Perhaps you don't remember, or simply weren't alive at the time, but Marvel Comics caught A Nightmare on Elm Street fever back in 1989, five years after the original movie came out. And they embarked on a magazine-style comic book that revolved around dream demon Freddy Krueger. The series didn't last very long at just two issues. Now, the unreleased cover art of the canceled third issue has been unveiled by artist Joe Jusko.
The comic book series introduced the new character of Dr. Juliann Quinn. A psychiatrist, she set out to investigate the nightmare epidemic that had run rampant through Springwood, inflicting the local teenagers. She teams with a young woman almost killed by Freddy Krueger named Allison Hayes. The two set out to eradicate the killer, and end his run of terror once and for all.
The comic book was presented in black and white, and featuring quite a few striking images that are adored by hardcore fans who remember buying the comic when it first came out three decades ago. But Marvel canceled the book early in its run for fear of pressure from anti-violence advocacy groups that were targeting the company at the time. Here's what writer Steve Gerber had to say about the cancelation back in 1990.
"A note on the why's and wherefore's of the magazine's cancellation...According to my best information, Marvel cancelled the book in anticipation of pressure from the various anti-violence advocate groups. A few weeks prior to the release of the first Nightmare, there had been an article published in the New York Times decrying the level of violence in comic books. Apparently, that article, along with the picketing that took place outside theatres showing Nightmare 5 in Los Angeles and elsewhere, was enough to make Marvel turn tail and run for cover. Please note that this is DESPITE the fact that the NIGHTMARE magazine carried a "suggested for mature readers" warning and that NO DIRECT PRESSURE had actually been applied on Marvel. The cancellation of NIGHTMARE is a textbook example of the "chilling effect" you hear so much about these days in discussions of free speech. The book was killed not because of it WAS criticized, but because the publishers FEARED it would be criticized. This won't be the last incident of its type, either. The impulse to censor-led by groups on both the left and the right, and fed by the innate cowardice of American business-is growing in this country. It's something that anyone who reads for pleasure or edification ought to be aware of, and prepared to combat. In one of the great ironies of history, we have a situation in which the totalitarian nations of the world are on an inexorable march toward freedom, while their very model, the United States, is moving slowly, but dangerously, in the opposite direction."
Freddy Krueger's A Nightmare on Elm Street issue #1 saw Dr. Juliann Quinn return to her hometown of Springwood, applying her psychiatric skills in an investigation of a most perplexing phenomenon: Many of the town's teenagers suffer from nightmares about deceased child-killer Freddy Krueger, and often die shortly afterward. Soon after her arrival, Dr. Quinn meets the young Allison Hayes, who claims to almost have been killed by Freddy. The two women join together in a bid to destroy Freddy's evil once and for all.
In issue #2, Allison and Dr. Quinn enter the dream world to confront the ghastly Freddy Krueger. But no sooner do they arrive does Freddy find them...And he isn't about to let them go! Within Freddy's nightmare realm, Allison must uncover the secret of her own dream powers to save Dr. Quinn and Springwood's children from the infamous dream killer. There are no plot details for the canceled third issue. But you can access the first two comics in full at NightmareOnElmStreetFilms.com, as well as order the long out of print back issues. You can see all three covers here.