It’s the next chapter in Dynamite’s ongoing “Army of Darkness” saga featuring everyone’s favorite deadite-hunting idiot, Ash. What’s this series got in store for fans of humor and horror? Find out as Major Spoilers takes a trip down Furious Road…
Previously in Army of Darkness: It’s a whole new jumping-on point for our hapless hero, Ashley J. Williams. After a time-travelling mishap, Ash has been displaced to a post-apocalyptic Detroit. Coming along for the ride are Ash’s sometimes-friends, including a werewolf, a nun, Frankenstein’s monster and a couple of Goth chicks to boot.
I’ve dabbled in Dynamite’s AoD series before, and I’ve appreciated how they’ve captured Ash’s sardonic wit and snappy banter. The adventures Ash has found himself in have been fitting for the franchise as well. I was looking forward to seeing what this title had planned, with a title that obviously takes its cues from the Mad Max franchise.
Opening on a wonderfully illustrated version of the apocalypse, the book depicts Ash’s monstrous buddies racing away from Deadites. The battle is gritty and bloody, full of the carnage one would expect from a grindhouse picture. An interesting choice is made by Collins in focusing on the supporting characters this story rather than keeping Ash in the spotlight. It’s helpful to the reader, since pushing these characters to the forefront eliminates the need for heaps of exposition. Instead of being told that a pack of misfit monsters is trying to eliminate the evil deadites, readers are shown the action instead.
Ash, the star of the franchise, makes his appearance in the book’s climax. Once again, Dynamite nails Bruce Campbell’s voice and facial expressions. While I would’ve liked him to appear in this issue more, it’s obvious that there is much more action in store from our hero.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
On the bright side of things, the art, as mentioned, is superb. Baal has created a compellingly bleak atmosphere, achieved through steady linework and slavish attention to details. Future Detroit is torn apart, full of debris and blood, and populated by interesting monsters. I’m avoiding the easy joke here.
BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID START
A creepy cast of creatures is at the center of this Army of Darkness story, which also has an interesting setting and great action sequences. The only drawback for horror fans might be the absence of Ash for half of the book, but as a first issue, there’s still a lot to like. If you’re on the fence, give it a try. I’ll be picking up the second issue to see where things go from here.