Collecting Freddy Krueger's Key Comics

Collecting Freddy Krueger's Key Comics

BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME

IG@matt.tuck.writer

FB@ The Comic Blog

Dust off your old Freddy Krueger comics because he is poised to make another splash, and there’s even talk of A Nightmare on Elm Street getting an HBO Max series.

A HORROR REVOLUTION

When Stranger Things’ first season dominated streaming in 2016, it sparked a renewed interest in classic horror franchises. Soon after, a new generation of viewers were discovering the inspiration behind their new favorite show. That inevitably led to Michael Myers getting a fresh lease on life with 2018’s Halloween followed by the profitable sequel Halloween Kills, and the third installment slated for October, Halloween Ends

Once movie studios saw dollar signs over those old properties, they began dusting off other franchises. Bruce Campbell returned to his roots in 2015 with the streaming series, Ash Versus the Evil Dead, and now there’s also a new movie on the way later this year, Evil Dead Rise. Meanwhile, Netflix tried its hand with a rebooted The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though it didn’t go over as well as the producers would have hoped.

Stranger Things’ creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, have been open about their love for all things ‘80s pop culture as well as Stephen King’s brand of horror. Banking on the nostalgia, IT was given a two-part reboot beginning in 2017, which happened to star ST alum Finn Wolfhard.

No doubt, all the love for classic horror will lead to other franchises getting the reboot treatment.

FREDDY’S BACK

When it comes to bringing back horror franchises, the clear favorite has to be A Nightmare on Elm Street. This season’s Stranger Things is meant as a tribute to one of the most famous horror films of the ‘80s. In true Krueger fashion, the show’s monstrous villain, Vecna, invades teen minds, feeding on their fear and tormenting them with guilt-laden visions. 

What takes the Freddy love to a higher level is Robert Englund. The original Freddy actor makes a cameo as ST 4’s Victor Creel, who has a Hannibal Lecter-style scene from a dungeon-like mental hospital. Although his time in the first half of ST 4 was brief, Englund delivered a solid performance that could have movie studios taking a second look at the actor.

With the momentum from Stranger Things, now is the time for Englund to return as Freddy for another round of nightmares, and that could possibly be in the works.

ANOTHER NIGHTMARE REBOOT

Horror restarts have been en vogue for the past couple of decades. Jason Vorhees was dug up for 2009’s Friday the 13th. A year later, Jackie Earle Haley, whom you might remember as Rorschach in Watchmen, took up the fedora and knife fingers to play Freddy Krueger for a new generation. Unfortunately, neither movie laid the groundwork for box office success, and both films were mostly forgotten in short order. 

With characters as famous as Freddy and Jason, there’s always money to be made with their intellectual properties. How many green-and-red striped sweaters and hockey masks do you see each and every Halloween? These are monsters that will endure for generations, much like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and movie studios are still profiting from those characters’ legacies. 

The word on the internet has been that Freddy Krueger would be getting yet another reboot. The original idea was that he would return in another movie, though that seems to have stalled after the Nightmare IP fell back to the Wes Craven estate in 2019, meaning a new round of negotiations is in order. That has effectively put a new movie on hold for the time being.

There is another rumor that is quite interesting. If the gossip is to be believed, HBO Max is in talks to revive A Nightmare on Elm Street as a streaming series. That will inspire visions of the cult classic Freddy’s Nightmares, a low-budget anthology show that ran on syndication in 1988. Although some chapters featured Freddy, the horror icon served more as the show’s host, a la the Crypt Keeper. 

HBO Max has been firing on all cylinders, and it has quickly become a giant among the streaming services. HBO has long held the reputation of making quality movies and series, and the Max streaming brand has produced true gems, like Watchmen and Peacemaker. This would be the appropriate landing spot for the next iteration of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Under the HBO Max banner, it could delve further into Freddy’s origins, hopefully upgrading the story from the dismal Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare

THE KEYS

In the world of collecting, it all comes down to those key issues. With ST 4 putting the spotlight on Freddy Krueger, it should lead hobbyists down the friendly confines of Elm Street. Although the dream slasher is a pop culture icon, he has never had a major presence in comic books. What you may not realize is that he doesn’t have plenty of key issues that could be worth your while. Take a look.

FRIGHT #3

One of the more underrated keys on the list is 1988’s magazine, Fright #3. By this point, Nightmare had four movies under its belt as well as the syndicated series. The magazine with the comic-inspired cover was meant as a promotion for the fourth movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master, and it also had three mini horror stories as well.

Although this doesn’t feature an original Freddy story, the primary selling point is the cover, and it is classic Krueger. In April, a graded 9.2 sold for $114. There hasn’t been a 9.8 to sell online since 2019 when one copy brought $120.

FREDDY KRUEGER’S A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET #1

This is a much more popular item, and for good reason. 

Fright #3 may have been Freddy’s first cover appearance, he wasn’t in an actual story. A year later, Marvel Comics would publish the first of two proper comic books that tied into the original movie. Between Freddy being on the cover and this being his first traditional comic, it has become the collectible of choice for A Nightmare on Elm Street fans.

On the top end, the graded 9.8 has been earning a premium for the past year. In 2021, it sold for a record $412. Prices have been staying in the $400 neighborhood in 2022. Although there have only been two 9.8s to sell online this year, the first brought $391 in March while an April sale netted $386.

If you just happen to be a fan wanting a copy, don’t fret over those prices. Most raw copies have been selling for around $30-$40 as of late. The last copy advertised as near mint only earned $54.99.

FREDDY KRUEGER’S A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET #2

Certainly, the top collecting prize is the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the second issue has been earning a three-figure price tag of its own. In July 2021, a 9.8 sold for $255. The only grade to sell this year has been the 9.6, which happened to earn $130 in April.

Again, lean toward the raw copies to save some money. The higher grades have been staying in the $45 range as of late.

FREDDY VS ASH VS JASON #1

The MCU has made franchise crossovers huge big screen successes, and we’ve already touched on those horror reboots. What’s to say we won’t see Freddy cross into other horror franchises? 

It isn’t lauded as a great film, but fans generally enjoyed Freddy Vs. Jason. These days, comedy is all the rage, and injecting a new character into the mix could drive movie ticket sales. That should have you taking a second look at Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash #1.

For comic fans, franchise crossovers have been serious business for decades. From Aliens Versus Predator and Terminator/Robocop, fantasy movie matchups are every sci-fi and horror fans’ dream. Thanks to comic books, we have seen some interesting combinations that aren’t likely to take place on the silver screen. In 2008, DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint published a story with three of the most famous faces in horror: Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, and The Evil Dead’s Ash Williams. 

As far as collecting, the first print is a fairly cheap find. The 9.8 generally sells for close to $50. The better copy to have is the second print. Two years ago, a graded 9.8 sold for a record $216. So far this year, two more 9.8s have traded hands, each for $130.

NEW LINE CINEMA’S TALES OF HORROR #1

In 2007, New Line Cinema published an anthology comic series, and they banked on name recognition to help move the sales needle. Although the two characters didn’t interact, this was the first time that Freddy and another horror icon, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, were featured on the same cover. Putting those two together for the first time was a dream for horror fans, though it would have been better if they had interacted. Still, that could be coming since there is money in crossovers.

This may not be a major key issue by any means, but it’s a great addition for horror fans. The last time a graded 9.8 swapped owners online, it earned just $17 in 2021. You can't get a comic graded for that cheap. 

RICK AND MORTY #5

Just for fun, let’s toss in the best Freddy parody, Scary Terry. Armed with a crude catchphrase that lives on to this day, Scary Terry had tiny swords for fingers and sported a fashionable green sweater with blue stripes. Totally not infringing on any copyrights, Terry chased Rick and Morty through the Inception parody from season one, “The Lawnmower Dog.” What made the episode better was seeing Scary Terry live a normal, suburban life with his wife and son, Scary Brandon. 

I don’t foresee there being a future scramble for Scary Terry comics, but it’s a fun addition to your Freddy collection. Keep in mind, Rick and Morty comics are highly collectible, and this issue features the first appearances of Birdperson and Squanchy as well as Terry. That has helped the graded 9.8 earn $150 in the past month. 

WHAT NIGHTMARES MAY COME

Just like Freddy, the Nightmare franchise will never truly die. It may lie dormant, but just when you think it’s safe to fall asleep, that clawed hand snares you. This could be just the beginning of an Elm Street revival. If there is a movie or series reboot in the works, it could elevate all those key issues you’ve been hoarding.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.


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