"Army of Darkness #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Larry Watts
2014, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 4th, 2014
For a guy that works a basic job in retail, Ash Williams sure gets around. He's fought all kinds of evil throughout time, lost a hand, and wooed some ladies. In the relaunch of Army of Darkness from Dynamite Entertainment, he's taking the fight to the Deadites higher than ever...in space. That's right, folks. Ash Williams in outer space. It's just as kooky and fun as it sounds.
Writer Cullen Bunn provides a quick recap for those unfamiliar with the character or the Evil Dead films. Those three pages give you all you need to know about why and how Ash ended up in space. Yes, it's a bit weird thinking that he can just sneak his way onto a space shuttle without getting noticed, not to mention surviving lift off without having an actual seat, but you have to kind of go with it. If you're picking up this book, I doubt it's for its scientific accuracy. Let's be real here. You want to see Bruce Campbell shoot a bunch of Deadites.
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And boy, does Army of Darkness deliver that in spades. It's one thing to have Ash tear through Deadites on the ground, but you haven't seen anything until he does it in zero gravity. Armed with his trusty chainsaw and shotgun, he hacks, slashes, and blasts his way through a group of those suckers in spacesuits, with blood flying everywhere. Ever wondered what a decapitation would look like in space? Well, wonder no longer because artist Larry Watts has provided that particular visual and more. The action makes up a huge chunk of this issue and Watts delivers some gorgeous artwork depicting great fight scenes.
Ash is shown as the cartoonish version of Bruce Campbell that I see in my head when I picture the character. He's almost always got a smirk on his face, even when he's charging into battle. He's filled with confidence and a never-say-die attitude, especially when it comes to the Deadites. He's the Chosen One and he's not going to take that responsibility lightly. This swagger is seen clearly in Watts' design for the character.
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One really cool aspect of this book is that Bunn seems to be bringing the Necronomicon threat to the modern age. I'm not going to go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but the threat of this book is not just the paper what's written on it. There are many more dangers involved when you take that text into the present and the technology currently available. This is one part of the story that I'm really interested in.
This is a comic relaunch I can get behind. It takes a great character and sends him to a place he does not belong, but skips over the tired "fish out of water" idea, instead focusing on the ridiculousness of the situation and playing it up to great effect. It pokes fun at the sci-fi genre, while also paying homage to it. Army of Darkness is an all-around fun comic that delivers laughs, scares, and a hint of nostalgia.
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