Ash didn’t get to spend much time back at S-Mart before the deadites returned and pulled him once again back to 1300s, where they have been growing in power since he left. Lead by the Wiseman, who read from the Book of the Dead and had his soul consumed, the deadites have plans to conquer the entire land.
Now reunited with his medieval love, Sheila, as well as his boomstick and chainsaw, Ash is getting back into the swing of things and learning just what has happened since he left the land. Sheila and Ash, along with a company of men who worship the strange one, must retrieve the Book of the Dead if they are to stop this evil, but no sooner do they begin their journey then they come across a familiar face – Henry the Red!
If you are saddened and confused about the consistent back and forth rumors that a second Army of Darkness movie will or won’t be made, than this ongoing series is just the cure for your woes. Picking up right where the theatrical cut of the movie ended, Ash and the Army of Darkness continues the tale of Ash and endless fight against the deadites.
After seeing Ash get his ass handed to him throughout the first two issues, in issue #3, we find our old familiar and cocksure Ash landing the one-liners and punches, thanks to series writer Steve Niles. Niles, one of the current premiere horror comic book writers, finds a quite comfortable rhythm with the familiar material here and you can tell in his writing he completely gets the character and has watched the Evil Dead trilogy countless times. You can easily hear Bruce Campbell reading the word bubbles with his distinctive delivery.
The series delves a little more into the consequences of Ash’s actions and blundering, as he deals with the deaths of his girlfriend Linda, his co-workers and a land that has fallen into ruin. With a tone that lands more in line with Evil Dead 2 (it is lighter than Evil Dead, but darker than Army of Darkness) Niles has put together a quite worthy follow-up to the beloved series. Artist Dennis Calero does a fine job in bringing the world of Ash to life. He gets Campbell’s physical mannerisms and facial expressions just right and he is a wizard in bringing the deadites to the page.
The series has been a quite enjoyable read so far, and it fits right into the mythos of the Evil Dead universe. If a new film isn’t made (and it sounds like won’t be at this point), this series should be accepted as canon by Sam Raimi and Campbell. Don’t hesitate to give this a try if you’re an Ash devotee.