the end. Pulido obviously disagrees and is taking that as his springboard for this story. He even brought in Hypnocil, which was a plot device that first appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, where you can see Patricia Arquette and Laurence Fishburne before they started talking to dead people or offering people pills. The conspiracy angle is fine, but the extent to which Pulido is pushing this is a huge turn off for me. All of Pulido's decisions are perfectly valid, but I just don't agree with the direction.

In The End: It occurs to me that Brian Pulido is attempting to attract readers by utilizing the most recent version of the character. I can't fault him for that. I fully admit that the reasons I'm not enjoying this book can be traced to the fact that this isn't the Freddy story I wanted to read. Pulido knows horror comics and there were some fun bits of business in this issue, but not enough to make me a happy reader. The art is a tad ugly, but it serves the story well. I'm glad this series is only three issues long and the last chapter may surprise the heck out of me, but for right now, my reaction to this series is lukewarm at best.



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