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Army of Darkness / Xena #1

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2008
By: Bruce Logan

John Layman
Miguel Montenegro, Zona I (c)
Dynamite Entertainment
"Why Not?" (part 1 of 4)

Exclamation: “Why not? Screw that. I ask why the f*** yes?!”

Explanation: The issue takes a scene from the Army of Darkness (movie) and uses it to launch that Evil Dead reality towards that of Xena, Warrior Princess. However, it is not the real Ash who gets sent through time and fantasy reality, at least not at first, it is one of his evil-mini mirrored doppelgangers. As for Ash, he too makes the trip before the last page is done. What about Xena and her pals? Their part here is limited to them going up against and trouncing over a Cyclops, i.e. the obligatory introduction scene(s). Accompanying Xena is her friend and constant companion Gabrielle and a familiar looking (compared to Ash) chap by the name of Autolycus.

Examination: Here we go again. Let me start by strumming the same old (disclaimer) guitar that even though I have read and am now reviewing this comic, I haven’t watched either of the Evil Dead movies or for that matter a single complete episode of the Xena, Warrior Princess TV show. Neither interested me enough to invest enough time to get to know what they were about. Heck, it was only after Googling it that I realized the reasoning behind Autolycus’s comments about evil mini-Ash. Nevertheless, given my reading of the recent Dark Xena mini-series (Dyanmite Entertainment), also written by John Layman and the currently three-quarters done Evil Dead mini-series (Dark Horse Comics), I decided to give one a try too.

So, how was the experience?

Well, I enjoyed the funny moments, a lot. In fact, except for the cliffhanger closer the Ash moments definitely scored higher than the Xena moments. Granted, the one in the end isn’t Ash per say and that Xena’s presence in this issue wasn’t nearly as much as Ash’s, still even when she and her pals were there the story flow seemed to get a severe case of brake-itis. Next issue is bound to show more of her, Gabrielle and Autolycus. Hope that it doesn’t turn out as forced as this one. Then again, crossovers such as this - between characters set in modern times and those in past/fantasy times - always seem a bit off to me. It was the case when I first read the original Red Sonja / Spider-Man crossover (didn’t read the recent one) and it is the case here.

The next issue will bring have Ash’s meeting Xena and pals, which means at least a couple “Hey, that guy looks like me,” moments between Ash and Autolycus. Such is my level of excitement about this series that of all the things I am most interested in this tired clichéd of a confrontation between the two Bruce Campbell played characters.

Miguel Montenegro and Zona’s artwork is definitely my favorite part of AoD / X #1, even more so than the funny moments for without the artwork those moments wouldn’t have been half as expressive. Not only is Montenegro’s style detailed, done with semi-realistic maturity, it is animated enough to make up for the seriousness that comes from the aforementioned maturity.

Proclamation: With the flunky moments offsetting the energy generated by the funny & action filled moments, Army of Darkness / Xena #1 left me feeling more than a bit…indifferent.

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



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