Jason vs Leatherface: a true bromance

Because I’m getting impatient waiting for the next instalment of Freddy vs Jason vs Ash: Nightmare Warriors, it’s time to delve back into the longbox in search of a good, gory horror fix.

Unfortunately, Jason vs Leatherface is not particularly good, gory or horrific. The plot is as pedestrian as you could possibly get. A Corporate Bastard dredges up Crystal Lake and, for some unclear reason, ships the water therein out to Texas. Because one Jason Voorhees is chained up at the bottom of the lake, he ends up in Texas too.

Wandering around backwoods Hicksville, Jason happens across (the first Chainsaw Massacre’s) Hitchhiker and Leatherface. There’s a brief, slightly shit scuffle; then Jason and Leatherface connect, assumedly because of their shared retardedness.

And so Jason and Leatherface become playmates. Jason goes back to the Slaughter (more on that later) household for a cute little slasher sleepover. And, at first, things go swimmingly. Jason becomes a temporary member of the Slaughter (*shudders*) family, sharing (but not eating) meals, and helping Hitchhiker and Leatherface make their kills.

But alas & alack, Jason can only stay placid for so long. After a disagreement with Hitchhiker, he tries to kill the annoying little runt. Leatherface steps up to defend his brother, and the two ex-friends finally get down to the main event.

Needless to say, Jason vs Leatherface is non-canonical. There’s a bunch of things writer Nancy Collins got completely wrong; for example, naming Leatherface’s family ‘The Slaughters’. Likewise, Pamela Voorhees is here re-named ‘Doris’, and there’s a silly little domestic violence subplot featured in a flashback. Thankfully, the main characters are captured faithfully enough. They're in pre-remake mode (think Jason from Goes to Hell and original-TCM Leatherface) and are actually surprisingly sympathetic. Aw shucks, their friendship might just be the cutest thing I’ve read since We3. Jason vs Leatherface is the original bromance.

But then, the art is far too colourful and cartoon-like to be effective anyway. It’s a light-hearted story, but Jeff Butler’s perky visuals would be better suited to an issue of The Beano or Dandy. It’s a shame, because Simon Bisley’s cover art is beautiful, and really plays up the comic grotesquerie of the characters. I’d have loved to see the whole comic illustrated by Bisley, and think that it could have really improved the flawed script. As it happens, Butler’s art really enhances the story’s problems, and really lets down the comic for me. (With that in mind, art is subjective; others absolutely love the artwork… if you’re of that mindset, Jason vs Leatherface will be a massively improved read).

And now onto the meat of the review. The big match itself. For a good example of how to do a comic-book crossover well, go read Batman vs Predator or the Batman/Judge Dredd books. Jason vs Leatherface? Not so much. The ‘vs’ aspect lasts a paltry four pages. By no mean coincidence, it’s the best bit in the whole miniseries.

It could be worse, though. Jason vs Leatherface still isn’t the worst Jason comic by far. For that dubious delight, go seek out the three-issue adaptation of Jason Goes to Hell. Then burn the fucker and read something by Wildstorm Comics instead.

2/5 screaming Scream Queens!!

No comments:

Post a Comment