Monday, September 1, 2014

Ash & the Army of Darkness

Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy of horror films with a comedic air to them have become cult classics.  Dynamite Comics has now extended the franchise with a  monthly comic book series titled "Ash and the Army of Darkness" which follows the films' main character through adventures that are a continuation of the 1992 film Evil Dead 3.  The fun of these movies is that Ash Williams, played by Bruce Campbell, truly believes that he is an invincible hero when in reality he is a buffoon that gets out of a lot of jams through foolish luck.  Dynamite Comics does an excellent job of capturing this element of the movies to give readers of the series a good chuckle and the feeling they are watching a sequel to these films.  If you are a fan of the Evil Dead movies, you'll enjoy these comic books.

Dynamite Comics has collected the first eight issues of Ash and the Army of Darkness in a hard cover book that will be available on October 21st at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and your local comic book shop.  The story begins where Evil Dead 3 left off, Ash finds himself battling Deadites from the last scene of the film who have ambushed him and his co-workers at the S-Mart where he had resumed working at upon returning to the modern day after his time traveling adventures to the era of King Arthur.  After dispatching the demons out to swallow his soul, Ash walks out of the store to witness that the S-Mart has been transported back to King Arthur's time.  Frighteningly the building is sitting in the middle of a medieval battlefield where a human army has been massacred by the Deadite bad guys.  Ash discovers that the wiseman who he left the dangerous Necronomicon to for safe keeping at the end of Evil Dead 3 has been transformed into the leader of the Army of Darkness.  New adventures ensue as Ash must rescue the girl, save the kingdom and look for a way to get transported back to his own time period.

Ash and the Army of Darkness does a nice job of connecting its stories and artwork to the movies so that it provides a great Evil Dead vibe to readers.  The negative flip side of that coin though is that much of the material is regurgitated from the films and lacks originality. Of course that point may be moot because if you realize this you are most likely a fan of the movies who won't mind. It should be possible to recreate the cheesy goodness of the Evil Dead films though without it being a retelling of the same scenarios over and over again so in this regard this comic book series is slightly lacking.  The artwork is OK and compliments the story telling but it doesn't stand out enough that I'd purchase the comics based upon an appreciation of its imagery.

If you are a fan of the Evil Dead movies, I'd highly recommend picking up this book or starting to read the monthly series.  On the other hand if you are someone who enjoys these movies only if you come across them on a Saturday afternoon while flipping through the cable channels I'd probably pass on this comic.  This is a comic that you have to have a particular taste for its style to really enjoy but if it is your thing you shouldn't miss out on this dark comedic take on horror flicks.

For more information about the EVIL DEAD movies CLICK HERE.
For more information about the Dynamite Comics series CLICK HERE.

Disclaimer: I received temporary access to a digital pdf of "Ash and the Army of Darkness" from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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