It kind of makes sense to pit a vampire superhero up against, and most assuredly teamed up with, a guy wearing a chainsaw for an arm. It’s not like Ash from the Evil Dead series fights vampires all the time, but he certainly fights fanged demon creatures who do all sorts of things to kill him. I take a look at Dynamite’s crossover event starting this week and ponder: Is it good?
Vampirella / Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
This issue opens with Ash in England at 1300 A.D. where he’s the ruler and head honcho. We find Ash getting drunk and eating his fill as he listens to the wizard and other folks discuss a flying Deadite not unlike a vampire. Not unlike Vampirella when she vamps out. Ash is missing the chainsaw right now, but in its stead is a metallic hand. Ash makes a fool of himself, but in the presence of other drunk men it’s not as obvious. Things get dicey when an honest citizen gets the life sucked out of him.
This issue has its merits for writing Ash well with plenty of silly moments and playing up his bumbling yet heroic nature. It also makes good on his ignorance at being smooth with the ladies and there’s some fantastic art here and there of the monster variety. That said it’s a very slow issue and writer Mark Rahner takes his time telling it. After the setup of the scary vampire monster the issue takes a hell of a lot of time bringing Vampirella and Ash together and instead of any real action we’re privy to Ash just stumbling around drunk and stupid.
Oh he’s something else.
When Vampirella does show up she’s very odd and almost drunk in her actions. Possibly this is a plot point for later, but straight away Vampirella’s request for food from Ash is a bit boring and doesn’t suit the character. This of course leads to the stereotypical setup of the two clashing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering it’s what many show up for in these types of books. Overall there’s not much here to sell the issue and not much to look forward to. It’s your basic crossover issue getting the characters to go at each other, but with nothing behind it to make it interesting. It’s as if Rahner is leaving all that fun stuff for issue #2.
The art by Jethro Morales works well however, with a nice thick line to make our characters pop. A brief scene of a vampire popping knights is quite nice and his splash page cliffhanger is to die for. That last page is seriously worth flipping to if you’re at a comic shop, my friends. The layouts leave the pages with only a few panels and nothing too small and detailed to most probably throw off Morales’ thicker, more medium shot vibe. Overall it works nicely to make the comic bits chuckle worthy and the monster bits gross-out great.
What a douche!
Is It Good?
This is a tough first issue to get through namely because it’s so darn slow. Ash is perfectly written, but Vampirella fans may want to wait till issue #2 to actually see their character come to life. I have high hopes this can turn it around next month, but right now this feels like a diehard fan read only.