"Would you think I was crazy if I told you I saw someone murdered in a dream?"
Poor Dean is trapped, working one double shift after another at Springwood's Burger Heaven franchise location. He has become so fatigued by overwork that he has started nodding off on the job. While asleep he is plagued by terrible nightmares about working long, brutal shifts at Burger Heaven. Only in his dreams Dean's manager is some sadistic creep named Mr. Krueger.
And it's over. Wildstorm's A Nightmare on Elm Street comic book series comes to a close with a weird, wacky and suitably surreal attack from the genre's favorite "Bastard Son of a Hundred Maniacs".
I think just about everyone can relate to Dean's employment plight. There is not a person with any kind of work history that does not have at least one Job From Hell on his or her resume and, at one point or another, we all suffer a bad dream about some nightmarish day at work.
Double Shift nicely exploits those easy to relate to experiences and anxieties, which gives some interesting twists to the traditional Freddy Krueger story that is unfolding around Dean. During his nightmares Dean sees Krueger's victims (all nicely anonymous) being prepared in the Burger Heaven kitchen. Freddy is clearly enjoying the change of scenery that Dean's dreams allow him. He also performs his duties as Boss From Hell with great relish.
But as much of a Boss From Hell as he is, Freddy is a far better boss than Dean's waking life one. At least Freddy remembers Dean's name. In a really nice touch, Dean's waking boss calls "the boy" in to have a conversation regarding job performance, but the man doesn't even listen to what Dean is actually saying. That odd and almost surreal conversation only adds to the surreal nature that bleeds into the story and blurs the line between dream and reality until, by the end, it becomes invisible.
Which brings me to the story's ending.
Anybody that wants to read an A Nightmare on Elm Street comic book will already know Dean's tragic fate long before he or she has even finished reading the story's first panel. With a franchise like Elm Street, it really isn't about originality. It's all about the presentation. Writer Chuck Dixon (aided nicely by Kevin West and Bob Almond) not only serves up a nice and nasty Bucket of Grue at the story's end, but does so with an interesting flourish. One that makes for a tasty final meal on Elm Street.