Friday, October 7, 2016

CBR Army of Darkness: Ash In Space

Ash gets to go space and the army of Darkness series goes into science-fiction territory for this new entry in the Ash and the Army of Darkness ongoing series!

Space deadites! Space babes! And Ash in Space!

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th (NES) 
Book One (Wildstorm) - Book TwoFriday the 13th (Avatar Press)
Jason vs Leatherface / Freddy vs Jason
Elm Street series - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (WildStorm)A Nightmare on Elm Street (Avatar Press)
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Hellraiser 1
Final Exam
Black Christmas / Christmas Evil
Silent Night, Deadly Night series - Part 1 &2 - Silent Night (2012)
Santa's Slay
Jack Frost (1997)/Jack Frost (1998)
Pumpkinhead 1
Chucky series - Curse of Chucky / Chucky (Devil's Due Publishing)
Leprechaun series / Candyman series
 Re-Animator series
Hatchet 1Hatchet 2Hatchet 3
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Me Without You - Omnibus Vol. 1 - Friday the 31st
Series 1 (DDP)Hack/Slash Meets Zombies Vs CheerleadersHack/Slash/Nailbiter
Series 2 (Image)Son Of Samhain
Transylvania 6-5000/Transylvania Twist
Tucker & Dale / Cabin in the Woods
The Final GirlsKnights of Badassdom
Darkman seriesDarkman (NES)

Comic title: Ash and the Army of Darkness Vol.4: Ash In Space!
Art by Larry Watts
Written by Cullen Bunn

Published by Dynamite Entertainment
From August 2015
Lineup Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series
Format: Trade paperback collecting material from Army of Darkness #1992.1 one-shot special and issues #1-5 from Army of Darkness Volume 4.

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 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 team picked it up.

In anticipation of the new Ash vs Evil Dead TV series, Dynamite wanted to offer a fresh new start to their Army of Darkness comics with a different 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 new story arc concluded with the long time-coming wedding of Ash and Sheila in Ash Gets Hitched, right on time to marks the 10th Anniversary of the Army of Darkness comics since Dynamite launched them back in July 2004 (time flies by so fast..).

Which was directly followed by this new storyarc, Ash In Space!

This 5-issue series was preceded by a prologue published in Army of Darkness #1992.1, a 48-page one shot special collecting various short stories. But don't worry, Dynamite reprinted this prologue in the Ash In Space collection. I kinda wish the rest would have been collected here as well, though.

This book sports a "Volume 4" on the spin. As best as I can figure, it either stands for "Army of Darkness' 4th series", which is kind of odd since they should have just named this book "Ash and the Army of Darkness" since this is a continuation of thatcurrent series. Or they're simply counting this being the 4th volume of that series, with the previous volumes being Volume 1 Ash and the Army of Darkness, Volume 2 being all the one-shots like the Annual 2014, the Convention Invasion and #1992.1, and Volume 3 being Ash Gets Hitched, but it still pretty confusing... Thanks Dynamite!

Ash just got married to Sheila! But he has no time to enjoy his honeymoon because a Deadite runs off with the Necronomicon.. which ends in the hands of an astrologer in 1350 AD! Ash is able to kill that Deadite (several times..) and he finally opens a time vortex to return to his medieval babe.. but the Deadite astrologer comes back again and they end up... in the present!

Fascinated by space and the stars, the astrologer runs off to the nearby space shuttle and Ash is forced to jump aboard the spacecraft as it is leaving the Earth behind!

Thus we finally get something we never knew we wanted.. Ash in Space!

Ash fights his way aboard the ship. Things seem fine at first. The spacecraft docks at the International Space Station. But now Ash finds out the Deadite spells carried over the station's A.I. which is soon taken over by the forces of evil! There he is rudely received by three female astronauts!

Long story short, Ash's robotic hand is taken over by Deadites again. And it separates from him, it's joined by the Necronomicon, and thus a new meaner, stronger, robotic Evil Ash is reborn!!

The Deadites plan to take over a satellite to spread the armies of darkness over the entire planet Earth!!

This was a really fun, great surprise!

Despite the radical change of setting, it follows pretty seamlessly from Ash's adventures. Actually it even suits the series pretty well. I mean we did go from a little haunted cabin in the woods to a time-travel tale in medieval England! Nothing surprises or fazes Ash anymore.

And Ash is still very much in-character. Cullen Bunn is doing a great job keeping Ash's voice intact.

Seeing the return of Evil Ash was a great surprise! And how he was able to come back was pretty well executed.

The last surviving astronaut gal made for a fun sidekick to Ash in the last half of the book.

There's also a lot of fun references and allusions to the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series, as well the 80s horror genre. Including a fun Aliens-inspired powerloader sequence!

The art of Larry Watts fits the book. While I still miss the early artists Dynamite used when the book began, his work is pretty nice and fitting for Army of Darkness. I admit, I kinda wished they'd kept Nacho Tenorio from the previous books on board...

Finally the collection also features a cover gallery, showcasing the gorgeous main covers of Gabriel Hardman and Jordan Boyd, as well as the great work of guest artists Roberto Castro, Tim Seeley (his covers were all hilarious!), Art Adams, Walter Flanagan, Jay Shaw, John Rivett, Sean Chen and finally Nacho Tenorio, making me miss his work on the book even more...

As well as the script to the first issue as a bonus!

Overall, Ash In Space was a fun breath of fresh air, proving Dynamite can still have fun and surprise with this comic after so many years!

These last few titles have been pretty different and imaginative. We got Ash's wedding to Sheila. And now he's immediately trusted into space on his honeymoon!

I Highly Recommend this book to any Evil Dead or horror fans! This series is still pretty fun to read, and I cannot wait to see in which trouble Ash's got sent to at the end of the book, closing this tale in another cliffhanger, in pure Evil Dead tradition!

I give it:
2.5 / 3 ManThings!

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