Evil Dead II is the first movie I can remember seeing that mixed comedy and horror. I remember watching it and at the time feeling this sense of not everyone is going to get this movie,it’s special. A sarcastic jackass as the hero, demons with a sense of humor, love that doesn’t work out in the end, lots of fake blood, and bad special effects. It was the perfect storm of entertainment for me. Any nerd around today probably has a warm spot in their heart for Bruce Campbell because of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead stories.
When The Nerd asked one of us to review Dynamite Entertainment’s volume 3 Army of Darkness issue #1 written by Elliott R. Serrano, I jumped at the chance. An opportunity to relive a favorite midnight feature in comic form was not something I could pass up.
I started reading and a page or two into the story I thought, wait, this looks familiar. I could hear Campbell’s sarcastic voice in the introductions. However, a few panels in I started thinking, wait, this is not Ash…that’s Ash’s SMART-STOP vest but those are not Ash’s boobs. Wait, boobs? No, it is not the Ash we know and love narrating the story. Bruce Campbell’s voice instantly disappeared from my head in a flash of confusion.
There is a new Ash lost in time and space. She too is missing a hand but that’s a whole different story. One that involves a lesson in why you should never go looking for that falling star, meteor, comet, streak of light, etc. flying through the sky that landed. And she can do things that our Ash couldn’t with the stump of her wrist that remains. What kind of powers does she have and why does she have mystical powers?
This new she-Ash may be pretty and missing the boomstick and chainsaw, but she has a mouth, attitude, and a brain on her that our beloved he-Ash would be envious of. In what is my favorite scene in the twenty odd pages, She-Ash has an unforgettable encounter with Cleopatra and some Saturday Night Live land shark humor. I am actually more than impressed at the amount of fun packed into this comic book. Could it turn feminism on its head? Not quite, but short, derriere skimming dress-clad she-Ash could be more of a feminist icon to readers than her outfit would suggest.
Our beloved well chinned he-Ash that we know and love only shows up at the end and it is just his image. I thought I would be more disappointed at his absence, but she-Ash held her own. The story line hints that there are may be more than Ashes in the universe, “chosen ones.” It seems as if the he and she Ashes may meet in issue #2. Can the same time/place handle more than one Ash? Will she give him some sugar?
Issue #1 is a fun romp and the illustrations gave me the feeling I was watching an animated story unfold thanks to the team of Marat Mychaels’ pencils, inks by Chris Ivy, and colors by Gabriel Belluco. One must also give credit to the letterer Bill Tortolini who offers up some cool fonts on the opening and ending pages. If you are a fan of the Evil Dead franchise, definitely pick this up.