Love is a bitch…
After the last done in one issue of Army of Darkness, any hope of reading another one immediately following seemed low.Â Fortunately, Dynamite Entertainment delivers another self-contained issue that sees our boy Ash getting a little lovinâ€™.
While the prospect of the done in one is tempting, I should point out that this story follows the events that concluded in issue #17, where a mountain springs resort town was infected by the evil of the Necronomicon.Â While Ash and his cohorts were able to bring the bad guys down, the evil also infected the local bottling plant where the head of the undead hoped to distribute the evil water around the world.Â That plan was also stopped, but a lone truck made it out of town to make the delivery.
This issue features Ash arriving in Middletown, West Virginia – the distribution plant for the last shipment from Mountain Springs.Â Instead of just breaking in to the plant to see if the bottled water had been shipped, he works the case from the inside, on the night shift tasked to fix up the cement parking lot.Â But while he experiences some difficulty in tracking down the bottles in the beginning his time in Middletown is made a bit easier, when he meets and falls in love with a lovely red-head.
Thereâ€™s a lot of romance in the issue – most of it spent in bed – and it looks like Ash might actually have a moments happiness.Â But this is Army of Darkness, a happy romance tale canâ€™t last for long.Â And it doesnâ€™t as men from the bottling plant begin to disappear. This time it isnâ€™t Necronomicon behind the event, rather it turns out to be Ashâ€™s girlfriend.Â There is a great moment when Ash realizes heâ€™s been sucking face (among other things) with a ugly demon bent on sucking the souls (among other things) from her victims.
Ash is quick to put and end to her, the infected water, and his love life before riding off into the sunset.
As I mentioned previously, Army of Darkness was starting to grow stale, but the last two issues have renewed my interest in the series, as I wait to see what happens next.Â Mike Raicht, who wrote the lead in arc to this issue, did a great job in building up readerâ€™s expectations that the evil water was behind the dead plant workers, and the reveal made perfect sense for this story.
Likewise, the art by Pablo Marcos is nice in that I like seeing clean shaven Ash as opposed to scruffy faced crazy mountain man from the lead-in arc.Â He also draws the female form in that cheesecake way boys find tingly, but not in an over the top slutty way like the women drawn in other indie titles.
Issue #20 kicks off a longer arc with Ash in Europe, but Iâ€™m hopeful Dynamite Entertainment and Mike Raicht (and others) bring back these self contained stories every once in a while.Â These type of stories make it easy for new readers to jump on board, while those with limited budgets get a chance to pick up a title they might not normally pick up because they know there isnâ€™t a six-issue investment commitment.
Even though it serves as an epilogue, Army of Darkness #19 stands on its own legs, and is deserving of 3.5 out of 5 Stars.Â A tad more humor and a bit more ghoulish fun would have kicked it up another full star.