Some guys just can’t catch a break. Ashley J. Williams is one of those guys. Tricked by an old man and stranded in Medieval England, Ash must travel through a Deadite infested forest to reclaim the Book of the Dead and stop the Army of Darkness from destroying the castle of his new love interest Sheila.
With clearly laid out and well staged action scenes and a nice touch of the absurd the artwork is pretty damn groovy and features some cracking splash pages of hordes of Deadites. The MacGuffin at the heart of this – the flesh-bound Necronomicon – is an (Evil) dead ringer for the prop in the film while Ash looks uncannily like his cinematic counterpart Bruce Campbell. However, it’s little quirky details like the weird shaped panels and off-kilter, slightly manic framing and composition that is most impressive in capturing the feel of the films it is inspired by. With crash zooms and Dutch angles sprinkled through the story it really captures the spirit and distinctive visual style of Sam Raimi’s film.
Similarly the writing has a tone familiar to fans of the movies, particularly the deadpan (Evil deadpan?) humour of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. Considering writer Steve Niles is best known for his dark horror work on titles like 30 Days of Night this humour is a nice surprise. Particularly in the wake of last year’s utterly humourless Evil Dead film remake. In fact if anything this comic could have done with a bit more horror and gore, it seems more of a full-on comedy than a horror-comedy.
Funny, violent and a little bit mad, this has a lot of the characteristics that people love about the Evil Dead franchise and the character of Ash in particular. It’s not as gory or scary as you might expect but otherwise captures the look and feel of the films fantastically. Hail to the King baby!
INTERIOR ARTWORK PREVIEW
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The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.