SPOILERS BE FOUND IN THIS HERE YARN!
When last we left our intrepid hero he was in dire straits. He had been carried off by an army of Deadites and was done for fershure. Or was he?
Ash and the Army of Darkness, by Steve Niles and Dennis Calero, is a new series from Dynamite Entertainment that reboots the Evil Dead franchise that Dynamite has been publishing for the last several years. This reboot is more of a realignment with the original storyline, a way of bringing things back into focus and really picking up where the last movie, Army of Darkness, left us. In issue #1, Ash was back home safe and sound working at S-Mart, just like the end of the film. However, just like the film’s end, he finds himself back in the thick of the fight with the Deadites because, maybe, just maybe, he didn’t quite say all of the words exactly right. But, he pretty much said them, yeah.
In this episode, Ash and the Army of Darkness #2, Ash is being tortured by Weirdbeard and his Deadite minions. For those of you who don’t know, Weirdbeard was Ash’s name for Merlin the magician. He was left to protect the evil magic of the Necronomicon, the book of the dead, but instead he read the book unable to resist the draw of knowledge and power. Now that Ash is captive of the Deadites, he fights for his life… but it is just not enough.
At first, Ash is not sure why he isn’t dead, but he soon realizes that he is alive because the Deadites no longer have the Necronomicon! This leads to a scene of Ash taunting the Deadites. Then our mystery person from the previous issue swoops in and saves the day. But who is she? If you watched Army of Darkness then you must remember Sheila, Ash’s love interest and leading lady. That’s right, Sheila is the rough and tough soldier that is cutting through the army of the dead.
Before the final battle, Sheila was met in the woods by a secret order of followers of the chosen one. They had ceremoniously removed their right hands in honor of Ash. They lead Sheila to a cache of weapons that had been left behind when Ash left their time at the end of the Army of Darkness movie. This allows for Sheila to return Ash’s chainsaw and boomstick so that next issue he can kick some Deadite butt.
I have really enjoyed Steve Niles story this far and, being a big fan of Ash and the Evil Dead movies, I love his treatment of this cult classic. I would be interested in knowing what Bruce Campbell thinks of this extension of the movie franchise and whether this will have any impact on the possible Army of Darkness sequel. Not that Bruce Campbell reads my reviews, but that would be cool, right?
So, Bruce, um, Mr. Campbell, if you happen to be reading this review, thank you for playing this great character, among all the great characters you have portrayed, and keep it up. Oh, and I would love to do an interview… you know, some day.