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Army Of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes #1

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: Nick Bradshaw

Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing

Back to the Future II is my favourite film in that trilogy, as I enjoyed the innovative plot twist that had Michael J. Fox running around in the background of the first film, and I have to say I rather enjoyed seeing this plot device surface in this story. However, truth be told this is about the only real idea that grabbed my attention in this opening issue, as for the most part I found myself a bit disappointed with this opening chapter. Now don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of the Evil Dead series, and I consider Ash to be one of the more engaging action heroes to ever grace the silver screen. However one of the main reasons why I'm a fan of Bruce Campbell's ineffectual action hero is due largely to his general ineptitude, and this opening issue has our shotgun/chainsaw welding hero coming across as a little too effective.

I mean there's a great moment in the second film when Ash discovers that there's an evil force in the woods, and the next shot has him racing away from the cabin in his car. I like that he reacts like a real person would, rather than a square-jawed action hero, and this opening issue offers up very much the latter. This issue is also guilty of being a little too willing to parrot lines from the films, rather than coming up with its own one-liners, which has Ash sounding like more of a recording device spouting off lines from the films. Now I'm enough of a fan of the film series than I'm willing to give this miniseries every opportunity to win me over, as I'm absolutely delighted to see the character of Ash make the jump to comics, but right now the book feels like a love letter to the character rather than it's own story. Still, one does have to enjoy the sheer mayhem of the zombified animal attack.

The animated style that Nick Bradshaw offers up has it's decided advantages and disadvantages, as on one hand it has a sense of energy to it that helps to sell the frantic, over-the-top quality of the issue's main action sequence, as Ash battles a forest full of zombified woodland creatures. On the other hand the cartoonish look of the art also robs these same scenes of their sense of danger, as Ash looks like he's stumbled into a Disney film, and the horror elements of the story are lost. Still, I have to say I loved seeing famous moments from the films reimagined in the pages of the comic, and if nothing else, there's a nice darkly comic vibe to the art, that nicely sells the more humorous moments of the story.



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