I’m not totally sure why people like the Army of Darkness franchise so damn much. Coming into this comic I was not really convinced that the whole AoD universe was worth paying any attention to. Was I proved wrong? Is it Good?
Ash and the Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite)
I’m not all that familiar with Steve Niles or Dennis Calero so I can’t draw any conclusions based on the list of talents; however, I do get a reasonably good read on this book’s vibe from the first page. We get all caught up on Ash’s story thus far and we get a nice feel for what kind of person he’s like: pretty smug and arrogant. I do run into some problems a couple pages later, but these are conceptual rather than a fault of the author’s. Although it’s been done before in all kinds of other stories the fact that almost no one believes Ash’s story is kind of unrealistic. I’m sure some skeptic or conspiracy theorist would just eat up Ash’s story and in a matter of time some authority might either further question him or inspect his sanity. Either way, that’s not what happens in this comic.
While the fight in the S-Mart store was fun and entertaining, it didn’t really have any symbolism or do anything I haven’t seen before in a comic. Sure, there were some witty one-liners, but really, the whole scene felt like it was just because the comic was too short and they needed a few more pages.
Everything preceding that fight was trippy and weird, in only the best way. Ash and his two companions step out of S-Mart only to find they’ve been transported to some weird alternate dimension. In this desertlike plain of non-existence they meet up with a creepy wizard man who seems to have some kind of plan for Ash. He kills the buddies from the store, explains some stuff that’s crucial to the story, breaks Ash’s gun and carries him off into the distance.
The comic concludes with a messenger telling someone in Arthur’s castle that Ash has come back to that land and has been taken by the wizard guy.
This story is in the grand scope of things pretty tame, but I still enjoyed the second half. This story could go a number of different ways all of which would be fun to see play out, so I am hopeful story-wise.
There were a couple minor glitches in the way the characters behave and react but nothing to get too worked up about. For instance, I think it wasn’t quite consistent when the death of the male S-Mart employee doesn’t bother Ash one iota but then when the woman he just met meets her demise he bursts out into hysterics.
Steve Niles’ writing is fun to read, but that’s where it stops. Some of the dialogue is pretty sharp and the comic overall reads well, there just isn’t anything that’s terribly sophisticated in this comic. There are few metaphors, fewer references still and comes off as sort of fun rather than deep, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
- Writing is clever and reads well
- We get a good read on Ash’s personality
- Not a fan of the art
- Not particularly deep or consistent
The art is different, I’ll give it that. It sort of works with the trippy writing and scenes, but by itself looks sloppy. I really disliked how Dennis Calero drew faces, the eyes and nose were disproportionate and the shading around the eyebrows and cheeks makes everyone look like raisins.
Is It Good?
Take it or leave it. Really nothing great here, but it’s worth a read through.