Friday the 13th... The Comic! (Part 2 of 6)

Issue 2

The second issue opens with a dream sequence, as Sally, currently unconscious because of her near-drowning experience, hallucinates that Jason is attacking her. The most interesting thing about this scene is that the Jason that attacks her is clearly the ‘real’ Jason, as defined by the world of the comic.

I’ll explain – up until this point, we’ve had no reason to believe that Sally has any particular familiarity with the details of the Jason legend, nor is there any suggestion that anyone has managed to get photographic evidence of his appearance. Yet, when Jason appears in Sally’s nightmare, it’s the Jason who will actually be chasing her through the woods in two weeks, right down to the machete.

It’s unclear about what exactly this is supposed to mean. Is Jason having some kind of psychic connection with Sally, a la Rennie in VIII? Or is this just an art thing, where the artist had a single model of what Jason should look like, and didn’t want to deviate from it?

All that pondering is made moot quickly as Sally is revived by Mike, who apparently knows CPR. Beardo, being the critical sort, tries to give advice he ‘heard’ about the right way to resuscitate someone. The know-it-all is instantly put in his place, of course, but his fumbling about raises an important question. Does Beardo not know CPR? He’s just taken a job as a counsellor at a summer camp that has a beach. Presumably this means that he’ll be supervising children at a beach, essentially taking on the duties of a lifeguard. I don’t know how things are run in America, but I’ve known lifeguards and camp counsellors, and they all had to know CPR.

Sally’s fine, though, although Beardo worrying about possible brain damage gives Girlfriend yet another chance to insult him. With everyone safe and realtively sound, we’re free to cut away to some gratuitous nudity, which I’m not going to excerpt here, since I’m trying to make this blog as ‘American’ as possible, which means I can be as gory as I want, but no nipples allowed.

The sex scene between Alisha and Rico is interrupted by the appearance of the two stoner losers, who peep in the window creepily to watch the lovemaking. This leads to a scene of Rico chasing the stoners down a path, wearing only a sheet. This leads to the aforementioned hilarious jokes about his enormous genetalia. More interestingly, it leads to a bizarre explanation for his name, as the stoners yell that the crazy ‘spanish’ guy is trying to kill them, only to have Rico respond that he’s Puerto Rican.

Really? Let’s look at the picture of Rico and Alisha again:

Is the colourist as fault here? I mean, I’m no expert in racitalogical dermitinistics(*4), but they have the exact same skin tone, and it’s darker than I’d normally associate with Puerto Ricanos. Now, it’s possible that, as a Canadian, I have no idea what I’m talking about and it’s totally normal for Hispanic people to be exactly as dark as Africans, but this seems more like a ‘Wanted’ situation in which, after the art is done, a character’s race is changed by altering nothing other than the dialogue.

Back in the comic, the stoners defend themselves for their sexual perversion by claiming that it was ‘just a joke’. No one in the crowd seems to know that peeping is one of the warning signs that someone will go on to become a violent sexual offender or even serial killer. But hey, this is a pretty dark comic, so perhaps that’s where they’re going. Deciding it’s not worth the trouble, Rico tells the stoners to watch themselves, and then leaves.

Mike and Sally head off together, and Mike begins to put his seduction plan into effect, using the classy move of attempting to leverage the fact that he just saved her life to get into her pants. He’s rebuffed, as Sally claims to have been so traumatized by the fact that her longtime boyfriend just broke up with her that she’s not looking to date anyone else.

Back at the main cabin, Beardo, Jock, Girlfriend and the stoners are playing a game of cards, which somehow gives Beardo and Girlfriend yet another opportunity to fight with one another. It seems that Girlfriend doesn’t approve of Jock and Beardo’s friendship, so she threatens to withold sex if she doesn’t get her way. Then she storms off to check on Sally after the whole ‘almost drowning’ thing.

Outside in the night air, Girlfriend is startled by the sound of rustling in the bushes, although it’s only through her admonishment of her own baseless fear that we’re made aware of the fact – modern comic books aren’t allowed to have sound effects, don’t you know? Down by the dock, though, Girlfriend sees something legitimately scary, the corpses of a dozen decomposed ghost children hovering out of the water:

Girlfriend rushes back to the cabin to ifind help, but the slightly drunken denizens of the building are understandably skeptical about the whole thing. Beardo and Jock are eventually understanding, and everyone heads out to the dock to take a look. Of course, by the time they get there the ghost kids have disappeared. A little fun is made of her, and then Girlfriend announces that she’d rather not stay the night at camp blood. Despite this being an entirely reasonable reaction, the stoners continue to mock her, and then Mike convinces her to ignore her misgivings.

Next we take a look in Sally’s Cabin, where the sole survivor is doing some drawing in a spiral sketchpad, perhaps to make us see some connection between her and the character Alice from Friday the 13th, who shared a similar avocation. Then she heads into the bathroom for the obligatory ‘villain hovering behind her in the mirror’ shot:

That’s right! The villain stalking Sally isn’t Jason at all, but rather Beardo! I wonder where this will lead… Sally proves to have issues of her own, as she spends the next few panels freaking out in her room as someone (presumably Beardo, but hey, who knows?) watches her from outside the window.

Then it’s back to the dock, where the stoners are laying about, getting stoned and rambling about life and chicks is the uninteresting way stoned people tend to do. It doesn’t make for interesting reading, but I’ve really got to applaud the writers for capturing the voice of the two tedious fellows. Luckily, the tedium is ended just a moment later when Jason springs out of the water and murders the two stoners simultaneously, thrusting a butcher’s knife through one’s face, and a barbecue fork through the other’s cheek. That’s right, cheek. It may be a disgusting injury, as you’ll see in a moment, but it doesn’t look at all like a fatal one:

Having killed the stoners, Jason grabs each of them by the face and drags them off into the lake, ending the issue on considerably less of a cliffhanger than last time. The scene does give us our first major continuity error of the issue. You’ll note in the following picture that Jason seems to be standing at the end of the dock:

Given that the end of the dock must be nearly thrity feet from the beach, it would have to be an incredibly shallow lake for the water to be waist high where Jason is located. Add to this the fact that we’ve seen Jock fully swimming in that same water at the end of issue 1:

Jason’s tall, but he’s not that tall. Unless the authors are suggesting that he has faulty Jesus-style water-walking powers, which allow him to walk on the layer of water three feet below the surface. It’s a little difficult to judge intentions here. Especially when this issue raises a much bigger question. Not ‘Why did it take Jason two issues to show up and kill someone?’ Considering the fact that it’s a six-issue run, this puts the appearance at the end of the first act, which is actually pretty standard for the series, barring the teaser kill, which this comic did not feature.

No, the question I’m talking about is just what is the connection between Jason and those dead children in the lake? Back in issue 1, the ghost children physically attacked Sally, causing her to have a vision of Jason. This time the ghost children appeared as a vision, directly preceding a physical attack by Jason. Now, we know that Jason doesn’t kill children, so these couldn’t be his victims. And it’s not like Jason actually drowned in Crystal Lake, so these couldn’t be other drowned children that feel some sort of kinship with him, could they? I suppose only time, and the next issue, will tell.

On to the next issue!

(*4 – The quack Victorian science of determining a person’s ancestry by examining their skin pigmentation.)

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