Wednesday, February 3, 2016

CBR Ash and the Army of Darkness Annual 2014

Good. Bad.

He's the guy with the gun!

Comic title: Ash and the Army of Darkness: Annual #1 (2014) 
Art by Nacho Tenorio
Written by Shannon Eric Denton 

Published by Dynamite Entertainment
From Apr 2014
Lineup Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series
Format: One-shot annual special issue Ash and the Army of Darkness: Annual #1.

Following the fan-favorite Evil Dead film trilogy, Ashley J. Williams has had a long history with comic books.

After some pretty good comic book adaptations of The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness at Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment launched an Army of Darkness ongoing title in 2004 to much success. These comics were fun, silly and very much true to the B-movie nature of the film series.

Ash and the Army of Darkness follows a complete reboot of this long-running comic book series. This reboot of the comic was long time coming, it was bound to happen as the series was starting to grew out of hand and completely lose touch with what made it so great in the first place. The series was getting harder and harder to follow thanks to several crossovers and complete change of direction whenever a new creative picked it up.

Dynamite wanted to offer a fresh new start to their Army of Darkness comics with a more serious tone, thanks to the success of the Evil Dead remake.
After a great first volume by 30 Days of Night creator Steve Miles, Ash found himself back in medieval times, fighting off hordes of Deadites to save the world!

This 2014 Annual one-shot sees Ash sent through across time and space after some missing Deadites...

The story takes place sometime in between the last issue of Ash and the Army of Darkness and the following storyarc "Ash Gets Hitched".

It all begins in the 1300s where Ash was left last time, fighting a never-ending war while looking for a way back home.

Ash interrupts a ritual. Three ugly Deadite witches are about to sacrifice someone, but they escape through a portal through time and space, powered by Ash's own soul! Ash tries to find a sorcerer to help him out, but there isn't one anywhere in sight. So he goes for the next best thing, a sorcerer's apprentice! The kid gives Ash an elixir to find the location of each Deadite.

Our hero is sent across each period to hunt these missing Deadite witches. He first finds himself in Ancient Egypt, then on a pirate ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and finally in the Old West, in Arizona in the 18th century.

Time might be relative, but it's also running out! The witches start spreading hordes of Deadite mummies, Deadite pirates and Deadite cowboys. And who can save all these beautiful babes across history but Ash!?

The annual is about: 40 pages-long.

Ash's tone and dialogues are great. Shannon Eric Denton really nailed the voice. It feels like a real continuation of the films.

The story itself is kind of dumb. In a way I think this would have made a better premise for another Evil Dead game (specially if, like me, you also miss Evil Dead: Regeneration).

There's a few random references towards the films and even Indiana Jones!

Like in the previous series, Nacho Tenorio can be kind of hit and miss. It's a mixed bag to be honest. There's a few decent panels here and there where Ash and the Deadites actually look pretty good. But otherwise the artwork is kind of busy, sketch and messy. It's just not fun or clean enough for this series.

The cover made by Dennis Calero is okay.

Overall, I still feel like there's potential in this Ash and the Army of Darkness reboot but so far these new comics haven't been any better than the previous ones and it just feels like this could have kept the previous continuity. The title didn't win anything from the reboot, aside from retreating back to some similar stories.

Nothing new really.

The trip through time is okay, I guess, but it would have breathed better through an entire story arc instead of a one-shot. Ash and the dialogues are great though.

Check it Out if you're a fan of the series, but otherwise it's a fairly basic story.

I give it:
2 / 3 ManThings!

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