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Review – Death to the Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

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  • Writing - 8/10
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  • Art - 8/10
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Death to the Army of Darkness #1

Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Jacob Edgar
Colorist: Kike J. Diaz
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Release Date: February 19, 2020

All Ash wants to do is work his low-level job at S-Mart, but the Necronomicon just can’t let him go. The Deadites are coming for Ash and he has one way to stop them for good…but it is going to take a whole oddball team to do it.

 

“Die, Die, Die My Darling” Death to the Army of Darkness #1

Once you read from the Necronomicon it stays with you until the bitter end, which is the problem Ash is trying to solve in Death to the Army of Darkness #1. Fans of The Evil Dead, The Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness are all too familiar with the tale of Ash Williams. Now, freshly back from the 1300s, he just wants to live out his days as stock-boy at S-Mart. But Deadites just won’t stay dead, and Ash has to strap on the chainsaw and pick up his boom-stick once again. But this time he is going to get rid of his problem for good. This is a job too big for one man; it is going to take a whole groovy team!

Writing

Death to the Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) cover A by Ben Oliver
Death to the Army of Darkness #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) cover A by Ben Oliver

Ryan Parrott is becoming a go-to creator for me in comics. If I see his name on something I am going to check it out. Luckily I am also a big fan of The Evil Dead as well. I was a little hesitant, still, to open up Death to the Army of Darkness #1 (not that it would unleash demons or anything). Just that, usually, comics based on movies don’t have the greatest track record. Also, sometimes I like things just to be their things. I like the movies; I don’t really need anything else (okay, the show was good, but you get my point). But I love Parrott’s writing on Go Go Power Rangers and the MMPR/TMNT series, so I was hopeful, going in.

First of all, Parrott nails the tone of the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise. It is goofy and silly, yet packed full of scares and gore. Death to the Army of Darkness #1 delivers everything fans of the films love. Parrott also catches the feeling of famed B-movie actor and our hero, Bruce Campbell, superbly well. You can’t help but read Ash’s dialogue in his voice and it fits exquisitely well.

This being a first issue, it has a lot of setting up to do. So we do not get into the real “meat and potatoes” of the story until the end. It is kind of the same-old-same-old stuff until we get to that shocking ending, which really wrapped me into wanting to pick up the next issue.

Art

The art can be a tricky subject on series like this. Do you want to go ultra-realistic to emphasize the gore and scary aspect of the series? Or go a little more animated/cartoonish for the sillier/goof side of it? Death to the Army of Darkness #1 employs the talents of artist Jacob Edgar; his style leans heavily into the more animated/cartoonish side of things and it fits well with the overall tone of this series. Edgar gives the issue a more adult animated feel which emphasizes the comedic side. While there still are some demonic Deadite designs and blood his style tones that down a bit, which I personally enjoy.

Edgar also does a good job of catching the likeness of actor Bruce Campbell, it is a very good cartoon version of the younger version of the actor. While some scenes could be a tad more dynamic, Death to The Army of Darkness #1 is a visually pleasing spectacle. Edgar creates some stylish panels and fun fight scenes.

Kike J. Diaz‘s colors work tremendously well with Edgar’s art style. I enjoyed the lighter color palette he employed, and it helps play up that animated type feeling of the series. There is a fantastic scene of Ash making a triumphant entrance with the moon behind his back. Everything from art, colors, and writing all making it a cool/funny scene. It is the perfect summation of this book.

Conclusion

Though I was a little hesitant to pick up Death to the Army of Darkness #1, I am glad I did. Any fan of the movies/show will greatly enjoy this issue. It has everything that made the movies a cult hit with legions of fans from all over. This issue reminded me a lot of the widely-overlooked Dynamite series Blood Brothers, with its animated art styling and silly yet dramatic story.

The real pleaser for me, though, is the end of the issue. While the first part of the issue treads familiar water, which is not a good or bad thing, the end of the issue promises something a little new and different that I am very excited to read!


 

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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