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Darkman vs. the Army of Darkness #1

Posted: Saturday, October 14, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writers: Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern
Artists: James Fry, David Curiel(c)
Publisher: Dynamite

This was in hindsight a no-brainer. Somebody, including the creator himself Sam Raimi, should have thought to do a crossover between his two heroic characters: Dr. Peyton Westlake a.k.a. Darkman and Ash Williams, the chainsaw handed chopper of demons from the Evil Dead films.

Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern combine forces to scribe a fun romp that accurately in dialogue captures the performances of Liam Neeson and Bruce Campbell. Liam Neeson for those not in the know embodied Darkman before portraying Schindler.

The plot in Darkman vs. Army of Darkness makes sense. Darkman's former fiancée Julie, a lawyer, with her assistant Brynne finds herself cataloging an estate, which happens to include the infamous Necronomicon. Curiosity gets the better of the two ladies. Before you can say hocus-pocus, Julie inadvertently speaks a spell that results in a demonic force possessing the entire city. Enter Darkman.

Busiek and Stern within a basically simple plot bring in some fun little twists. For instance, Darkman is not an urban legend to Julie. Julie does not deny what happened to them in the first movie, and she has informed Brynne. This allows for a very cute exchange of dialogue between Darkman and Brynne and foreshadows a very beautifully written and superbly drawn scene reaching the potential of sympathy we have for Dr. Westlake. James Fry worked with Busiek on The Liberty Project, and it's nice to see that this good artist has become even better, especially with the added dimension of color, courtesy of Curiel, and all the technology behind the hues.

Darkman and Brynne next use The Book of the Dead to call upon "a legendary hero" to fight the demons. Enter Ash. Before the book leads to the cliffhanger, Busiek and Stern tempt the reader with some funny repartee between the good doctor and the good chopper. Darkman vs. the Army of Darkness promises to be a rollicking good time and shouldn't be missed by any fan of Sam Raimi's works or supernatural super-heroing.



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