Trouble is always around the corner for the chainsaw and boomstick wielding Ash Williams, yet in Dynamite’s newest series, Death to The Army of Darkness #1, Ash receives help from a team of himself.
Death to The Army of Darkness #1 follows Sam Raimi’s 1992 Army of Darkness film, but the first issue includes a quick recap. Luckily this means prior knowledge isn’t needed, nor do you need to read the previous comic series. Nonetheless, if you haven’t seen Army of Darkness, do yourself a favor and watch it. You still have time, as Death to The Army of Darkness #1 hits an S-Mart near you on February 19th.
GOOD. BAD. I’M THE GUY WITH THE PLOT
Writer Ryan Parrott isn’t new to franchised comics, as he has been putting out fantastic work in Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers. Yet, Death to The Army of Darkness is a completely different beast in many aspects. Nonetheless, Parrot is able to respect the cult classic franchise while still building upon its lore. All the humor, gore, horror, wacky adventure, action, and lovable main man are present for longtime fans.
Although Death to The Army of Darkness #1 is a direct sequel to the movie, newcomers will feel completely welcome. The aforementioned recap page helps a great deal while Ash adds information on his past with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Parrot seems to pluck concepts brought forth in the movie while adding in original ideas. The way that Ash and the world around him mirror the movies so well, you’d swear Parrott worked on the film back then.
The new concepts showcased throughout are welcome while still making since worldbuilding wise. Death to The Army of Darkness #1 contains a fair amount of story to give the reader in one issue, yet it never feels overburdened with the plot. Instead, readers are treated to the beginning of a new misadventure with their favorite lovable oaf.
Jacob Edgar’s art blends realism and cartoon in a manner befitting the movies. The cult classics never took themselves too seriously, and Edgar’s art emulates this magnificently. Instead of falling on the side of realistic/cartoonish too much, his lines perfectly blend the two. The mixing of the two work immensely when over the top moments are desired, making said scene hit harder. During the action scenes, Edgar overlays the panels on each other. This method gives the actions a chaotic feeling that amps up the violence being portrayed.
Helping the vibes that Edgar’s art portrays are the colors by Kike J. Diaz. Much like the line art, Diaz’ work borders nicely between realistic/cartoonish. One scene stands out amazingly in favor of the gorgeous colors. During this moment, Ash uses his trusty boomstick (shotgun) to kill a deadite. The reason the colors stand out here more as opposed to other panels is because of the wide palette it uses. The blast of his boomstick is strikingly yellow/orange, which illuminates his face while helping the shadows stand out more. Mix in blood spluttering from off panel and Diaz’ use of an ocean (blue green) background, and you have a visually gorgeous panel.
WRITTEN IN BLOOD
Lettering is a hard (often times thankless) job, yet Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou always makes it look perfect. That sentiment carries into Death to The Army of Darkness #1 where he has a blast with varying letter methods. Each page, Otsmane-Elhaou adds in extra flare into any given piece of lettering, essentially breathing a flow that makes you carry on. Not only does he make each page stand out with a vast array of fantastic lettering, but at no point does the placement hinder the art.
Instead, Otsmane-Elhaou keeps a constant groove that beautifully guides your eyes throughout. All that while adding amazing special effects that feel like they’re straight from the classic films. If you’re interested in behind the scenes on lettering (among other things) in comics, I’d highly recommend checking out Otsmane-Elhaou’s Twitter.
DEATH TO THE ARMY OF DARKNESS, LIFE TO TEAM ASH
Death to The Army of Darkness #1 reads as if a group of pals got together, marathoned the original trilogy of Evil Dead while talking about multiple universes, personified emotions, then set out to create a comic. The premise isn’t a new one, yet the team executes the idea amazingly.
Side Note: When I first heard of the multi-Ash mini-series, it seemed to be a multiverse series. Yet, after reading it it seems to be one where many aspects of Ash’s personality coming to life. As amazing as the multiverse sounds, the personification of his emotions calls back to the movie while being a great idea.
Memorable Quote: “….groovy.” – Ash
Death to The Army of Darkness #1 is filled to the brim with quotable bubbles, but, you gotta love a classic.
Is this your first time reading a comic in the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness Universe? If so, let us know what you thought, or – if you’re a longtime Deadite – tell us how you felt below.