Tuesday 5 November 2013

Ash and the Army of Darkness #1 Review

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Dennis Calero

I have been a huge fan of Ash and the Evil Dead films for many years now, with them being my favourite horror movies. So when I heard that this new series would be starting I was ecstatic as although the comic series' haven't always good I am hopeful that this one will be.


Ash returns to the 14th Century to find that things are not quite as they were when he left.


This was an amazing issue and a brilliant start for the series. Steve Niles has done a terrific job of expanding on the Evil Dead universe, utilising the best features of the films to make a very entertaining story (or at least the start of one). I also loved how Niles managed to keep the humour and tone that made the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness films so good, as it was easy to think of this as Bruce Campbell acting out the story, having the same tone that he brought to the character. In saying that this was still clearly the start of a story, as although it had the brilliant tone and atmosphere like the films had, the story isn't quite on the same level, but given chance it could very well do so.

The artwork on this issue was also outstanding and Dennis Calero did a phenomenal job. Now I enjoyed Calero's work on the recent Masks series, but his work on this issue was much better, and he showed the tone and atmosphere of the Evil Dead films perfectly. The detail throughout his work would also be amazing, as although there was the odd imperfection, I loved that he managed to draw Ash perfectly, with one panel in particular reminding me of a scene from Evil Dead 2. The layout of Calero's artwork would also add a lot of depth to the issue, helping the story to flow smoother. Th cover from Ben Templesmith was also brilliant, as although his style is usually a little too weird for me it worked perfectly for this cover.

This issue would start with Ash working alongside his college Ted at S-Mart. I was very happy that the story would start from this point, as although I much preferred the Army of Darkness ending were he took too much potion and sleep even longer, this was still an interesting concept, and in this issue it would add a lot of fun to the start of the story. It was also nice to see the other S-Mart clerk who was played by Ted Raimi in the film feature in this issue, as he would give someone that Ash could throw amusing dialogue at.

The issue would however quickly see Ash, Ted and the female character travel to the 1300's facing the deadites. The transition between S-Mart and the 1300's was handled very well by Niles, being very smooth. It would however be the interaction between Ash and Ted that interested me the most, as following Ted's continuing questioning of whether Ash said the words right it would add a nice touch off humour, giving the, "I told you so," feel to the transition. I also enjoyed the brief action that would happen in this sequence just prior to Ash's interaction with the Wiseman.

Talking of Ash's interaction with the Wiseman, this would be the main focus of the 1300's part of this issue, and probably the second best part of the issue following the S-Mart sequence. Now I won't go into too much detail as to avoid spoilers, but it was very interesting to see these changes in the Wiseman, as although they aren't changes I would have expected, they would add a lot of excitement and intensity to this issue. The interaction itself would also be very interesting, adding a lot of tone and drama to the issue, and I especially loved how Ash's characteristics in good times and bad would shine through here.

Final Verdict

A brilliant addition to the Evil Dead universe and a nice continuation from the Army of Darkness film, as although there is a planned sequel to the film in the works, it is nice to see this continuation story. The issue itself would have all the humour that made the films so great, having the same tone, with Ash feeling just like he did when Bruce Campbell played him. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue and can't wait for the next one.

Rating: 8/10

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