I think every reader has one character for which they’ll read most anything that gets released. For many people that character is Spider-Man or Superman. For me, that character is Ash, lead character of the Evil Dead and Army of Darkness movies. I love those movies for a lot of reasons. One of them is lead actor Bruce Campbell, who has a perfectly square chin and a perfectly obnoxious style. I like my heroes heroic and sarcastic, so Campbell is almost perfect for me. I also like his one-liners and quips and the fact that Ash isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack and therefore gets himself into trouble far more than he would like. Mostly, though, I love the character because he’s the kind of guy that never, ever, takes anything seriously.
Because of my passion for Ash, I’ve been a regular reader of the Army of Darkness comics from Dynamite Entertainment. Truth be told, none of these comics are as good as the movie, but I feel a little bit like the Star Wars fan who has no choice but to read the spinoff comics and books because he loves the characters and setting: if I want my fix of Ash, I have to buy this series.
Oh, it’s not like these comics are awful. They’re not. James Kuhoric does a decent job of creating interesting plots, filled with clever quips and wacky characters. It’s more that reading these stories on the comic page makes them more ordinary somehow. In comics there are plenty of square-jawed, clever, quipping characters. In the movies, Ash stands out because he’s more unique. In the movies, special effects limit what kinds of wackiness can be shown. In the comics, there’s almost too much freedom in the story’s scenes, which can show virtually anything. On one hand, this freedom gives the comics an unpredictable feel. On the other, it makes them feel a little wild and out of control.
One weakness of this issue compared with previous issues is that it’s reproduced from Kevin Sharpe’s pencils. This results in an oddly inconsistent feel for the art. Ash’s appearance changes slightly from panel to panel, which is distracting. Sharpe’s pencils are tight, but there are several places where they feel sketchy and imprecise rather than slick and professional. I think a nice ink job would have made the art tighter and more well-defined.
Overall though, this is an entertaining way to continue to get my fix of Ash.