This four issue story arc from Innovation’s 1991 Nightmares on Elm Street series picks up roughly five years after the close of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD. Alice and her young son Jacob are returning to Springwood following her father’s death. Because of her previous experiences with Freddy Krueger while living there, she is understandably anxious to leave again as soon as possible. This sleepy little burg, though, has other plans.
Once upon a time, Springwood was held in terror by the threat of a child killer. Then, years later, he returned as a supernatural force to kill teenagers. Now, someone else is doing Freddy’s dirty work for him, and fifteen youngsters have gone missing or been killed. And Jacob is next on the list.
This someone is a mysterious woman named Devonne, who murdered her abusive parents as a child and has suffered from nightmares ever since. It’s through these nightmares that Krueger reached out to her, and recruited her to do his work in the waking world. After all, he can give her everything that her little heart desires…
Alice and Jacob aren’t the only returning characters here. Fellow survivor Yvonne is here to help Alice fight for Jacob’s life, as well. We also get a comatose Dr. Neil Gordon, who has been in a car accident since we last saw him in issue #2, and currently resides in the Beautiful Dream with Nancy Thompson; Nancy’s father, who has been trapped in the dreamworld since his death; Alice’s former lover (and Jacob’s deceased father) Dan in various forms of reality—including the man-bike hybrid from the nightmare that killed him; and even all of the deceased Dream Warriors (in slightly altered form).
The concept of Freddy utilizing a human agent is reminiscent of aspects of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2, and his interactions with Jesse. That this agent is murdering people of her own volition out of some sick pact made with Krueger, though, is a fascinating spin. Freddy is truly a master manipulator here, promising Devonne love and freedom from her nightmares; promising Nancy’s father a release from his dream prison; promising Jacob to bring his father back to life—all to settle a score with his preeminent Final Girl (whom not even death could destroy, much like Krueger himself) and return to the Real World, where his terror would know no bounds.
Unlike the first two issues, this longer arc feels like a complete storyline—and for the most part, it is pretty damned fantastic (even if the ending was a bit weak, in my opinion). This is truly a worthy successor and continuation of the events of NIGHTMARE 1 and 3-5 (part 2 never seems to get any love in these comics). This easily could’ve been turned into an epic film sequel that I would have forked over good money to see in theaters. Sadly, though, that never happened. At least we’ve got these back issues to hold onto, and in my heart, they are canon.
As with all of the issues, these were written by Andy Mangels. The story is told with traditional comic book illustrations this time around, as opposed to the paintings from the first arc. The team of penciler Patrick Rolo and inker Raymond Kryssing illustrate all four issues, and do pretty decent job at conveying both the waking and dreaming worlds—though it should be noted that as these were published in the 1990s, the characters belong to the Rob Liefeld School of Anatomy and Heroic Poses, and that the women have some of the highest imaginable hairlines.
These were, unfortunately, the last issues of the series published before Innovation Comics went bankrupt. It’s a real shame, too, as there are still countless stories left to be told.