Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Writer(s): Steve Niles
Artist(s): Nacho Tenorio
Release Date: 27th August 2014
Last time out, our hero didn’t have his troubles to seek. In addition to dealing with the repercussions of unleashing an unspeakable evil on the land, he’s had to postpone his wedding to Sheila, and has just discovered he is about to become a father. An exposition-heavy opening salvo concluded with Ash, Sheila, and the Wiseman surrounded by legions of re-animated corpses, freshly skinned and slaughtered by the ‘Faceless Man’.
After reading the first issue I felt that Sheila’s pregnancy was perhaps one plot strand too many, my concern being that it would lead to a shift in dynamic that might detract from the finely balanced comedy/horror vibe established early on. The revelation felt like an afterthought; a point emphasised further by it’s total omission this time around, and with only two issues to go in this arc, there’s very little wiggle room to address some major plot points.
That said, Steve Niles has thus far done an admirable job of capturing the tone of the movie through accurate characterisation and dialogue, and he continues in the same vein, drawing on filmic elements for inspiration. For example, in this issue Ash is reacquainted with an old ‘friend’, the chainsaw appendage makes a spectacular and bloody re-appearance, and we visit the abandoned windmill where Ash was attacked by Lilliputian versions of himself before growing a second head and spawning the despicable ‘Evil Ash’.
Nacho Tenorio continues to enhance his reputation with yet another strong showing. One splash page in particular, featuring Ash knee-deep in blood and corpses and bearing a maniacally gleeful grin, perfectly highlights the simplified realism he employs to capture accurate and expressive likenesses. His dynamic layouts and panel composition allow the action to flow smoothly, and are enhanced by subtle, nuanced colour work and some fine shadow detail.
Although the pacing drops a little the story feels more balanced and is backed by some stellar artwork. Perhaps not a must-read, but the next issue promises to be a biggie.
Rating: Three primitive screwheads out of five.
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