Sunday, March 9, 2014

CBR:Quickies Army of Darkness (Series 2)

Fresh from his crossover with Marvel Zombies, Ash and the Army of Darkness returns in this all-new second comic book series!

The world goes the way of the alternate ending of Army of Darkness, a League of Chosen Ones join forces, Ash drops by in the past to say hi to Xena, our hero fights alongside another Sam Raimi classic Darkman, and finally... The kings of horror duke it out in Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash!!

Following the success of the Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness crossover, Dynamite decided it was a good time as any to relaunch the series under a new definitive creative team and make the whole thing seem fresh enough to provide a starting point for new readers.

The Army of Darkness series was "softly" relaunched in the hands of writer James Kuhoric and artist Fernando Blanco, who wouldn't stay until the end of this second incarnation of the series but at least help define some new guidelines for this new series.

The new rules were - anything goes! Unlike the movies were the limited screentime and budget couldn't allow mutliple worlds to be visited, ages to pass or the number of Deadites' shenanigans kept to a basic minimum, here everything could and would definitively happen!

Imagine a world overrun by Deadites, turned into a Mad Max-ian wasteland. A League of Chosen Ones joining forces. Everything is possible and might happen... as long as Ash Williams won't enjoy the ride and complain all the way!

Crossover mini-series were produced alongside the new book (but I like to imagine those only possibly taking place at the end of the run).

This is... The Army of Darkness!

Comic title: Army of Darkness vol. 1: From The Ashes 
Written by James Kuhoric
Art by Fernando Blanco
Format: Trade paperback collecting Army of Darkness (vol. 2) #1-4.

After a quick recap of the story so far, this Army of Darkness book opens with a new status quo following Ash's adventure in the Marvel Zombie Universe.

For this return of Army of Darkness, our hero Ash J. Williams found a way back to his own world through another portal! But something's not right...

Turns out our world got turned into a post-apocalyptic Deadite paradise! Evil Ash surviving Ash as our hero "left" this plan of existence tipped over the equilibrium into the favor of the Deadites... They took over the world and destroyed the entire planet!!

The beginning of the story mimics the famous cut Alternate Ending of Army of Darkness (complete with quotes and cobwebs imitating a beard for the joke).

Michigan is a now strange new harsh world. Ash finds himself battling through hordes of mutant-Deadites (the humans that didn't get turned over but mutated into abominations by their "Mirror World" counterparts).

After a while Ash meets a friendlier mutant-human. The old man speaks prophecies, he believes Ash is the Chosen One that will restore the world to what it once was. Ash needs to seek four other "Chosen Souls" to help him out, these mutants might be his best allies to face Evil Ash.

Meanwhile Evil Ash, now calling himself Evil Ash Prime (because he's the "main" Ash around, and the de facto Chosen One in this world), has apparently taken over both Sugarbaby (remember her?) and Sheila. He has everything he wanted, he should be satisfied, right? But he's not that happy with the outcome... This is not the way he imagined conquering the world would feel like...

Ash transforms his old 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 into another Deathcoaster! Ash decides to track these potential allies.

Evil Ash Prime using the Necronomicon to stay informed, discovers Ash is back! He sends the last remaining three Medieval knights from AoD after Ash.

Will Ash finally get rid of Evil Ash and survive with all these dangerous mutants on his back!? What will happen of Sheila and Sugar?!

In the end, the Deadites are sent back but nothing changed... the world is still screwed up and all wrong..!!

This book also features the usual cover gallery at the end, featuring in this volume work by Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies) and Fabiano Neves (Marvel Zombies vs. the Army of Darkness).

Overall: "From The Ashes" is a very fun and original first story arc. This volume contains the first four issues of this new volume of Army of Darkness.

It's a play on the famous deleted scene from the third movie. An entire plot based on that post-apocalyptic world glimpsed in previous cut of Army of Darkness! What a great idea!

By now James Kuhoric knows the inside and out of the Evil Dead world and started to play with some notions and ideas seen in the films.

Even if you're not familiar with past AoD comic adventures, this is a simple enough read and despite the sense of continuity is still very much enjoyable if you're a newcomer to the series. There's a sense of expanded universe still present, but story arcs mostly serve to launch the series into a new direction after a previous arc. The book takes on a different direction every time (kinda like how all three films barely follow each other, and aren't even that close thematically).

The same way the Marvel Zombie crossover ended with Ash landing in the middle of Marvel Werewolves. Will that particular cliffhanger ending was not followed upon, it's not entirely ignored in this nw volume. Similar to how the Evil Dead films wouldn't necessary contradict each other but pick up however they wanted from the last.

Anyways, this is a great fun opener. A pretty interesting story with decent enough art and a very expressive Ash.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness vol. 2: The Long Road Home 
Written by James Kuhoric & Mike Raicht
Art by Fernando Blanco
Format: Trade paperback collecting Army of Darkness (vol. 2) #5-8 .

After the usual recap, the aftermath of the battle against Evil Ash Prime finds Ash, now reunited with Sheila, still trapped in this desolated ruined planet Earth. Poor Sugar got killed in the last story.

Ash has to find a way to repair the damages done to the world, with Sheila now by his side.

In this apocalyptic new reality Ash needs to find a way to bring humanity back. Will he be able to do so or will our hero screw it up? He could screw it up again, couldn't he? The world is screwed...

The monsters are still present! Now without the presence of humans or mutsants around anymore, a demon rise at the head of this new Army of Darkness and calls upon the four horseman riders of the apocalypse! Without deadites, the world is up for the taking!

Sheila gets increasingly cranky and needs to work out some jealously issues. The Necronomicon keeps tormenting our hero.

Ash finds some last remaining folks around town... The four horsemen (and horsewoman, the daughter of Satan) are putting the last pieces of the world upside-down for their own amusement. Ash is put through some games in this post-apocalyptic stadium and will have to fight to survive!

Finally Ash is able to rewrite a new segment of his own in the Necronomicon itself!

Ash found a way back? That was.. surprisingly easy...?

The end of this volume contains a preview of the next AoD chapter, as it would become a new standard in this 2nd series of Army of Darkness.

Overall: This one was a bit darker and perhaps, due to the 4 issues structure, a bit convulsed near the end. This story could have beneficed from an additional issue to stretch out some scenes.

Another four-issue story arc, as most episodes of this second series are.

Seeing demons take part in the AoD universe is a nice change from the Deadites, and it probably have Kuhoric the idea for the following episode.

This arc also featured some great covers by artist Stjepan Sejic in usual cover art gallery at the end of the book.

With this soft reboot the series found a fresh new direction to take Army of Darkness, and all-new crazy stories that aren't simply repeating the films.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness: Ash's Christmas Horror 
Written by James Kuhoric
Art by Dave Simons
Format: Christmas Special one-shot issue.

Here comes the Ash's Christmas Horror Special from Christmas 2008!

Everyone loves the Holidays. Everyone! Except S-Mart employees!

Ash is now back where it all began. His day job, working a shift around December... when it all turns to Hell once more!

"Mary Christmas" (a S-Mart employee working the worst job of her career) came "all the way from North Pole" to help S-Mart customers celebrate the Holidays! When suddenly a breeze runs through the store. It must be the Christmas spirit itself!.. or are those Deadites?

"Santa" was taken over! Who will help save the day once more? Ash, of course!

Ash is back and ready to kick some ass! Hail to the King, baby!

The store is quickly overrun by the Deadites! But Ash helps get the situation under control rapidly. Must be because of the Necronomicon he's been hiding in this place. Soon our hero, trying to get a good night's rest, is visited by some Ghosts of Medieval Times Past! Turned in a super deformed cartoon parody of himself! And put through Christmas specials!

It's a Holiday Nigthmare!

Overall: This short but fun 2008 Christmas special was a fun break from the main series. Specially since the series is now so story-driven compared to past, more random, stories.

You might ask - Sheila appears to be nowhere to be seen. It's because this was released concurrently with the main on-going book. But it's easy (and normal) to place it between the 2nd and 3rd trades as this takes place after Ash return to the present (and the S-Mart store).

A fun, simple, enjoyable filler issue!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness vol. 3: Home Sweet Hell 
Written by James Kuhoric & Mike Raicht
Art by Fernando Blanco & Pere Perez
Format: Trade paperback collecting Army of Darkness (vol. 2) #9-12.

After "The Long Road Home", our heroes got their happy ending, a new beginning!

Now reunited with the girl of his dreams at his side, and back to a relatively normal version of the world, apparently, Ash is back Home, Sweet, Hell!

But he's actually not properly back but in a fake life of his own making! Oh, my!

Ash is back working at S-Mart. Checking prices and whatnot. But thing is - Ash doesn't remember anything!

At S-Mart we meet his friends and co-workers, Iggy, Buck and Mindy. Sheila still remembers everything but clearly Ash does not? They only kept the final last page of the Necronomicon, where's the rest of the book? This might help him with his lost memories...

Meanwhile, we are introduced to the Seven Deadly Sins in Hell! The demons of Envy, Greed, Wrath, Gluttony, Lust and Pride are looking for a new Sloth to replace the previous one. As it apparently often happens. They settle on Ash, he will be perfect to fill in the role! A Chosen One who as forsaken his role as savior of the world from the Armies of Darkness? How much more of a Sloth can a human been, to deny his entire destiny!

The witch Baba Yaga orchestrate Ash's return to the Cabin in the Woods. Good thing he forgot everything, or he might not have gotten back so easily! She wants to get her hands on the book of the dead. Baba sends her flying monkey lackey overseeing things.

Sheila is tired of this new Ash. What is wrong with him?

The demons are back and Ash runs away, leaving Sheila behind. What a coward!

Ash comes back to the store. He gets some help from best selling author Dr. Joseph Ephesial Wiseman.

Sheila is saved by members of a mysterious organisation. It's... Sugarbaby! She's back! Damn' girl, we missed you! But this new Sugar doesn't remember anything either.

Ash, Iggy, Buck and Dr. Wiseman get after the book. Suddenly Ash finds himself in the middle of these different groups; the Deadly Sins, Baba Yaga and Sugarbaby's new friends! Everyone wanna piece of ol' Ash!

Did Ash defeat the Deadites for good? Will he finally embrace his destiny as Chosen One or take the easy way out and join Hell as "Sloth"? Every one has their sights on Ash. It will either kill him for good or he will have to start kickin' ass again before long!

Ash decides from now on, he will embrace his destiny, for good!

Overall: This was a fun full-packed fast-paced volume! With plenty of new faces and returning ones!

A very fun and different tale, mostly expanding upon more concepts only alluded to previously. Such as the witch Baby Yaga! And Sugarbaby back!

This was definitely one of the most fun story arcs the series has explored in this run!

Fernando Blanco's art continues to be both fun, dynamic and expressive! He might have some trouble with action-packed scenes, but overall it's all good.

A great fun new entry. A lot of elements and characters are being introduced for the long run. Expect to see the S-Mart crew at some later point!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness vol. 4: Hellbillies and Deadnecks
Written by James Kuhoric and Mike Raicht
Art by Scott Cohn
Format: Trade paperback collecting Army of Darkness (vol. 2) #13-17.

Here comes the next chapter in the life of Ashley J. Williams!

This volume opens with a filler issue, a 1-issue story.

First in "King For A Day ", Ash drops by 1300 A.D. again. Sheila is back home again!

There must be a way to destroy the Book of the Dead for good?

They meet with the old Wiseman again. He's "very wise". But he forgot to actually mention how Ash only really destroyed all the close by evil. But not ALL the evil from land which arrived at the castle later after Ash's departure! The army led by Evil Ash was only a small part of problem.

Ash discovers he was actually named king after his departure! And with Lord Arthur and Henry the Red now dead, Ash is now theoretically King!

The Necronomicon is able to cry some blood over those tombs... and quickly the castle is overrun by Deadites once more!

Ash finally gets rid of the problem and decides to leave Sheila behind, it is for the best. He goes back to rest in a cave and sleeps for some more centuries! Again!

Next up is the main story arc, "Hellbillies and Deadnecks".

Now back to the present, having travelled back in time, Ash has accepted his newfound role as humanity's Chosen One. It's a job full time, he will have to guard the book from the world and be ready to put a stop to the evil forces if worst comes to pass.

Ash decides to bury the book for good and live off the land, far away from civilization in an empty summer cabin. He comes across forest Ranger Erin. She puts our hero in jail for trespassing, and a countless other offences. Things quickly turn for the worst as the contagion begins with another ranger. He has to kill them, move on and find a new place ever further off.

The book bleeds and death soon poisons the land. It continues! Ash has to kill more possessed critters to put a stop to the Deadites. Again!

Soon winter comes. It looked like the situation finally calmed itself. Suddenly the entire forest starts getting all kinds of crazy. Did the book get enough time to spread its evil further off?

Ash enters Mountain Ring nearby. The entire place has become a Deadite nightmare! Sounds familiar?

Ash and a couple of survivors find a small cabin. But they find a family of Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style hillbilly rednecks!

Meanwhile, the town dentist Carl Anderson has also been turned into a Deadite like the rest of his town. Only, a different kind of Deadite. Taken over by the spirit of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis itself, the book calling for him let a rare demon take over his body. Now turned into a sort of Book's Chosen One, he has become the Hell's Prophet!

The Hell's Prophet wants wants to take over the whole world by contaminating the water supply.

Ash & co have to take on the entire town if they wanna save life as we know it.

But the Hell's Prophet doesn't just wanna spread evil. He also wants to get rid of all of the Chosen Ones!

What other Chosen Ones??

Overall: This was a pretty fun new volume, and a story turning point. With the introduction of the idea of other Chosen Ones. But also a fun twist on the whole Deadites formula with an Evil Chosen One.

Personally the whole plot of a small town turning Deadite reminded me of game A Fistful of Boomstick. Which I always loved and found the story pretty original, so it was nice to find something similar thematically here.

The filler story at the beginning resolved the whole Sheila-sidekick situation.

Another solid volume. Recommended for long-time Evil Dead fans!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness vol. 5: League of Light, Assemble!
Written by Elliott Serrano & Mike Raicht
Art by Mario Gully, Scott Cohn, Dave Simons and Pablo Marcos
Format: Trade paperback collecting Army of Darkness (vol. 2) #18-27.

Be prepared for an epic story unlike anything the AoD comic series had seen before!

Our story begins South of the border. In issue #18 "Montezuma's Revenge" Ash goes to Mexico, by accident! An Aztec deity wants to take his revenge on people that wronged him in the past by using a Spanish Necronomicon! Ash arrives via another portal-express when summoned for help. Our hero is forced to stop an ancient God...

Next up is #19, "Water, Water, Everywhere..." This second tale is a short self-contained story serving as a prequel to the big epic. Ash finally settled down with a woman he loves named Georgia. Turns out Georgia actually is a succubus! She took on our hero to drain his infinite Chosen One soul.

The only important bit to take from this tale is that there might be (or have been) other Chosen Ones. A Deadite outbreak takes Ash elsewhere.

Finally the main story begins!

"Ashley J Williams Goes to Europe". Ash goes to Europe. After having witnessed both Georgia and Hell's Prophet talk about other Chosen Ones, our hero decides to investigate this possibility.

As as soon as he arrived at the hotel he heard about sightings of a monster in London. Is it book playing tricks again?

Ash meets a friendly werewolf named Brad. At first he mistake Brad to be another "Chosen One" but turns out there really only is one Chosen One at any given time. Brad is a protector. There are other other protectors of the Light around the world, and it's been quite some time since they last teamed up with a Chosen One. Ash discovers usually the Chosen One always gets taken over by Hell's Prophet at one point. This circle needs to be stopped. Many disasters through history have been cause by fallen Chosen Ones.

Both decide to work together. Ash will form a "League of Light" to save him. To stop all this before he's taken over completely.

In the closing act "Ash and the League of Light" our hero travels the world looking after other protectors to join him.

Ash is able to gather a witch, a shapeshifter, a demon-conjuring gal, an angel and finally a sort of badass tech guy used to face alien invasions near a wormhole in the Antarctic Tundra. He assembles his own "super team".

But time's running out. Ash is slowly being taken over by Hell's Prophet. 

They will have to either be able to save him or kill him if the worst case scenario plays out.

Ash is looking to put an end for this curse.

They are confronted by a team of prophecy-believing "Eradicators". They turn out to be composed of surviving characters from previous story arcs. Iggy, Sugarbaby, Dr. Wiseman and even Curly (the giant masked hillbilly from the previous volume).

Ash dies. His spirit survives!

The whole world is taken over. His team fails their mission to save the world.

5 years go by. There is a possible way to time travel to the past and change things! The last two members of Light find a way back in time. They have to find a loophole to stop Hell's Prophet before he materialized.

They're back in Mountain Springs. They can't reason with Ash's past self. Ash is forced to possess his own past body to warn himself and stop everything...

Things get back to normal, the way it was before it all happened...

Overall:This was a pretty unique and original storyline!

Ambitious to say the least.

Mike Raicht gets the privilege to close this chapter and tie everything together.

League of Light, Assemble! was the final act for this run of the Army of Darkness comic book series. And a fantastic one at that!

The first story reprinted here, Montezuma's Revenge, kinda reminded me of another Bruce Campbell film: My name is Bruce. In a way both feature our Bruce Campbell-esque main man always turn out to be less impressive than expected to the folks calling for his help. (and I'm pretty sure the blue-Hawaiian shirt on the cover was really a reference to that)

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Army of Darkness / Xena Volume 1: Why Not?
Written by John Layman & Brandon Jerwa
Art by Miguel Montenegro
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Army of Darkness vs. Xena: Why Not? #1-4.

Our story actually begins in the middle of the Army of Dakness movie, while Ash's mini-copies ran off from the shattered mirror and run amok.

Following one deviant Mini-Ash. Let's call him Ash-it. Turns out this miniature acted unlike his brothers. He didn't partake in making a fool out of Ash.

Ash-it found out he was an exact copy of our main Ash right down to his mini-boots. He actually also carried a mini-copy of the Necronomicon. With this mini-Necronomicon replicate he was able to open a portal... and arrived elsewhere.. A land of  mystical creatures and adventure!

Fast forward to an uncertain amount of time, somewhere else.

Ash is back working at S-Mart. Suddenly the old Wizard was back for Ash. He found out one mini-copy was never retrieved and simply had disappeared forever.

Ash must travel to the world of... Xena, the Warrior Princess!

Our hero arrived in Xena's era.

Meanwhile, the mini-duplicate was hard at work at destroying conquering the world! Slowly bringing forth a new Army of Darkness!

Ash meets Xena, Gabrielle and this Autolycus fellow. That guy bared more than a strange passing resemblance to our hero Ash.

The Evil Little Ash takes over the fairies and soon is becoming a real problem to this world.

Somewhere else, Ash is becoming a big pain in the butt for our heroines. But still, he is a handsome devil, Autolycus will at least give him that.

Will our heroes get things back to normal? Not without any trouble!

The cover art for this mini-series were done by Fabiano Neves once more and UDON Studios!

Overall: This was THE crossover no one was ever expecting!

This couldn't have clearly seen the light of day as either a movie or a TV series. That's something you will only ever get to see in comics!

It's an awesome random crossover that, strangely, not only works in tone but actually even, kind of, makes sense!

These two Sam Raimi productions do share more than a couple traits. And it was fun playing/making fun of both Bruce Campbell personas.

This first volume marks the first part of this "mini-event".

This book was actually released prior to this 2nd Army of Darkness series but due to the on-going nature of the main series it's hard to place it before those.

It's a pretty fun supernatural adventure, both franchise are actually a great fit for each other.

Highly recommended to fan of either series, knowing both will certainly make a lot more inside-jokes and allusions make sense.

The entire plot is also pretty clever, playing with these mini-clones we always took for granted and never questioned much, and also the portals' ability to transport Ash anywhere the plot requires him to be.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Xena / Army of Darkness Volume 2: What... Again?!
Written by Brandon Jerwa & Elliott Serrano
Art by Miguel Montenegro
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Xena vs. Army of Darkness: What, Again? #1-4.

"What.... Again?!

The Army of Darkness/Xena: Warrior Princess crossover continues! Our story begins were the last volume left off.

Ash is back in his "real" time, working at S-Mart. Xena and Gabrielle are back in their normal time as well.

But the Necronomicon has more surprises in store for our heroes. A future ruled by Deadites and S-Mart chains!

Ash visit was not without its repercussions, turns out he left more than a simple impression as Autolycus went on to open a Medieval S-Mart store of his own, that's right, a retail store in the past!

Back in present-day, the store gets overrun by an horde of Deadites. It never spread that quickly before? Strange! How is that even possible?

Ash finds the old wizard way too accustomed to present technology. The Chosen One must return to Xena's world!

Gabrielle and co are sent by accident in this future she was so fascinated with.. Only to find a desolated world being conquered by Deadites! This time around they get to help Ash in his era.

Then after quick trip by the local library, they get to travel through classic literature! In Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol and meet Ebenezer Scrooge, through an Edgar Allen Poe tale and in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!

They finally get out... in a post-apocalyptic outland (again? this seems to happen kind of a lot lately). Gabrielle gets to meet... her future son! Who is  the daddy?

S-Mart was the source of power behind the Deadites this time!

All this because of what Ash started in his first visit in the past...

Overall: The sequel to the crossover no one was ever expecting!

...This second crossover is in fact the 2nd part of the Army of Darkness/Xena mini-event.

This second part felt actually kind of lackluster. Brandon Jerwa tries concluding the plot while offering a new direction to this 2nd volume. But it felt "off" somehow.

The art by Miguel Montenegro was also much more rushed in new series for some reason....

It's a nice continuation and conclusion.. but not entirely necessary, the original was nice enough by itself.

I give this one a: 1.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Darkman vs. Army of Darkness 
Written by Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern 
Art by James Fry
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Darkman vs. The Army of Darkness #1-4.

Here's another crossover with a Sam Raimi film franchise! The Darkman series!

This 2006-07 mini features Darkman facing off the Army of Darkness with some help by Ash!/

It all begins with Dr. Peyton Westlake (the so-called "Darkman") observing his former love Julie Hastings, now with her new boyfriend.

We get a quick recap of Darkman's origin and his story so far.

Julie gets back to her work, cataloguing some estate. She reads some incantation from the infamous Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis!

And soon a Deadite infestation begins through the city! Julie gets turned into the Deadite Queen.

Her friend Brynne Kelly escapes with the Book of the Dead.

She later opens a portal with Darkman to summon a "Legendary Hero". Its turns out to be none other than our Chosen One, Ash Williams!

The Deadite Queen rises a Deadite army, lead by Darkman's deceased former enemy Robert Durant! Durant's back, that's right!

Our heroes will have to face hordes of Deadite running rampant through town, they need to get the book to use it to rid Julie of the evil inside her...

Overall: Darkman vs. The Army of Darkness is an awesome idea made real on the paper!

While it's mostly a Darkman story inside and out - featuring Deadites - it's a fun story nonetheless!

It actually was one of the first Army of Darkness mini-series, and the second crossover the Army of Darkness series  had at Dynamite (the first one was the Re-Animator one).

Kurt Busiek is a fantastic writer, and it shows. He can really capture both our protagonists' voice in these first couple of pages.

James Fry's art is a bit amateurish at times, but it still managed to be pretty fun.

It's a pretty fitting crossover, with a great story, one of the better crossovers out there.

It actually works great, a fantastic idea.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash 
Written by James Kuhoric based on an original story by Jeff Katz
Art by Jason Craig
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash #1-6.

This what you all have been waiting for!

An epic crossover between the Nightmare on Elm Street film series's Freddy Kruger, Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees and Evil Dead's Ashley J. Williams.

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is a comic book mini-series giving us the sequel to the movie Freddy vs. Jason we never got!

Working as both as a sequel to Freddy vs. Jason and the Evil Dead trilogy/Army of Darkness comic book series.

Our story opens in December 2008. 5 years have passed since the events seen in Freddy Vs. Jason, and it has been more than 10 years since the end of the original Army of arkness.

The beginning picks up with Will Rollins and Lori Campbell, the last surviving protagonists from FvJ. They are back to Crystal Lake to get some closure. But Jason is pops up, he's back, the man behind the mask! And he's out of control! (ha!) He kills them shortly, as it is tradition in a slasher series to kill the remaining characters at the start of the next story.

Freddy still has a lingering presence in Jason's mind. Freddy makes him see his mother Pamela Voorhees to get what he wants. Freddy's trapped in his mind. The child killer of Elm Street learns about the Necronomicon Ex Mortis. The book is apparently at the old Voorhees home. Its power could resurrect Freddy. Freddy convinces Jason to get it back.

Meanwhile, we're back with Ash Williams. Ash has come all the way from Michigan for the opening of a new S-Mart Retail Store. He was called to form the new employees.

Ash learns about a local murder, the story sounds like the work of Deadites.

He gets at the Voorhees home and finds the Book of the Dead before Jason.

The remaining people regroup at the S-Mart to put a plan action. But Jason arrives on the scene. Ash dukes it out with Jason without much luck this first time, despite grabbing a chainsaw nearby. Jason kills everyone in sight.

Freddy is restored at full power thanks to the Necronomicon. Since a deal's a deal, Freddy helps make Jason smarter.

Ash and survivors face Freddy in their dreams. With the S-Mart crew Ash has to face both slashers at the Voorhees home. Freddy's now with reality-altering powers.

It's the final showdown between these 3 horror icons.

Freddy brings back all of Jason's previous victims from the Friday the 13th series as Deadites. The home is turned into the famous Elm Street house.

Ash is able to shot Jason in the face with his boomstick. Sheesh, what a ugly motherf***er! Jason is inspired by Ash's chainsaw and grabs his machete and sticks it in his missing arm as well. They both face this new Deadite-powered Super Freddy with the power of the Necronomicon.

Speaking of which, Ash is able to use it to open a portal to get rid of Freddy and the Deadites. Jason gets frozen deep beneath Crystal Lake, with the book...

Overall: Born from the scrapped movie script that never got made, pitching Freddy and Jason both at Wildstorm Comics/DC Comics at the time and Ash and the Army of Darkness at Dynamite. They were able to strike a deal as co-publisher of this comic book form where the moves producers couldn't work out a deal between Orion Pictures and New Line Productions. This epic fan service of a crossover could have not possibly seen the day as a movie.

Dynamite Entertainment was able to get DC Comics to work around this deal and finally offer us this 6-issue mini-series.

James Kuhoric was able to manage getting these cult classic horror film icons fight each other in this 2007 crossover. The original movie script by Jeff Katz for the proposed movie was actually used as basis.

It's everything you would dreamt from a crossover between Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Kruger, Friday the 13th's Jason, and Evil Dead's Ash Williams. It gets the characters right, their voices and signature elements while making some references here and there.

I personally loved how there's a sense of damages on these slashers as the story goes on, giving it a sense of continuity through the pages.

My only complaint is that like the Freddy vs. Jason film it only gives us a mindless entertaining crossover without going too much under the surface. No previous characters brought back or clear connection to past films besides the 3 main characters. It's a bit anti-climatic as well. Some great fun scenes but the sum of its parts being less than stellar all in all.

The story would be followed in 2009 by another mini-series sequel picking up where this one left. Only, since that one was not based on any pre-existing movie script, it allowed Kuhoric to play with a lot more elements of these franchises.

The book also contains some amazing covers by J. Scott Campbell, Eric Powell and Richard Friend depicting this one-in-a-lifetime brawl (okay, it happened several times...). And also an afterwords how this comic came to see the light of day.

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors 
Written by James Kuhoric & Jeff Katz
Art by Jason Craig
Format: Trade paperback collecting the mini-series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors #1-6.

What do you get when you get together Freddy Kruger - the nightmare monster -, Jason Voorhees - the unstoppable force - and Ash Williams - the wisecracking hero? A fight to the death between the Kings of Horror!

The story picks up where the previous tale left off.

Freddy and Jason are resurrected by the government who wants to experiment and exploit their supernatural abilities. Director Gordon Russell dug out the Necronomicon Ex Mortis out of Crystal Lake, they plan on using the book for a special project.

While retrieving the body of Jason Voorhees, Freddy impersonates his mother again and has him escape from there. Jason goes looking for Ash.

Some time passes. It is now 2009. Ash is now back to living in Michigan with a new girlfriend, Caroline from the previous book. Our anti-hero finally settled down and decided to get away from all this crazy non-sense. Some mysterious people claiming to be "The Nightmare Warriors" are trying have him join their group for people who encountered and survived slashers.

Meanwhile the army wants to use Deadites as soldiers. They are unable to control the power of the Necronomicon. They were trying to control it by using technology. They are at least able to get Freddy outside the Deadites realm.

Caroline is found dead. Ash wants to find this so-called Nightmare Warriors group finally. Jason is closing in after Ash and the survivors.

They're saved just in time by a Tommy Jarvis all grown up!

The government tries to retrieve Jason as well.

Tommy goes solo and leave the group behind.

Jason is put in a cell with Deadites. Freddy wanna team up with Jason to escape. Freddy puts our masked slasher at the head of his new Deadite army. And his body is recomposed (rockin' an all-new hairdo!).

Freddy was never left powerless as the government thought, his body has actually bonded with the Book of the Dead. With greater powers than ever.

The Nightmare Warriors using their own dream-abilities to counter the monsters. One of the members is revealed to be Kathryn Krueger, Freddy's daughter!

The Deadites attack Washington! Tommy faces Jason in the streets. There's winged Deadites everywhere, destroying the city, the White House is attacked!

Freddy disguises himself as the President. He is planning a carnage all over the world!

Ash and a small group break into a pawn shop for weapons.

Blood starts raining down the sky while fighter jets try to fight off the Deadites army.

Freddy powers are only growing stronger.

Meanwhile another Warrior, Stephanie accepts her Voorhees family destiny. She puts on a hockey mask to kill Jason herself!

By using their Dream Master abilities to kill Freddy our heroes are even able to bring back the spirit of Amanda Krueger and the Dream Warriors finally overthrow Freddy. The Deadite army vanquished.

Tommy taunts Jason, who's never been able to kill him until now. Jason is decapitated.

The Necronomicon finally leave Freddy behind deeming him unworthy of its powers. Freddy is back to his human form, powerless.

Ash shoots him into the vortex. Jason was also defeated, but seemingly cannot die.

Thanks to a time loop, it allows someone to go back in time, before all of this ever happened. And maybe, just maybe, they can finally alter history...

Overall: Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors is the final chapter in this trilogy that began with the Freddy vs. Jason movie.

Our duo of writers were able to have a lot more free reign to play with any elements of all these franchises this time. Using any element however they wanted, and also any characters as well.

This follow up was co-written by James Kuhoric and Jason Craig. They returned back where the original Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash left, picking up from there and going anywhere they wanted this time. They simply seemed to had a lot of fun tying all these series together. Using characters from past A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th films to defeat these monsters once and for good. It's a fun use of the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises and past events.

They imagined this sequel as the ultimate story, a Crisis-style event turning all these three separate continuities into one single storyline.

All in all, it makes for a much better epic crossover, finally giving us a proper mix between these three famous franchises. And it simply works great!

There's a great over-the-top sense with a story culminating to a much more satisfying conclusion this time, entertaining and epic!

Not only is this sequel a lot crazier but it was clearly made by and for fans before anything.

All three series have been remade by now, rebooted. So I'm glad we got this final last hurrah, even if it's "only" a comic. This could be the last remaining tales set in the classic continuities. They had to make it both fun and worthy for long-time fans.

Despite all the familiar returning faces, it also brought some new design ideas, including Jason's "half-mask" look, creepy and Grim Reaper-esque. Altough I'm not that a big fan of the later long-haired restored Jason.

Like past films and the previous book, they also made great attention to the details, keeping track of injuries from panel-to-panel, keeping and adding damages to our characters as tradition from slasher movie series.

This would be a hard R-Rated product at it been a movie. It's gory and really fun. In one final word: a great match-up.

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!

That is all for the 2nd Army of Darkness series!

The series had a rocky start with way too many crossovers, but this Series 2 was able to bring some fresh new ideas and even some much better suited crossovers. Dynamite keeps this franchise alive and kicking.

"In an age of darkness.

At a time of evil.

When the world needed a hero.

What it got... was him."
(taken from the official synopsis)

This award-nominated "Best Screen-to-Comic Adaptation series" offers us such solid continuous adventures the movies wouldn't have been able to, specially going strong after such a long time.

A long running series that continues to surprise us.

That's all for this time's Quickies!

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