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Evil Dead #1

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2008
By: Bruce Logan

Mark Verheiden
John Bolton
Dark Horse Comics
EDITORís NOTE: The first issue of Evil Dead will be in stores this coming Wednesday, January 9.

Exclamation: ďI am so not interested in watching any of the Evil Dead movies.Ē

Explanation: In a retelling of the first Evil Dead movie, the first part of this four issue mini-series starts with the five friends getting together to head to a cabin for the weekend and ends with one of them possessed by the evil spirits they unknowingly set free. The five include the hero Ash (played by Bruce Campbell in the movies), his girlfriend Linda, his friend Scotty, and Lindaís friends Cheryl and Shelly. As for the part of their letting the demons out, it comes after they find and play a cassette having incantations from the Book of the Dead.

Examination: Not a fan of the horror movie genre, especially not its gory side, I havenít watched any of the big blood ní gore flicks, be it the Friday the 13th series of the Nightmare on Elm Street ones or (for this particular story) any of the ones from Sam Raimiís Evil Dead. Nevertheless, having read this issue I did do a background search and read on the plot of the first movie, the one on which story is based. From what I have read my understanding is that this is going to be an exact (or as close as it can get) comic retelling of it.

Evil Dead #1 is nicely paced, close to original storyline read. Whether it be the various movie scenes it focuses on or just the characters themselves, writer Mark Verheiden weaves a tale that should be instantly recognizable to the movie viewers. At the same time even for a reader like yours truly, i.e. someone who has no prior exposure to the original story, there arenít very many (if at all) confusing twists and turns. Can anyone say Ďlinearí read?

Unfortunately it is this super linear flow that makes Evil Dead #1 a tad boring. The original plot of the movie wasnít all that deep to start with, (like many a horror movie from the time). Then again, with all the liberal in-your-face use of blood and gore the directors/creators could get away with a threadbare plot. It worked in the moving pictures medium but here and at this late a juncture it doesnít have quite the same impact. Maybe, if it were in time with the (re-)release of the original or its remake, things would have been different.

I havenít seen much of John Boltonís artwork and seeing it here makes me wants to do something to change that. The dark photorealistic artwork might not be my cup of tea in every genre (say, in a blockbuster action superhero story) but here it is damn near perfect. My sole niggle, if at that, would be that of all the characters it is the main character, Ash, who is the most, well, blurred of all.

Proclamation: Solid writing and equally competent art working hard to inject some life into a cult classic albeit somewhat tired storyline.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at http://www.xcave.net



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