One-shot works well


While I enjoyed the last story arc of the ongoing Army of Darkness series, Dynamite Entertainment saw fit to release a one-shot story that sends Ash south of the border to fight Aztec demons, deal with butt jokes, and save the damsel in distress, or this dress, or state of undress…take your pick.  True one shot stories are rare these days (unless you have Paul Dini writing Detective Comics), so seeing Dynamite Entertainment whip one of these out is a nice treat.

armyofdarkness18cover.jpgThis issue: College co-eds on a spring break trip down Mexico way, are dead set on exploring some forbidden caves in order to get extra credit and pass a college course.  There’s the Spoiled Rich Dude, the Dumb and Gullible Hot Girl, and the Brainy and Busty Blond Girl.  Tagging along is the Young Guide Child, and warning of the immanent danger is the Crazy Old Dude.  It’s a perfect setup to adventure, and it doesn’t take but a few pages before an ancient inscription is read and the great Montezuma is back for revenge.

Before you can say, “Hail to the King, Baby!” the Crazy Old Dude has cast a spell to summon forth the chosen one (Ash, in case you haven’t guessed) to put the kibosh on Montezuma’s plan.  Ash is in full glory here, tripping back to what looks like the days (and mindset) before his jump across the multiverse, before he fought zombies in Marvel land, and before the general feel of the series turned into a dark slasher film.  There’s a reason for this too, but you have to wait until the end of the issue to find out why.

As Ash and his remaining companions make their way to the sacrificial alter, the man with a boom stick and a chainsaw for a hand must fight his way through an army of giant scorpions, travel down a bone bridge, and crack wise, until he’s face to face with the man who was drowned with molten gold.

There are some humorous moments in the issue to be sure, and a lot of sophomoric humor in the form of the destination for the college co-eds (a mountain range called Buttocks of the Gods), and that’s what keeps Army of Darkness fun, and is sure to cause a few eyes to roll.   I keep waiting for commercial breaks in the issue with Gilbert Gottfried popping up with some lame filler comedy segment while waiting to get back to the movie.

But i digress…

With the really bad jokes aside, including the diarrhea ending (literally), this issue really cleansed the palette (so to speak) and has me genuinely interested in this series continuing in the same fast and furious manner as the original movies.  My challenge to those writing Army of Darkness in the future is to have fun with Ash and the land that he’s been dropped into.

As you can tell I’m really digging what Elliot Serrano did with this issue, and joining him on the journey is Dave Simons, who provided the art for the issue.  Girls in tight shorts and thongs seem to be the flavor of the day in this issue.  It is completely played up for laughs, and works in a way that a cheap B-movie teases you with the sex, and plays the horror up for a cheap jump in your seat.

If there was ever going to be a real sequel to the Evil Dead movies, this would be the story on the top of the pile to be adapted into the next Bruce Campbell vehicle.  Army of Darkness #18 is a fun ride, good for a couple laughs, and is completely done in one. More and more, I’m liking the done in one format, and wish more publishers would give the this story telling method another shot.  If you are looking for a quick read, and you have fond memories of the original Evil Dead movies, pick up Army of Darkness #18, it’s worth the read, and the 4 star rating.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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