Friday the 13th... The Comic! (Part 4 of 6)

Issue 4

The issue kicks off another great image, which not only serves to set a great mood, but also remind me just how big proper oars are. My only real boating experience is with canoes and their rather modest paddles. Those rowing deals are something else, huh?

The actual story of the issue resumes just where it left off, with Sally, Girlfriend and Jock (the secret gay!) gathered in the main cabin while Jason looms ominously outside. Unfortunately, the outdoors aren’t well lit, and the lightning has dies down, so no one else is able to see Jason. This leads Girlfriend to announce that she thinks it’s safe to go and gather Rico and Alisha, then all drive into town together. Not some much to get away from the murderer as to escape the awkwardness of her secretly gay boyfriend.

Amazingly, walking off into the darkness doesn’t get her instantly killed, which leaves Sally and Ryan to go check on Ryan’s car to grab his cell phone and call for help. On the way there, we’re exposed to the comic’s utterly cinematic depiction of nighttime rainstorms in the country:

This is a fairly… optimistic… view of what it’s like being away from the city during a nighttime rainstorm. I know it’s necessary for storytelling purposes to be able to see the characters clearly, but I’ve always wanted to see a movie that demonstrated the heart-stoppingly terrifying blackness that exists out in the woods when you’re robbed of the moon and stars.

As they check out the inevitably-disabled jeep, Jock asks Sally whether or not she’s been taking her medication, which does a pretty good job of explaining why people don’t immediately believe her claims about there being a killer in the woods. It also goes a long way towards explaining her freak-out way back in issue two. Of course, the doubt becomes moot a moment later, when the stoners’ severed, waterlogged heads turn up in the jeep’s front seat. If that wasn’t disgusting enough, Sally winds up vomiting on the severed heads – yet another image I’m going to be sparing you, gentle readers.

Naturally, since this is a slasher story taking place after the year 1996, they take a moment to explain that Jock’s cell phone has been stolen by Jason. I wonder if they’ll explain where everyone else’s cell phones have gotten to? Rico, Alisha, and Girlfriend come running up, and they all spend the next four pages debating what to do next.

Some highlights:

- More gay jokes.
- Rico thinks they should all leave together on foot.
- Jock thinks they should barricade themselves in till morning.
- Sally thinks that won’t help, because what’s stopping Jason from killing people in broad daylight?(*6)
- Alisha questions whether one of them might be the killer, but the idea is dismissed immediately.

The one main point made justifying their idea is when Rico points out that in every slasher movie he’s ever seen it’s the person running off on their own who gets killed first, and that the slasher never attacks a group. Rico seems oddly unfamiliar with the two basic kinds of slasher films, or as I call it, the stalk/siege divide. Or, if you prefer to attach to premises to movies, the Halloween/Alien divide.

Since most of them are alive, they’re clearly in a siege movie, and in those, people generally do stick together, but wind up getting killed anyways (you can see ‘I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’ for an example of this. Or better yet, just take my word for it). The one thing that’s never really tried is everyone just walking away from the bad place in a group – operating with the understanding that even if the killer jumps out at them, he’ll only be able to kill one, while the rest can get away successfully. It’s not doing this and trying to sit tight that gets people killed in siege situations, such as Steven King’s ‘The Raft’. Of course, in most siege stories, the writer will put some kind of an obstacle in the characters’ path to keep them from just taking this option, like the destroyed bridge in Evil Dead 2, or the fact that they’re on a space ship in Alien.

So even though there’s no sane reason not to just walk out, they decide to barricade the main cabin, while Jock goes to look for Beardo, who stormed off before finding out about Jason. This leads to yet another gay joke, which is thankfully answered by an elbow to Rico’s nose.

Jock tracks Beardo down at one of the cabins, which leads to a conversation about their relationship, and Beardo’s emotional conflict about being a closeted gay, as compared to Jock’s seeming comfort with pretending to be straight in public. Yes, that conversation actually occurs while Jason’s running around, getting ready to kill everyone. Jock is unable to convince Beardo to come back to the cabin with Jock, because he can’t take everyone’s judgemental, accusing eyes on him. So basically he’s choosing to die rather than deal with awkwardness. He even pulls the ‘if you cared about me, you’d stay here’ ploy with Jock.

You know, this sudden gayness reveal has me confused about one thing – what was going on with Beardo stalking Sally? Before it was explained away as him having a pathetic crush on her, but now what did all that mean? Hopefully we’ll discover soon enough.

Then it’s back to the cabin, where Sally realizes that she won’t make it to morning without her medication, so she wants to head back to her cabin to get them. Of course, this is crazy, but she insists on going. The only thing stupider is Rico’s idea of taking some Crystal Meth to calm down. Of course, since it’s crystal meth, it’s actually going to put everyone already in a life or death struggle even farther on edge, so as plans go, it’s singularly awful. Not unlike the person who sees that the boat is sinking, and decides that the most important things to save before jumping into the water are the iron diving weights.

Over in Beardo’s cabin, the relationship drama drags on, as Beardo throws a hissy fit and tells Jock to leave. Jock does, then Beardo stares ominously at his reflection in a carving knife:

Seriously, what’s going on with that guy?

In her own cabin, Sally desperately searches for her drugs, but when she finds the bottle in the bathroom, it’s empty! Also, the drug she’s taking, ‘Lamistral’, doesn’t seem to exist. That pronouncement is based on a google search, though, so who knows? Sally’s problem goes a little beyond the unreliability of internet search engines, as someone has dumped her pills out into the toilet and urinated on them.

As if that weren’t disgusting enough, Sally figures her need for the pill is desperate enough to justify scooping one out of the toilet and then taking it immediately without bothering to even rinse it off in the sink.

Yes, Sally would be having an awful day even if Jason didn’t pick that exact moment to appear over Sally’s shoulder, in yet another fantastic rendering of the character by the artists:

Jason attacks with the knife and Sally defends herself with the lid off the toilet’s cistern. The fight is quick, brutal, and ends with Sally killing Jason, smashing his head in with the porceline bludgeon until brains are spilled all over the floor.

No, once again, you didn’t read that wrong. As the issue ends, Sally reaches down and lifts off Jason’s mask, uncovering a secret so terrible that it won’t be revealed until next issue!

Since the real Jason obviously isn’t dead (remember that first issue), this ending is a bit of a puzzler. The exposed brain certainly isn’t the sort of thing that Jason’s going to be bouncing back from, though, which once again raises the possibility of a copycat. Although just how a copycat would have wound up in Jason’s exact costume is yet another puzzler. More importantly, who could it be in the costume? None of our main cast members have had time to put on an elaborate getup since we last saw them, and the only secondary cast members are the man who’s starting the camp, and the Crazy Ralph replacement, neither of whom have had enough character development to make revealing them as a copycat killer make the slightest bit of sense.

For that matter, who defiled Sally’s pills? That’s not Jason’s style either…

There had better be an awful lot of answers next time around.

Now for Part 5!

(*6 FJF – Actually, he basically hasn’t. With the exception of the Cop in Part 2, Survivalists in Jason Lives, and the Hitchhiker in Final Chapter, Jason has restricted his killing exclusively to nighttime. Except for Jason X, because, as we all know, it’s always Day in space.)

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